What is the Difference Between Firmware and Software?

Officially, there is no true compositional distinction between firmware and software. When discussed, firmware usually refers to fixed data as part of a hardware device, unlike software which is meant to be used for interaction, productivity and activity like word processing, video editing, listening to music, or video conferencing.

Wikipedia describes the history of the term firmware:

The term firmware was originally coined in order to contrast to higher level software which could be changed without replacing a hardware component, and firmware is typically involved with very basic low-level operations without which a device would be completely non-functional. Firmware is also a relative term, as most embedded devices contain firmware at more than one level. Subsystems such as CPUs, flash chips, communication controllers, LCD modules, and so on, have their own (usually fixed) program code and/or microcode, regarded as “part of the hardware” by the higher-level(s) firmware.

Without firmware as a backbone, there is really no software as it is commonly perceived, to be run. From DVD drives to portable music players to the computers inside of an automobiles, firmware is integral to their functioning.

Firmware is software that is semi-permanently placed in hardware. Firmware does not disappear when hardware is powered off. The memory that firmware uses is very speedy — making it ideal for controlling hardware in which performance is paramount.

Regular Wireless Router Firmware vs DD-WRT Firmware in FlashRouters

The firmware used in routers tends to make them faster than a computer performing a similar routing function. Firmware is used for optimizing a device for a peak performance. Yet most of the out-of-the-box firmware used in today’s routers is substandard to the needs and tasks desired by users.

Linksys 1900ACS

A software or firmware upgrade makes a permanent change — usually an improvement in features, in performance, or to correct errors. In the case of the the DD-WRT routers, the upgrade allows for a variety of upgraded options such as integrated VPN connectivity, advanced wireless security/encryption options, wireless signal boosting, wireless repeater/bridge modes and advanced bandwidth monitoring abilities.

Router firmware is usually Linux based and has a specific way to update or upgrade it. It cannot be simply installed like a standard executable program. They have to be sent a file or “flashed” in a very specific way in order to allow for the router to continue to function usually through direct Ethernet connection, using a very specific set of network settings.

If a router is flashed incorrectly, the firmware can be damaged causing the router to be bricked/unusable. When purchasing a FlashRouter, you get an upgraded device customized to your network that features all the upgraded features of DD-WRT without the hassles of bricking your router.

Check out some of our amazing routers, from leading brands like Linksys, Netgear, and Asus!

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1.8 GHz Marvell Processor
4 Ext Antennas
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Wireless-AC1750 Mbps
1 Ghz Broadcom Processor
3 Ext Antennas
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Get tech support to make sure you get your router and VPN connection up and running for practically the same price the router would cost regularly. Unleash your web experience with a DD-WRT Flashrouter today!

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