How to Fix a Netgear Router That's Not Working

What to do when your router won't connect to the internet or doesn't show up

Netgear router not working? Whether it won't connect to the internet or doesn't show up in your Wi-Fi settings at all, here's how to get your router working again.

How Do I Get My Netgear Router to Work?

The first step is setting up your router correctly. Plug it into the power source and press the power button if it doesn't turn on automatically. The name of your router's Wi-Fi network (SSID), which you can find in the manual or on the bottom of the device, should appear in your Wi-Fi settings. Select the network, select Connect, then enter the password (which can be found alongside the network name).

Connect in Windows 10 Wi-Fi menu

Why Is My Router Not Connecting to the Internet?

While you can use a router without a modem to communicate with other connected devices, you'll also need a modem and an internet service provider (ISP) to access the internet. Make sure you correctly set up your modem, and it's securely connected to the yellow port on your router with an Ethernet cable. If you can connect to your Wi-Fi network but can't use the internet, then you likely need to troubleshoot your modem.

If you can't connect to the router's network at all, it could be due to one of the following reasons:

  • Interference from physical objects or other devices
  • Your password is incorrect or has been changed
  • Your router's firmware is out-of-date
  • Hardware issues such as a faulty antenna or capacitator
  • Your router has an invalid IP address

Your modem and your internet package also limit your connection. In addition to troubleshooting your router, make sure you're getting the internet speed you're paying for.

How Do I Fix My Netgear Wireless Router?

Whatever problem you're having, here are some general router troubleshooting tips:

  1. Restart your router. Unplug the power supply and wait 30 seconds, then plug it back in. A simple restart will clear out most temporary technical hiccups.

  2. Move the router or move closer to it. Walls and other physical objects can obstruct the wireless signal. Other electronics can also cause interference, so place your router in a central location away from anything else. If your router's signal can't reach all corners of your home, consider investing in a Wi-Fi extender.

  3. Upgrade your router's firmware. If the router's built-in software is outdated, you could run into glitches. Search for your model on the Netgear website to find the most up-to-date firmware.

  4. Replace the antenna. All routers need an antenna, whether internal or external, to work properly. If your router has a defective antenna, you may be able to find a replacement online.

  5. Change your router's IP address. If your default gateway IP address has been changed, change it back to the default.

  6. Change the Wi-Fi channel. If the internet is slow, your router could be assigning too many devices to a single Wi-Fi channel. Try splitting them up between the two channels by choosing the best wireless channel for each device (some devices can't connect to 5 GHz).

  7. Reset your router. A reset returns to the router to how it was when you first took it out of the box. That means you'll lose any custom preferences you set up, but a reset may be the only option if you don't know the password. After the reset, you can log in to your modem with the default username and password.

  8. Switch DNS servers. You can't access the web if your DNS server is offline or corrupted. Try connecting to one of the many other public DNS servers.

  9. Replace or repair your modem. If you've tried everything on this list with no luck, you could have a hardware issue, such as a damaged internal antenna. Before buying a new one, visit the Netgear Hardware Warranty page to see if your device qualifies for a free repair or replacement.

What Lights Should Be on My Netgear Router?

The Power light on your modem should be a solid color (usually green). The Internet light (traditionally represented by an “i” or a planet with a ring around it) and the Wi-Fi light should be solid or blinking. The icons might look slightly different if you have a router-modem combination unit.

Netgear WNR834B RangeMax NEXT Wireless-N Router


  • Why is the default username and password for my Netgear router not working?

    Ensure you're entering the correct information, as listed on the device, in the product manual, or on this list of Netgear default passwords. If your model supports it, you might be able to log into the router and use the Netgear password recovery feature. Otherwise, hold down the factory reset button to return the username and password to the defaults.

  • What steps should I take if a Netgear router reset isn't working?

    Look at the documentation to make sure you're holding the reset button down long enough. You could also try the 30-30-30 reset, which involves 30 seconds of pressing the reset button, unplugging the router, and plugging it in again while holding the reset button. If that doesn't work and your firmware is up to date, you might want to contact Netgear customer support.

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