Any Problems using VPN Server to update firmware remotely?

jeff3820

Regular Contributor
Has anyone experienced issues updating Merlin firmware remotely using the VPN Server? I have a family member whose network I manage and the only network component I have to do onsite is the Asus router (RT-AC86U)...I can do everything else from the cloud. I'm planning to activate the internal VPN server when I update them to 386.4 and I just wanted to see if anyone has run into any issues doing firmware updates remotely. I know when the router reboots during the firmware update I'll lose the OpenVPN connection but any other issues to watch out for?
 

Tech9

Part of the Furniture
Friendly advice - don't update. I had unstable 5GHz Wi-Fi on AC86U with 386.4 firmware, like others. Some had better luck in Release thread.
 

eibgrad

Part of the Furniture
You mean beyond the usual "if it fails to boot, I'm screwed as far as further remote access is concerned" issues? I assume if YOU have to do this remotely, there's no one else there to get you connected again should anything go wrong. Otherwise they'd be doing the update themselves. Isn't that always the fundamental problem w/ *any* remote firmware update? That's why I find such things the equivalent of changing the tire on a moving vehicle. I used to manage a site-to-site years ago between my two homes, and if I screwed it up (even w/ just a simple but careless config change), I was out of luck until I made one of two yearly visits, some 1732 miles away. I quickly learned that updates could wait until I was on-site.

But I suppose that's why we'll always have dare-devils among us.
 

Tech9

Part of the Furniture
Some folks reported no Wi-Fi issues, I remember few with completely disconnected Wi-Fi in few days, few with unstable Wi-Fi to some clients, I was getting constant random interruptions. And if @jeff3820 hits VPN not starting or WAN disconnected issue, he's out of options. No touch strategy is better.
 

jeff3820

Regular Contributor
I’m using the RT-AC86U for routing only…internal WiFi is off and is being handled by a Unifi access point because where the internet comes into the property is in a horrible position for WiFi coverage but OK to route via cable to the multiple rooms on the property.

So all I have to be concerned with is 86U booting up and VPN server starting.
 

Tech9

Part of the Furniture

elorimer

Very Senior Member
Depends a lot on what the existing version is from which you are updating.
 

lighting

Regular Contributor
Has anyone experienced issues updating Merlin firmware remotely using the VPN Server? I have a family member whose network I manage and the only network component I have to do onsite is the Asus router (RT-AC86U)...I can do everything else from the cloud. I'm planning to activate the internal VPN server when I update them to 386.4 and I just wanted to see if anyone has run into any issues doing firmware updates remotely. I know when the router reboots during the firmware update I'll lose the OpenVPN connection but any other issues to watch out for?
I support three remote network routers, all using Merlin firmware. On all three I use VPN from my home office to update the firmware. If anything goes wrong I can get myself to the remote sites and deal with it, likely before anyone local will notice a problem, but in practice it's worked fine through a couple of years of updates and saved me a good bit of time. One of the sites is on an island with a pretty funky microwave Internet connection, but it still seems to consistently work. I reboot right before, eject any USB flash drive, and I stay up to date, don't ever skip more than one release version.
 

Reef2009

Occasional Visitor
My openvpn config was broken after the upgrade to 386.4. So beter don't.
At home i finishes the setup and reconfigured without issues.

Normaly there is no issue but this update. Besides that as a systemengineer you beter don't upgrade firmware remotely. You never know if it will break.
 

dosborne

Very Senior Member
I've done this on and off for a number of decades, using one form of remote access or another. All I can say is that sometimes it works (usually) but be prepared for the (usually critical) time that it won't.

To mitigate any potential issues from corruption, I'd suggest remoting into a device that is local to one receiving the update as most of my issues in the past were due to the remote connection and not the actual update process. By accessing a PC for example, it can generally complete an update even if your connection is lost.
 

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