How to update your Shellfire Box to the latest Firmware version

  • 14th May, 2020

Yes, you read that right! The wait is finally over, you can now upgrade your Shellfire Box to the latest firmware version. The update introduces a large number of security patches. In addition, the Shellfire Box user interface can now be set 6 different languages to suit our international customers. The update also allows you to connect using the brand new WireGuard protocol. This way, you can turn your “old” Shellfire Box classic into a state-of-the-art WireGuard VPN router!

Please note: This process only works on The Shellfire Box classic that was sold from 2015 until early 2020 (blue LED, both Ethernet ports on the same side of the device). The new Shellfire Box 4K (green LED, opposing Ethernet ports) already comes with full WireGuard capabilities.

WireGuard requires an updated version of the Linux kernel as well as other components that the previous Shellfire Box operating system could not supply. Therefore, this update will be our first full update of the underlying OpenWRT operating system that runs the Shellfire Box. Until today, we have been able to supply critical patches without updating this base system. Therefore, updating requires a factory reset of your Shellfire Box! Please make sure that you understand what this means: Any changes you made to your Shellfire Box will be erased by the upgrade process. This includes things like:

  • Changed Wi-Fi names (SSID)
  • Changed Wi-Fi passwords
  • Static ip addresses
  • Optional user interface passwords
  • MAC address filters
  • Firewall settings
  • Setting of the user  interface to “Advanced” mode
  • etc. etc.

Your Shellfire Box will be reset back to its original state, just like you received it, except that it will be running the new firmware. If you have not made any changes in the advanced user interface, your Shellfire Box will work just fine after the update. If there is any custom setting you want to preserve, we recommend writing it down and then setting it up the same way after the reset. The underlying OpenWRT LuCI user interface has not changed dramatically. Not sure if you are ready to update? Contact us!

Okay, I wrote down all changes I made to my settings, how can I upgrade?

We have worked hard to make the process is fairly simple.

Step 1: Before you can start, make sure that you have had your Shellfire Box connected to the internet for at least 24 hour straight at some point after May 5, 2020. During that period, your Shellfire Box will automatically download and install all components necessary for the upgrade. If your box has not yet had the chance to download those components, you will not see the upgrade option shown in step 5. In this case, just leave your Shellfire Box connected to the internet for a few more hours and check back later.

Step 2: The first thing you need to do is connect to your Shellfire Box Wi-Fi network or LAN port.

Step 3: Now, visit the Shellfire Box user interface: http://sf.box/ or http://10.30.20.1/ using your internet browser. Note that these addresses will only work while you are connected to your Shellfire Box.

Step 4: You might need to log in using your user interface password in case you have set up a password. If you have set up a password and don’t remember it, you will need to issue a factory reset first. You can do this by keeping the reset button pressed for at least 6 seconds while the device is powered on. Next, wait until the blue LED stays on constantly or stays off. After the reset, go back to step 1 of this guide.  It might take up to 24h before you can initiate the upgrade after a reset.

Shellfire Box login

Shellfire Box login

Step 5: Once logged in, you will see the server list. After waiting for a few seconds, you will see a yellow update notification near the top of the page. Hit “Click here to start the upgrade process now”.

Shellfire Box Update Notification

Shellfire Box Update Notification

Step 6: You will now be presented with a warning message. Make sure to read it and follow the instructions carefully. Then Click “OK”. This will start the update process.

Shellfire Box Update Warning

Shellfire Box Update Warning

Step 7: Now, wait for a while. The process is going to take a few minutes, so you might want to grab a cup of coffee. Just make sure you leave the device connected to the power chord during the upgrade. Your browser will display the current status of your update.

Shellfire Box update status

Shellfire Box update status

Once the indicator turns green, the upgrade is almost done!

Shellfire Box upgrade almost complete

Shellfire Box upgrade almost complete

Step 8: When the counter reaches 0, you should be automatically redirected towards the upgraded user interface. After a few more seconds, the blue LED should stay on constantly, indicating a successful VPN connection.

Note: If forwarding to the user interface does not work, please check whether you are still connected to the Shellfire Box Wi-Fi network. During the reboot process, the Wi-Fi will be unavailable for a while, so your PC or smartphone may have automatically switched to a different Wi-Fi in range. If this is the case, simply switch back to the Shellfire Box Wi-Fi network and visit http://sf.box/ or http://10.30.20.1/ again. If the Wi-Fi doesn’t work immediately, remember that all custom changes have been reset. If you have changed your Wi-Fi name or password, you will now have to use the original Wi-Fi name and password printed onto the bottom of your Shellfire Box to connect.

If you are using an network cable to connect your PC to your Shellfire Box rather than Wi-FIi, try disabling and then re-activating the network connection on your PC or simply pull out the network cable and plug it back in.

Shellfire Box connected

Shellfire Box connected

Step 9: Enjoy! The interface has not changed much, but you will notice the new WireGuard option in the “Connection settings” slider. By default, your Shellfire Box will connect to the last VPN server that you have used before the update using the WireGuard protocol. Congratulations! Your Shellfire Box is now running the very latest Firmware version!

You should notice a substantial increase in download speed thanks to the new WireGuard protocol. Your latency, especially when online gaming, shold now also be significantly lower. Try switching to different VPN servers to see which one works best for you. Servers located close to your actual location will usually give the best results, but WireGuard can especially improve long distance connections, so why not give a server on the other side of the world a try today?

At the bottom of the page, you will find the language selection menu. You can now switch between 6 different languages.

Shellfire Box Sprachenauswahl

Shellfire Box language selection

We really hope that you enjoy the new features. If you encounter any problems or have any questions, Let us know!

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