Yes, you are supposed to use a wired connection to upgrade firmware. Also, contrary to the response from Amish Funguy, this is not a Costco ripoff. Netgear support provides firmware updates for WNDR4500 and WNDR4500v2. Do not interchange firmware between devices.
Hi W.B., performance will vary depending on the wireless environment in your home, interference, construction of the home, but this router should work well for you. We would also recommend taking a look at some of our routers with enhanced signal transmission given the size of your home, such as the R7000 or R8000.
We bought this due to the suggestion by HughesNet. We live in the country and had no decent internet service. This NETGEAR N900 lets us use the IPad, Kindle, and the Kindle Fire or either of the laptops up stairs. Our house is 2 stories and works very well. Hope this helps you.