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Netgear Router Not Broadcasting WiFi or Won’t Turn On

Man with a smartphone and router trying to connect to the Internet

Netgear makes some of the most popular routers on the market. Generally, they work well and can be relied on, but sometimes people have trouble with them. One issue that sometimes pops up is their router’s inability to broadcast a WiFi signal.

If your Netgear router is not broadcasting WiFi or won’t turn on, confirm your router is receiving Internet from your ISP. If your device tells you its “Connected, no Internet,” your modem is not providing a connection. Plug a desktop or laptop into the router or model itself with a LAN (ethernet) cable.

The most common reason routers aren’t broadcasting a WiFi signal is because the routers aren’t getting an Internet connection from their Internet Service Providers (ISP). You can also check the router’s settings for additional troubleshooting.

Netgear Router Not Broadcasting WiFi: How To Fix

Router with a watermark image of WiFi signal on device

If this is a new router, it is encouraged that you check out the manual first. It will have specific installation instructions. In some cases, you might be asked to install an app on your phone to configure the right settings.

For example, the Netgear Nighthawk router has an app that allows and facilitates configurations to the router’s security, channel settings, and reboot feature. It makes setup easy and intuitive, so if you’ve skipped this installation, try it out first. Restart the setup process and install the app. That might help.

Listed below are the official instructions from the Netgear website on how to set up your router. You’ll need to have a computer, a Web browser, and an Ethernet cable.

  1. Connect the modem to the yellow Internet port on the back of the router using an Ethernet cable.
  2. Connect your computer to one of the Ethernet ports on your router.
  3. Power on your router.
  4. Open a Web browser. When the router LEDs light up, type routerlogin.net into the address bar and log in. The default user name is “admin” and the the default password is “password”.
  5. Click on Advanced go through the Setup Wizard. By the end of the setup process the router should automatically detect your Internet connection.

You may be prompted to change your login credentials, add security questions, and update firmware.

You may want to power cycle your network devices if you are experiencing connection issues. Power cycling basically means shutting down the device and then turning it back on again. So power cycling your network means you would shutdown all the devices that are connected to the modem and router. You could also do this unplug the devices. If the modem has a backup battery, remove it to shut it down completely.

Once the modem is off, you’ll want to wait 2 minutes before turning it back on, and after plugging it back in, it can take around five or more minutes for it to establish a connection with the ISP.

Your router may also have a “wifi” button on it to allow it to broadcast a signal in the first place. It will simply appear as a wifi signal icon or in letters. Ensure that this is ticked on with lighting to indicate everything is functioning correctly.

Netgear Router Not Broadcasting 5 GHz: How To Fix

Router sitting on a counter with backdrop of city skyscrapers

5 Ghz WiFi can offer similar speeds to that of an Ethernet connection. It’s becoming more popular as people start to download large files, watch 4K videos, and utilize cloud gaming platforms such as GeForce Now and xCloud. Ideally, you’ll want to set up your devices near the router that’s broadcasting the 5 Ghz signal.

If your router is not specifically broadcasting a 5 GHz connection, but is broadcasting a 2.4 GHz signal, try rebooting the router. That’s always the first thing you should try.

When the router has successfully rebooted, check all devices to see if they’re receiving the 5 GHz signal. Doing this can help you rule out specific devices.

Older network devices may not support 5 GHz WiFi. That is also something to consider.

A factor reset of the router is the last thing you should try. Refer to the section above about resetting through an app or using a Web browser interface.

Netgear Not Broadcasting 2.4 GHz: How To Fix

White router from a top view

If your Netgear router is not broadcasting a 2.4 GHz WiFi, the troubleshooting steps are largely the same as those for when a 5 GHz signal is not broadcasting. However, it’s important to note that a majority of WiFi devices these days are compatible with a 2.4 GHz signal. So you might have a bigger problem on your hands.

Many people have found that updating the router to the latest firmware solves this problem. It’s easy to forget about this solution because not many people check on firmware updates. You can update your Netgear router’s firmware through a Netgear router app or by connecting your router to a Web browser.

Netgear Router Not Broadcasting SSID: How To Fix

Black router on a wooden table top

When you hear SSID it simply means the name of your WiFi network. If your Netgear router is not broadcasting the SSID, try rebooting it. Unplug the router and wait for at least 30 seconds for the power to zero out before plugging the power adapter back into the device.

You can also check your control panel and look under your Network or Internet settings. You might have inadvertently set your SSID to not broadcast publicly.

Netgear Router Not Working After Reset: How To Fix

White router with a man on smartphone in background

If you find that your Netgear router isn’t working after a soft reset, the problem can be due to a number of things. The quick and easy solution is to do a hard reset of the router. Basically, this means to restore the device to its original factory settings.

Look behind the router and locate a reset button. This is the hard reset button. Use a paper clip and push down the button for 20-30 seconds. Wait until all the lights are blinking together. Then let the router restart and go though the router setup process again.

Netgear Router Won’t Turn On: How To Fix

Man with tools and fixing a white router

If your router isn’t turning on at all, as you see no lights indicating that there is power being received, check the AC outlet that you are hooking up the router. It’s not completely out of the possibility that your home may have a dead AC outlet.

If you have confirmed that the AC outlet is functioning, but your router isn’t powering on, please contact Netgear as the unit itself is possibly dead.

Final Thoughts

It is extremely frustrating to deal with wifi issues, we went through the more common fixes, but your specific situation could call for other troubleshooting methods. For example, older devices (such as a Sony PSP) may not be compatible with newer routers unless you set the security to an older format such as WPA, which can be done through the Nighthawk app or browser.

Below we have linked a video from Netgear themselves to help you further troubleshoot your router:

Netgear Router Won’t Update Firmware/Update Problem
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