In a prior article, I described a troubleshooting technique if you are experiencing the infamous Asus ZenWiFi “blinking light” problem. Here, I explain how I upgrade my ZenWiFi mesh setup’s firmware to mitigate the possibility of having that or similar issues.
All instructions presented are without warranty or guarantee they will work for your own Asus ZenWifi and/or home network.
If there is one bit of advice that is first and foremost, keep “Auto Firmware Upgrade” OFF. I assume Asus and all electronics vendors want you to keep auto updates on, but with these particular devices, I simply do not want to risk starting my workday in my home office realizing my network is down due to an overnight Asus firmware “upgrade.” I will show where this option is in a moment.
So given that automatic firmware upgrade should be off, log into your Asus ZenWifi router through a browser. The current firmware version is near the top header as shown in the image below. If you are going to manually update your firmware, copy and store this firmware version number for reference. You can assume this is your latest “working” firmware, so if there is a blinking light disaster, you will have at least some recourse to go to Asus’s website to download and attempt a re-install of this firmware version.
Also, the green “App” letters will be blinking if there is a new firmware upgrade for your current one. When blinking, you can click on this to go to the Firmware Upgrade tab.
On the Firmware Upgrade tab, you will see the option to set automatic updates. As stated above, I recommend setting this to OFF. The downside, of course, is that you will need to regularly check for new firmware updates, generally a good practice in case there are security vulnerabilities that should be patched.
If there is a newer firmware, you will see a Manual button to perform the update. After taking note of your current firmware version number, click that button (not shown here since I am running the latest firmware as of this writing) and allow your ZenWiFi device(s) to upgrade for several minutes.
Also note that you could, potentially, update the firmware on the individual Asus ZenWiFi nodes in your network. Notice the “Upload” links above for both my AiMesh router and the AiMesh node. You may see additional nodes if you have a second, third, etc. node in your home. I recommend only using these upload options if you are very certain of what you are doing, e.g. following instructions from Asus support or generally trusted instructions elsewhere. Otherwise, you could end up with firmware version mismatches that could cause connectivity problems, which we are trying to avoid.
So my process to update my firmware is simply:
- Log into my Asus ZenWifi router.
- Ensure auto firmware upgrades is set to OFF.
- Use the manual button on the Firmware Upgrade tab to update the router and node(s) together.
- Allow the upgrade to run several minutes.
- Verify connectivity is restored throughout the home network.
As a final safety check, I also like to hard restart the Asus ZenWiFi devices. Here is the process for that, done only after the steps immediately above are complete:
- Turn off the power to the node.
- Turn off the power to the Asus router.
- Wat a minute or two.
- Turn on the power to the Asus router.
- Wait several minutes for the lights to stop blinking/flashing/changing.
- Turn on the power to the node.
- Wait several minutes for the lights to settle on the node.
- Verify all network connectivity.
If you have questions on how I perform these firmware updates, please leave a comment below.