Does the firmware affect the performance of a WiFi router?

When it comes time to replace our router or check if it is still valid, we must look at two things. The first is the technical specifications of the router itself, in which the hardware is of particular importance. Here we have to pay attention to the CPU, RAM, Wi-Fi capabilities and Ethernet ports among others. Then we would also have to look at the firmware, which is the operating system of our router. Depending on what the router manufacturer develops more or less, it can also have more or fewer options and be more or less optimized, so it is a very important aspect. In this article we are going to see if the firmware influences the performance of a router.

How Firmware Affects Performance

Sometimes we find two routers with very similar specifications. That does not mean that they will offer us the same benefits and results. In this regard, firmware influences performance much more than we think. The culprit that this router goes better or worse is usually the manufacturer. In this regard, it should be noted that not all are the same and some that do well are ASUS with their Asuswrt, AVM with FRITZ! OS, NETGEAR or D-Link among others.

Having good firmware will cause two very beneficial situations for users of these brands. The first is that they usually have quite a few years of firmware level support, and not the typical 2 or 3 years offered by other less prestigious manufacturers. On the other hand, the second thing is that they offer you more regular updates that will make your router:

  1. Be more protected against vulnerabilities related to Wi-Fi and other dangers that can affect your security.
  2. Sometimes those updates add more features.
  3. These firmwares also correct bugs and gain in performance.

For this reason, we can say that the firmware of our router influences both security, performance and the provision of new options. You may be interested in knowing the best firmwares for home routers.

Why a firmware can influence your experience

One of the things firmware influences is workload optimization. For example, with identical hardware the experience can be very different. In this regard, if the firmware is well developed, it can be lighter. That means that the consumption of CPU and RAM will be lower, so in certain situations we will notice that everything is going better. We have already commented that good manufacturers have quality firmwares that will more than meet our expectations. However, in case you don’t know, sometimes some of these models have unofficial firmwares with extra features.

Netgear RAX70

It is not only the firmware of a good manufacturer that influences performance. It also gives us a greater range of options that can make our lives easier. For example, they can automate some Wi-Fi related tasks. In this regard, they can select the best Wi-Fi channel automatically and they also have a time programmer to deactivate our wireless connection whenever we want.

Another of the most interesting sections is that it will allow us to regulate the network traffic of our Internet connection. In this regard, the option stands out QoS (Quality of service) that allows us to prioritize data packets. Thus, thanks to this function, we can prioritize some devices over others. This is highly valued in the gaming world where latency with online servers is very important.

It also allows us to configure the Ethernet ports at different speeds which can translate into small energy savings. In addition, the same could apply with the USB ports in terms of energy issues. On the other hand, good firmwares offer us the possibility of use our router as a VPN, FTP, Samba server and various other options to share our files. Finally, as you have been able to observe throughout this article, we have seen how the firmware influences both performance and options.

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