Netgear Router Red Light: What It Means and 3 Quick Fixes

A red light on your router is usually bad news, and a Netgear router is no different.

It can point to problems with your internet connectivity, modem, ethernet cable, or another hardware element.

Luckily, the red light issue is something that can be addressed and solved pretty quickly – especially if you’re successful in detecting the core issue.

Today we will show you how to quickly troubleshoot your Netgear router and get to the bottom of the red light issue, regardless of what’s causing it.

Why is there a red light on your Netgear router?

Let’s preface this troubleshooting guide by saying that each of the lights on the power LED indicator conveys a different message about the status of your device.

For instance, a solid green or white light on your Netgear router means the device is turned on, connected, and properly working.

A solid amber light on your WiFi router usually means it is currently booting up, and it should disappear when the router turns on.

In case the Nighthawk router is blinking amber, this light activity could signify that the router firmware is currently being updated or the router is resetting.

If you notice that your wireless router is blinking white, there is an issue with your router’s firmware, which may be corrupted.

Finally, a combination of blinking amber and white lights on your WiFi device usually means that the router is currently in AP mode.

Let’s look at some of the most prominent factors behind the red light error on your Netgear router.

Pending Netgear firmware update

Each Netgear firmware update has a crucial role in the functioning of your wireless router.

Whether it be eliminating minor system bugs, improving the WiFi signal strength, or getting rid of system errors compromising the internet connection – firmware updates have a particular purpose.

That said, if your firmware is outdated, corrupted, or skipped an update, you may need to perform a Netgear firmware update to eliminate the red LED light.

Faulty or loose cables

A damaged cable can do more damage to your Nighthawk router than you could imagine.

Not only will it compromise your internet connection, but it could also lead to more significant problems and even a system breakdown.

A red light could also warn you of a loose wire, cable, or a mismatched connection on your modem or router.

In addition, any damaged or worn-out component of the Netgear system could be just as problematic as a damaged cable or wire.

Service outage

Your Netgear device may be functioning just fine, but a service outage in your area could affect your internet connection.

Another possibility is that your ISP is performing scheduled maintenance that you weren’t aware of, which is why you’re not getting any service.

How to fix red light on Netgear router 

There are a couple of highly effective methods you could try to fix the Netgear router permanently and turn off the red light on your Netgear device.

1. Install the Netgear firmware update

While these updates should occur automatically, for some reason, the latest update of the Netgear firmware may have failed on your device.

You can manually check for the latest firmware version by logging into your account, either via the Netgear website or the Nighthawk app (which also has all the necessary information on your device and account).

Go to router settings, then check if a newer version of firmware is available. If it is, download and install the latest Netgear updates.

You may also check for updates by pasting (or typing in) your router’s IP address into your web browser. Hit enter, and there should be a dialogue box where you can enter your admin username and password.

Once a settings menu shows up, navigate to the updates section, and look for any pending updates/latest version of the firmware. Click download to start the updating process. 

2. Inspect and change/repair the components

The first thing you can do to check if all the connections are in order is to consult the user manual, where you should be able to find detailed instructions, including images on how to connect all the wires and cables properly.

You could also disconnect all the connections and reconnect them according to the manual, which is the easiest yet most effective way of ensuring you’ve correctly connected everything.

However, before you go ahead and reinsert all the cables and wires into their respective ports, we recommend inspecting every single component for any defects.

Any damaged cables should be replaced with new ones – especially if it is a rather important element such as the power cable or the Ethernet cable.

You also want to check the ports for any clogs, as accumulated dirt and debris may create blockages in ports and inlets, compromising the contact between the cable and the device.

It is also necessary for all the connections to be tight and secure. You don’t want to have loose wires and cables, as this will affect the quality of your internet connection. 

3. Hard reset your Netgear router

A hard reset is also known as the factory reset since you’ll be bringing back the original configuration of your router.

This is an excellent solution if you suspect the red light error may come from a poorly configured router, a widespread issue.

A factory reset will give you a clean slate to work with, and you will be able to configure the router according to the instructions from the user manual or the customer service if you contact them.

Remember that this kind of reset will erase all of your custom settings, including the WiFi name and password, so you definitely want to back up the valuable data before you go through this process.

To reset and reconfigure your Netgear router, ensure that the router is turned on, then find the Reset button on the back of the router.

The button is located inside a hole, and you can only reach it with a paperclip or a similar sharp object. Press the Reset button and hold it down for about 10 seconds.

Release the button and allow for the router to reboot. Once the router resets and reboots, you can log into your admin dashboard (either via the website or the Nighthawk app) and reconfigure the router.

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