When the time comes to replace our router or check if it is still valid, we must pay attention to two things. The first is the technical specifications of the router itself, in which the hardware is of special 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 less 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 that aspect the firmware influences the performance much more than we think. The culprit that this router is better or worse is usually the manufacturer. In this aspect, it should be noted that not all are the same and some that do well are ASUS with its Asuswrt, AVM with FRITZ! OS, NETGEAR or D-Link among others.
Having a good firmware is going to cause two very beneficial situations for the users of these brands. The first is that they usually have many years of support at the firmware level, 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:
- Be more protected against Wi-Fi-related vulnerabilities and other dangers that can affect your security.
- Sometimes those updates add more features.
- These firmwares also correct bugs and gain 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 firmware 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 that aspect, 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 all things are better. We have already commented that good manufacturers have quality firmware that will more than meet our expectations. However, in case you do not know, sometimes some of these models have unofficial firmware with extra features.
It’s not just firmware from 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 aspect, they can select the best Wi-Fi channel automatically and also have a timer to deactivate our wireless connection when 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 aspect, the QoS (Quality of Service) option stands out, which allows us to establish priorities for 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 a small energy saving. In addition, the same could apply with USB ports in terms of energy issues. On the other hand, good firmware offers us the possibility of using 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.