We have previously published about how you can upgrade the firmware of your router to the open source DD-WRT through its web interface. But some of the routers also allow the upgrading of the firmware through the TFTP (trivial file transfer protocol) interface. Upgrade of router firmware over TFTP is much more easier than the web interface method and takes much less time. Since TFTP does not support any username or password credentials, you can use the TFTP method of upgrading the firmware even if you have forgotten the router access credentials.
Windows comes with a simple command line TFTP client of its own, but not everyone likes to work with the command line interface. So if you want a simple GUI interface, then you can use the free Tftpd32 server/client for all your TFTP requirements.
In order to upgrade your firmware, first of all you have to download the upgraded version of the firmware file from the website of your router manufacturer. Be very careful when download the firmware and check thoroughly whether it is suitable for your version and model of the router. You can also use the open source router firmware like OpenWRT or DD-WRT.
The Tftpd32 program can act both as a TFTP server and client. We need to use this program only in the client mode. So launch the Tftpd32 tool and switch to the Tftp Client tab. Enter the web-interface IP address for your router (typically 192.168.1.1 or 192.168.0.1) as Host. Enter 69 as the port number as this is the default port for TFTP protocol. Choose the firmware file in the Local File section. And finally click on the Put button to transfer the file to your router.
The file transfer does not take much time. In most of the cases, the firmware file is very small and all it takes is 5-6 seconds to transfer it over TFTP to your router’s flash memory. You would receive a message when the file transfer is complete.
Now you can restart your router, it should use the new version of the firmware. You can also reset the router before starting to work with the new firmware to wipe out any of the obsolete settings.
Conclusion: It is easy to upgrade the firmware of routers over the TFTP protocol. It is as simple as copying a file in Windows from one folder to another because the TFTP protocol does not require any username or password to perform any of the copying actions.
You can download the Tftpd32 program from http://tftpd32.jounin.net/.