Asus Auto Update Experiences

  • ATTENTION! As of November 1, 2020, you will not be able to reply to threads 6 months after the thread is opened. Threads will not be locked, so posts may still be edited by their authors.

bbunge

Very Senior Member
As suggested, this thread is to document Asus Auto Update successes and failures.
Please include the router model and firmware version.
 
Last edited:

wouterv

Very Senior Member
Which router model with what firmware does offer Automatic Firmware upgrades?
Honestly it is a devilish choice to like or dislike automatic upgrades.

To my very honest opinion, the far majority of routers never get firmware updates because their owner has no clue the firmware requires some maintenance. These routers are often connected and setup by a willing neighbor or nephew, left behind the couch and forgotten. All they may get is a reset now and then to overcome malfunction. For those users a trouble free automatic firmware upgrade would be the best.
In addition I believe those users do not bother about the fancy additional features, all they want is trouble free wireless Internet in their home.

For the minority of router owners who do visit a forum like this and who have some knowledge of routers and networking, there should always be an option for non automatic firmware updates.
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
Which router model with what firmware does offer Automatic Firmware upgrades?
RT-AC86U 3.0.0.4.384.81992 enabled auto update, which then auto updated to 3.0.0.4.384.82072.

I suspect this was a singular event for a reason, and that Asus will disable auto update at some point.

OE
 

techcafe

Regular Contributor
automatic Signature updates have never worked on my AC1900P (68U), running Asuswrt-Merlin v380.70. those Signatures (for TM's DPI engine?) do update successfully after manually pressing the Check button (see pic).

2020-08-31 10_25_28-ASUS Wireless Router RT-AC1900P - Firmware Upgrade.png
 

wouterv

Very Senior Member
automatic Signature updates have never worked on my AC1900P (68U), running Asuswrt-Merlin v380.70. those Signatures (for TM's DPI engine?) do update successfully after manually pressing the Check button (see pic).

View attachment 25901
To my knowledge the RT-AC68 / RT-AC1900 family never had Automatic updates.
Some time ago the Firmware checker was introduced, to warn you in the GUI when an update is available and be able to perform the check yourself. For this you still have to login to the GUI first, see or check if there is an update available, then manual initiate the update.
For experienced users this is in my opnion a very acceptable feature.

The nightmare scenario with Automatic updates is of course a situation where an update "breaks" the router (Linksys ran into such a situation some years ago).
An Automatic update feature shall come with a fallback scenario and a good self check: if the self check after the update fails, the router (or what ever device) shall revert to the last known working situation and block another attempt to upgrade to that bad version. And the upgrade shall be instant, first performed in shadow memory and change over after succes (to avoid to break a download or break the connection while you watch your favorite movie).
 
Last edited:

techcafe

Regular Contributor
automatic firmware updates should be selectable, we agree, but outdated Trend Micro signatures? AiProtection, QoS, Apps Analysis... these services depend on up-to-date signature files from TM, which are usually updated every two weeks. so i Check for new signatures manually, but the average user likely wouldn't bother with it.
 

wouterv

Very Senior Member
automatic firmware updates should be selectable, we agree, but outdated Trend Micro signatures? AiProtection, QoS, Apps Analysis... these services depend on up-to-date signature files from TM, which are usually updated every two weeks. so i Check for new signatures manually, but the average user likely wouldn't bother with it.
Ah yes, I agree, protection signature files shall be updated automatically otherwise they make no sense.
 

follower

Senior Member
Router: AC86U
Firmware: 82072 auto updated
Result: ruined
The following issue has been happened.
Go to hell ASUS.
 

Ronald Schwerer

Very Senior Member
RT-AC86U 3.0.0.4.384.81992 enabled auto update, which then auto updated to 3.0.0.4.384.82072.

I suspect this was a singular event for a reason, and that Asus will disable auto update at some point.

OE
Your conjecture is based on what? Faith in ASUS's integrity? Well something about this topic rang a bell. There's a thread from 2018:
AC86U Firmware keeps updating automatically

BTW, in it RMerlin states "I refuse to implement any kind of automated update." So the best way to avoid this is to install Merlin.
 
Last edited:

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
Your conjecture is based on what?
ASUS implemented an AC86U auto update around Jan 2018 and then another one now in Aug 2020. So, based on that.

Singular as in not ordinary or usual or normal.

OE
 

RMerlin

Asuswrt-Merlin dev
ASUS implemented an AC86U auto update around Jan 2018 and then another one now in Aug 2020. So, based on that.

Singular as in not ordinary or usual or normal.

OE
Asus has been devoting a lot of efforts recently on improving their firmware update system, implementing RSA signing for example, or direct download-to-flash presumably for models low on RAM). This is when they also started enabling auto update in various models. I expect them to eventually enable that feature for the majority of models, for security reasons - too many vulnerabilities get exploited because the vast majority of people fail to ever update their firmware.

I'm not sure if they will ever implement a way for the user to enable/disable updates, as this could also be used by malwares to disable updates. It happened before, as one particular malware was messing up the wget timeout nvram to prevent updates from working.

(BTW, if your signatures never update automatically, that could possibly be a reason - make sure you flash an up-to-date firmware to fix this)

Also note that signature updates are handled separately from firmware updates.


Personally, I dislike the idea of automated firmware updates. But I can understand Asus's rationale behind it.
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
Personally, I dislike the idea of automated firmware updates. But I can understand Asus's rationale behind it.
If Asuswrt takes a stand on implementing auto firmware updates for security reasons, will/should Asuswrt-Merlin disable this or offer the user the option to disable this? A lot of questions there! :)

OE
 

Ronald Schwerer

Very Senior Member
ASUS implemented an AC86U auto update around Jan 2018 and then another one now in Aug 2020. So, based on that.

Singular as in not ordinary or usual or normal.

OE
Since the root of "singular" is "single", I think of it as a one-time event. But you're correct in it's meaning as exceptional, not ordinary. And historically it has been the exception rather than the rule. But I see nothing in the release notes that indicates this capability has been disabled, and that means they have given themselves carte blanche to disrupt an RT-AC86U at any time of their choosing. Since the user/owner of the router is not even aware of an impending update, he can not plan for this event. Nor can he choose a better time that would be less disruptive to operations. The unintended consequences of pushing a firmware update is my major objection. The security vulnerability it exposes is another.
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
Since the root of "singular" is "single", I think of it as a one-time event. But you're correct in it's meaning as exceptional, not ordinary. And historically it has been the exception rather than the rule. But I see nothing in the release notes that indicates this capability has been disabled, and that means they have given themselves carte blanche to disrupt an RT-AC86U at any time of their choosing. Since the user/owner of the router is not even aware of an impending update, he can not plan for this event. Nor can he choose a better time that would be less disruptive to operations. The unintended consequences of pushing a firmware update is my major objection. The security vulnerability it exposes is another.
I only commented on what we know... two AC86U auto updates in ~30 months. It remains to be seen what the future holds.

I don't want auto firmware updates for obvious reasons and because I manage this myself. I would prefer the option to disable auto firmware updates like how I disable the Captcha login... my risk, my choice.

OE
 

Stuey3D

Regular Contributor
On the whole I think auto updates are a good thing, as mentioned above most people will setup the router and forget about it until something goes wrong with it. This way it will keep those users protected with the latest fixes just like the ISP’s do with their own provided routers.

I do however agree with those who have said that more advanced users need an option to disable it just in case it breaks something on a more complex network setup.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
I don't agree with auto-updates in any way, shape, or form on a router because that means Asus (or anyone else) has deep access to our network/systems. That is simply unacceptable.

If I wanted that kind of third-party access to my networks, I would use the ISP's router instead.

This needs to have a DISABLED switch clearly labeled and prominently identified.
 

Stuey3D

Regular Contributor
It needs to be enabled by default with the option to opt out i think.

There are probably a huge amount of people out there who have 3rd party routers for better wifi over ISP routers that have had a one time setup by a tech savvy mate or family member and then left alone and forgotten about as it is working fine, these routers could be running very out of date firmware and they could be at risk of hacks because of this.

Auto updates like the ISP routers that can be disabled by power users fixes this issue and is the best of both worlds.
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
I don't agree with auto-updates in any way, shape, or form on a router because that means Asus (or anyone else) has deep access to our network/systems. That is simply unacceptable.

If I wanted that kind of third-party access to my networks, I would use the ISP's router instead.

This needs to have a DISABLED switch clearly labeled and prominently identified.
If "deep access to our network/systems" is a concern, then I'm not sure disabling auto updates would prohibit this. We must all accept that a certain amount of trust is required, and can only be based on what we know and observe about how the other party openly operates. Having the option to disable auto updates would foster this trust, not erode it.

OE
 

RMerlin

Asuswrt-Merlin dev
If Asuswrt takes a stand on implementing auto firmware updates for security reasons, will/should Asuswrt-Merlin disable this or offer the user the option to disable this? A lot of questions there!
I don`t use their firmware update check code, since I need to point at my own server, not theirs, to determine if a new version of my firmware is available.
 

Similar threads

Latest threads

Sign Up For SNBForums Daily Digest

Get an update of what's new every day delivered to your mailbox. Sign up here!
Top