How to Troubleshoot NETGEAR That Won't Connect

Techwalla may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.
When your Netgear Wi-Fi is not working, basic troubleshooting can often resolve the issue.
Image Credit: deepblue4you/E+/GettyImages

When your Netgear Wi-Fi is not working, basic troubleshooting can often resolve the issue. Netgear modem troubleshooting involves several simple procedures to power cycle, reset and check for connectivity. In some cases, the outside internet service is the issue and not the modem itself.


Run a Power Cycle

A power cycle is surprisingly effective for resolving intermittent connectivity issues. In some cases, the Netgear router just needs a reset to function normally. Turn off the Netgear modem by removing the power cord. Wait for all of the lights to turn off and give the modem a few minutes of idle time to ensure all power leaves the system.

Return the power and wait for all of the lights to restore to normal. Make sure the internet connectivity light is illuminated. Turn on your device and check the connection. Waiting for a minute or two is not uncommon. If the connection does not return, another issue is blocking the connection.


In some cases, attempting a second power cycle reset may resolve the issue. If this occurs with regularity and the power cycle temporarily fixes the problem, it may mean the Netgear modem is going bad and requires replacement. The reset, however, is a good first step for Netgear wireless router troubleshooting.

Check the Cables

Connectivity issues may be a simple matter of loose cables or even a bad cable connection. Locate the power cable and make sure it's tightly plugged on both ends. A loose cable will cause the connection to cut out then return when the power reaches the modem and a poor connection at the wall socket will do the same. Try a different wall outlet to ensure it has a stable supply of electricity to the modem.


After checking the power cord for security and ensuring the modem is demonstrating a stable connection, move to the Ethernet cord. Check the Ethernet cord for a secure connection on both ends. A loose Ethernet cord will definitely cause a finicky connection. An Ethernet cable can also go bad with wear and tear and replacing a frayed cable may fix the problem.

If the cords are both in good condition and the connections are secure, your modem is experiencing a different problem. Moving forward in the troubleshooting process may resolve the issue but a replacement modem may be the best course of action.


Contact the Network

Before assuming the modem is bad, contact your service provider to ensure the network is active and normal. A network outage will drop internet service in an entire area. If the network is down, it means the modem is not the source of the problem. In this case, you must wait until the service provider restores internet to the network.

If the network is normal and the router continues to fail without a resolution from the power cycle, the issue is likely with the hardware on the router. The only exception to this case is a device without the router firmware installed to accept the network. If the router has been actively used and the connection fails, the router is the source of the problem. If the device is new to the network, installing the firmware on the primary computer is often a necessary step.


As a last resort, make sure the firmware is up to date. Updates that are not installed can interrupt the service and cause connectivity problems. The computer should trigger update notifications automatically. Click on the notifications to install all relevant updates. Otherwise, your Netgear Wi-Fi not working issue will persist.