Netgear DGN2000 Disappoints


There’s a lesson to be learned here – just because something is easy to set up and works well out of the box, doesn’t mean it’s good. I’m talking about my new Netgear DGN2000 Wireless ADSL Router here. I bought it a month ago and having had no trouble setting it up and getting it working alongside my Apple Airport Extreme, I happily blogged that I’d recommend it for anyone looking for a good wireless router.

Netgear DGN2000

Netgear DGN2000

Fast forward four weeks and I take it all back! Now before I go any further it’s worth drawing an analogy – think of an ADSL router like you would a car. In this scenario, the wire that runs from your wall socket to the local exchange and beyond, and how your ISP has it set up is like the road. Now it’s a fact that cars and roads are different. A road full of potholes may still get you to where you want to go, but a rugged 4×4 may get you there while a sleek sports car won’t. Going back to the router, there are some that will deal with a less than perfect line than others, and in my case I don’t think the Netgear DGN2000, or at least the one I’ve got, is one of them.

Yesterday morning I lost my internet connection. All the lights on the router were doing what they normally do, including the one that shows I have an internet connection. Rebooting the router fixed the problem… for 60 seconds, before my internet connection dropped again. This is pretty much how it has been since, but I have learned a couple of things during this time.

Firstly, if I already have a connection to a site, then that connection persists even though any new connections to other sites will fail. So for example I can be streaming internet radio through iTunes or Snowtape and it keeps working fine, but I can’t browse to a web site. It’s almost as though DNS has died… but that leads me on to the second point. Changing anything on the router, even just clicking the ‘Apply’ button on a page without changing any settings, will restore the connection. So it’s not a DNS issue. Een just clicking on the ‘Test’ button on the Basic Settings page will re-establish my routers connection.

The tell tale signs are there in the routers own log:

Sun, 2009-07-19 08:10:25 - LCP down.
Sun, 2009-07-19 08:10:29 - Initialize LCP.
Sun, 2009-07-19 08:10:29 - LCP is allowed to come up.
Sun, 2009-07-19 08:10:33 - CHAP authentication success
Sun, 2009-07-19 08:10:58 - LCP down.
Sun, 2009-07-19 08:10:59 - Initialize LCP.
Sun, 2009-07-19 08:10:59 - LCP is allowed to come up.
Sun, 2009-07-19 08:11:03 - CHAP authentication success

As you can see, anywhere between 30-60 seconds after the connection is established, it drops. I do anything on the router and it reconnects for about 60 seconds before dropping again. Who knows, maybe the signal to noise ratio on my line has changed slightly in the last 24 hours and has pushed the router beyond some threshold making it unable to cope. Maybe in someone else’s house on a different line, this router would work perfectly? This is probably why you see so many mixed reviews of routers – indeed, if you look at the Amazon UK site you’ll see an even spread of people who say this router is great and those who say it’s rubbish.

Linksys WAG160N

Linksys WAG160N

For my part, well I work from home and a reliable connection is essential. What is really frustrating is that for the past four weeks it has worked perfectly, plus my VPN connection for work has been fine, the XBox 360 has worked fine with it, as has my Mac Mini and work laptop via their respective wireless connections. Perhaps the fault does lie with BT and the vagaries of the phone line, but I’d have a tough job proving it. Next step? Well I shall try a Linksys WAG160N router later today, and the Netgear shall go back to the supplier to be swapped for another one, and if that doesn’t work then it’s refund time.

All this leads me to conclude that getting a wireless ADSL router to work is 50% brand reliability and 50% luck, and in my case the latter just ran out with the Netgear. Let’s hope the Linksys is a ‘luckier’ router!

PS – In case you’re wondering, I have tried all the various tricks I can to keep this thing connected. That includes changing the MTU size from 1458 to either 1500 or 1400, as well as standing the router on its side to improve cooling, and even plugging the mains adapter into a different outlet, which in tech’ terms is really clutching at straws.

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30 Responses

  1. I have had one of these routers for several months and its working fantastically.
    It hasn’t dropped the connection at all in over 4 months and the wireless range is superb.

    Maybe something to do with your ISP? ;o)

    • You’re absolutely right, could be a flakey line or my ISP. I decided to give it the benefit of the doubt and so have requested a replacement DGN2000 from the supplier rather than swapping to the Linksys. When it arrives I’ll post an update on how it goes.

    • It looks manufacturing fault and need to return back to supplier so thaey can send them back to manufacturer and they can recycle them for future dump. I am having problem with Netgear DGN2000 but not with NetComm over the same line. My friend got same unit and same problem. It means all the units are faulty. I am returning mine to supplier and will use my old Wireless Modem which still work fine with one antina.

  2. I had bad experience with DGN2000. I bought 2- for home and ofice- in Feb 2009. It was easy to set up with AT&T. Both gone bad in 6 months. I would not recommend this for anyone.

  3. I have had exactly the same problems with the Netgear DGN2000. I am going to replace it and hope that that does the trick.

  4. Ditto on trying to connect to ATT DSL using DGN2000. Lots of effort setting it up and if I reboot, it takes 15 minutes to detect the DSL line and sign on.

  5. ditto about “as if missing DNS behaviour”. disappointing piece of plastic. even connection between local devices flaky. lots of ping packages time out even on local network; both on fixed and wireless connections.
    unfortunately I did not keep my receipt, so will just have to try another brand…

  6. I found that when the router is busy with downloads to one computer, the router’s DNS doesn’t respond timely to other computers.

    The router replaces the ISP’s DNS servers with its own address in the default DHCP configuration. However, if you specify the DNS servers (e.g., Google’s 8.8.8.8, etc.) it passes those through to the DHCP clients.

    I got better behaviour but not perfect, and I don’t like this DNS server substitution.

  7. I have had a DGN2000 for quite a while now – completely trouble free. However, since 2 days ago my machines that connect via ethernet have really slow internet/network connections. My machines that connect wirelessly are unaffected.

    Broken DGN2000? Or is there something else in the config of the router?

    Mike

  8. I have Verizon. For those who cant get there dsl light to come on use a phone filter that did the trick for me. Far the loosing connection or router rebooting I would check your BIOS setting. It should be set as default or enable. To find that you go to your network connection, local area connection, internet protocol tcp, advance and then WINS. Another thing you can do just use your wifi because my computer LAN was kept rebooting my router.

  9. Ditto Ditto Ditto.

    Mine worked 9 months before this started. Now only the wireless and ADSL connection work. (The physical connections no longer work).

    Yet still, its the only ADSL/Router/Wireless available. I will buy another one though, then cycle my current in for repair and keep it as a backup.

  10. So, it’s been a month and I was wondering if you have received the new modem? if so, how’s it working?

    Cheers,
    Chook

    chookchooks.com

  11. I have this router/modem as well. I bought it in June 2009. Last week the modem function went out, but the wireless function still worked. I had my desktop checked, I had my ISP checked, and everything was fine. So I went out and bought separate items – an AT&T modem and a Linksys router. They worked just fine. Then I decided that since the router function works just fine, I should just get keep the AT&T modem and connect it to the Netgear. Apparently that is not an option. So I tried hooking the Netgear back up to my computer and wouldn’t you know it…it’s working again, although there is a substantially slower connection. I want to take advantage of the 1yr warranty but I can’t find my original receipt so that I can return it. I tried to call customer service and they were NO HELP. They told me I needed to pay for technical support although all I wanted was warranty information.

  12. i’ve got both the dgn2000 & linksys wag160n. i brought the netgear to replace the defective POS that the linksys is. the linksys fails at standard lan communications after about 2 hours.

  13. Interestingly, in just the past week (May 2010) I have had nothing but trouble with the Netgear DGN2000. Firstly, it stopped routing on the LAN side, so none of my internal devices could see each other although I could still access the internet from my Mac.

    Then in the last couple of days, internet speed has dropped from 6.5Mb to just 0.8Mb. I connected up the old Linksys WAG160N and it was able to connect at 6.5Mb, so it looks like the Netgear is heading for the bin!

    My dilemma is, what to replace the Netgear with? The WAG160N drops the line too frequently to be suitable. Maybe I’ll make my search for a replacement a complete blog post in its own right.

    • Robin,

      My LAN connections are shaky as well. My Mac connects fine, but now, my printer does not communicate with the router. I replaced it once, and I still have the same issue. Canon cannot figure out the issue either. Did you find a comparable replacement?

      • I ended up buying a LinkSys WAG120N and it’s been working really well. It’s a basic 802.11n wireless ADSL router but it gets the job done and has been rock solid on my BT DSL line. I had hoped the LinkSys WAG160N I already had would do the job, but seems it wouldn’t connect for more than 30 minutes at a time, so it too has been consigned to the bin!

        I have daisy-chained my Airport Extreme off the WAG120N so I can use gigabit connections to my NAS devices but still connect to the web thru the LinkSys. I plan to write it all up soon in a new article.

        The big gotcha seems to be the quality of phone lines having a big impact on a DSL router’s ability to connect and stay connected.

  14. I’ve had my for DGN2000 for well over a year, and it was having the same problem with the constant dropping out of my internet connection, but since i’ve updated it to the latest firmware, it’s been rock solid

  15. I had a old dodgey modem/rounter when I first got broadband, I use to have to restart it 10 times over 3years. I thought that was bad.
    One week ago I purchased a Netgear DGN2000 so I could finally have a good modem and have wireless for my laptop, since then I have had to restart it 3 times already. I go to load up a web page and it gives me the no internet connection screen then I refresh & its ok, but does it again through the day and thats even when hard wired.

    When I do a diagnostic, the problem says something about DNS but then it’s ok again after afew minutes

    Almost will go back to the old crappy modem

  16. I have had this modem (with Verizon) for over a year now. I don’t know if anyone else has had this problem, but in my case, I have an air conditioner (1560watts) and the modem in the same room plugged into separate “top-of-the-line” surge protectors which are in turn plugged into separate outlets. For some reason, whenever the AC is in energy mode or has been running for a few hours (especially at 60-70 degrees) and it “clicks” or “starts backs up”, the modem completely resets itself and drops my connection. This (the power coming off/on) does not happen to ANY other electrical device in my room, just solely the modem. I am not sure if this problem is the fault of the modem or AC, but I was considering perhaps buying a new AC/DC adapter for it as it seems that is also has been acting up. If anyone can advise me I would greatly appreciate it.

    p.s. is there such a thing as a modem that can withstand power surges and/or high wattage outputs?

  17. I have had this modem (with Verizon) for over a year now. I don’t know if anyone else has had this problem, but in my case, I have an air conditioner (1560watts) and the modem in the same room plugged into separate “top-of-the-line” surge protectors which are in turn plugged into separate outlets. For some reason, whenever the AC is in energy mode or has been running for a few hours (especially at 60-70 degrees) and it “clicks” or “starts backs up”, the modem completely resets itself and drops my connection. This (the power coming off/on) does not happen to ANY other electrical device in my room, just solely the modem. I am not sure if this problem is the fault of the modem or AC, but I was considering perhaps buying a new AC/DC adapter for it as it seems that is also has been acting up. If anyone can advise me I would greatly appreciate it.

    Note: I simply use the modem (both through an ethernet and wireless connection) for basic home office and gaming (WoW) shared between two laptops.

    p.s. is there such a thing as a modem that can withstand power surges and/or high wattage outputs?

    • I had a simular issue, but it was the Plasma TV causing the ADSL Modem to drop connection.. I have gotten around this by setting the modem to ADSL2 and not ADSL2+ Since I wan’t able to sync at ADSL2+ speeds because of distance to the exchange it didn’t matter.

      Cheers

  18. Problem router, even Netgear’s customer serv. agrees.
    They get more calls on this router than all their other rubbish routers

  19. The DGN2000 I meant, loads of problems with connection only Port 1 works all other don’t and the problem is very well known by the Netgear’s customer serv. team.

  20. Mine could only see one of my wired devices and the other three ports just blinked constantly. I was still able to use the wireless function for netflix and my android. Back to the original Westell modem with the Linksys – Wireless G.

  21. Netgear DGN2000 Sucks!

  22. I have had the DSGN2000 since March 2010, and I was using the Internet this morning … suddenly this evening, the Internet LED is red, and I am unable to get it to green … I call AT&T, and they said the Internet password change about 4-5 months ago, but even when I tried the user login and password probided by AT&T, the Internet LED stayed red … and, the Internet LED comes and goes, but always come back as red … all the other LED are working properly … any suggestions from anyone?

  23. woot, thankyou! I finally came to a site where the webmaster knows what they’re talking about. Do you know how many results are in Google when I search.. too many! It’s so annoying having to go from page after page after page, wasting my day away with thousands of people just copying eachother’s articles… bah. Anyway, thankyou very much for the info anyway, much appreciated.

  24. I understand from another site that some of these routers produced in 2009 were faulty and Netgear have been replacing them.

    I’ve had no end of trouble with mine since I got it, the connection on the laptop is very low – none at best and when I am connected it will drop out reguarly.

    I’m fed up with it tbh and inspite of buying from PC World in March last year I’m now thinking to take it back and say it doesn’t work.

    That or call netgear for a replacement.

  25. I just bought a used DBN2000 on ebay and it has the same problems of hanging up, after a time. Just not consistent. I hooked up my old DGN1000 and everything is fine. It’s just a bad box.

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