This is how I fixed the same problem – 3 years apart – with two Netgear routers constantly disconnecting intermittently. It is a revised version of my original 2012 post to include updated info from 2015.
Netgear Router Disconnecting: 2012 and 2015
After purchasing a new Netgear N300 (WNR2000v3) wireless router from a local Best Buy store in May 2012, it seemed to work fine at first, but then I started noticing connection issues shortly thereafter. I was getting disconnected anywhere from once a day to several times an hour.
After my first wave of intermittent disconnects – and tinkering with the router settings – I took it back to Best Buy to explain the problem to them. They merely told me to exchange it for a new one, which I did. Only a couple of hours after installing the new one, I found myself disconnecting yet again. The router’s exterior display showed no issues, but all of the devices in my network were offline. The only way I could seem to get back online was to unplug it and plug it back in.
Realizing that it was more than a coincidence that two N300 routers would have identical connection issues, I decided to hit Google and see what I could find. As it turns out, the firmware pre-loaded onto the router was spotty. My router’s firmware version was V18.104.22.168. When I Googled that exact firmware version, it was immediately apparent that this version was the culprit. I updated to V22.214.171.124 and the connection issue disappeared. For a while – and then it reappeared.
Eventually I had to downgrade the firmware to a version earlier than the version pre-installed version on the router.
Fortunately, downgrading the firmware is just as simple as upgrading.
Go into the router’s management by pointing your web browesr to routerlogin.net. By the way, if you can’t access it (which happened to me), you may need to restart your router first. The screen you see after logging in will show your router version at the top right. You will probably have 126.96.36.199. That won’t work. Neither will the version it wants you to install, which is 188.8.131.52.
Best Buy had lots of boxes of Netgear N300 routers – perhaps more than any other at my local store. It would be a safe assumption that all of those are preinstalled with the faulty V184.108.40.206 firmware, and everyone purchasing those routers could potentially have this problem.
To downgrade your Netgear firmware, go here. Look for the original firmware version WNR2000v3 Initial Release Firmware Version 220.127.116.11 which is what you want to install.
Click the link and download the software. They recommend updating over a wired connection, which I did.
Log in to routerlogin.net and go into the “Advanced” tab. You’ll find an option to upgrade firmware (even though we’re technically downgrading). You will be prompted to navigate to the .26 version you just downloaded. At this point, the installation is automatic, and you should have the original .26 version installed.
One final step – do not ignore this part! You will be prompted to restart your router only if there is an error. Because I had no error, I didn’t restart my router – and found myself disconnecting again. I pushed the button on the back of the router to power it on and then power it off… and my disconnecting issue disappeared. I’m not sure why that final step is necessary, but it seemed to make a difference for me.
2015: History Repeated
Three years later, when it came time to update to a newer router, I had almost forgotten about the problems cited above – and opted for another Netgear router, model R6250. Almost immediately I felt like it was 2012 all over again, with spotty connectivity and constant disconnects. Ironically, when I Googled the problem, I ran across this article from 2012 and it occurred to me that the same solution of downgrading firmware just might work.
And I was right.
On my first attempt, I tried downgrading to version 18.104.22.168, and have not had a problem since. Lazily, I didn’t use a wired connection to downgrade this time, and – perhaps luckily – had no problems.
Fortunately, there are many R6250 firmware versions to be found on Netgear’s website, and hopefully one of those may work for you.
You can follow the same instructions as shown above to downgrade firmware: Go to routerlogin.net with a username of admin and a password of password.
In 2012 and in 2015, I purchased Netgear routers which both began experiencing intermittant disconnection problems. In both cases, I was able to solve the problem by downgrading the firmware to an earlier version.
I should also note that my 2012 router is still in use in another location – with the downgraded firmware still working like a champ.
Let me know if this worked for you, or if you had any other problems with this router.
Updated July 3, 2015
Originally published May 2012