If you’ve been following my previous posts on the Netgear R7000 router running firmware version 126.96.36.199_10.2.60, you’ll know that I, along with many others, have experienced nothing but problems with Netgear’s latest firmware release for this router, which ironically was issued to fix another problematic firmware version (version 188.8.131.52_10.2.58) for the same router. I’ll include links to my previous posts at the end of this post if you want to check them out.
First, just to clarify, the Netgear R7000 router that I am referring to is more specifically the Netgear R7000 AC1900 Nighthawk Smart Wi-Fi Router. In my last post on this topic - Here We Go Again! Netgear FW v.184.108.40.206_10.2.60 Fixes Some Bugs; Creates New Issue on R7000, I added an update at the very end of the post which reads as follows:
UPDATE: After further testing, I did notice issues with Wi-Fi connectivity and performance after reverting to firmware version 220.127.116.11_10.2.44. Some devices had trouble reconnecting to the Wi-Fi network on both the 2.4G and 5G networks. After some attempts to resolve the issue, I decided to go back to firmware version 18.104.22.168_10.2.60. While I could try a hard reset of the router, I’m not overly confident the result would differ. If you are able to revert to firmware version 22.214.171.124_10.2.44 and get the R7000 stable, stick with it for now. If not, as in this case, go back to firmware version 126.96.36.199_10.2.60 or consider getting another router. A new router seems inevitable.
After going back to firmware version 188.8.131.52_10.2.60, following problems from reverting to firmware version 184.108.40.206_10.2.44, I did experience issues with the Wi-Fi network sporadically cutting out and/or devices losing Wi-Fi connectivity; however, I did not immediately experience further sporadic reboots of the R7000 router. I decided to check the QoS settings and disable all QoS and WMM features. In the “Advanced” tab, I went to “Setup” then “QoS Setup.” In “QoS Setup,” I first checked the “QoS” tab where “Enable QoS” was already disabled so I left it as such. I then checked the “WMM” tab and went ahead and disabled both the “Enable WMM (Wi-Fi multimedia) settings (2.4GHz b/g/n)” and “Enable WMM (Wi-Fi multimedia) settings (5GHz a/n).” After applying the changes, I did not see any improvement to the situation.
I then decided to reload firmware version 220.127.116.11_10.2.60 again; however, this time, I decided to download the firmware directly from the Netgear support website and manually perform the installation. Previously, I upgraded through the R7000 dashboard. I’ve upgraded many routers over the years by using both the router upgrade feature built into router dashboards and by manually downloading and installing firmware onto routers. While I’ve run into issues occasionally, for the most part, both methods have generally worked fine. In this situation, I felt a manual firmware upgrade was worth a shot. I proceeded with the manual reload of firmware version 18.104.22.168_10.2.60.
The result . . . I’ve been running the Netgear R7000 with the reloaded firmware version 22.214.171.124_10.2.60 for over a month now and I haven’t noticed any further widespread issues. I did recently have one user report connectivity issues with the 5G network, but no other users have reported or experienced the same so I’m still trying to ascertain if this is an isolated issue with this user’s devices.
Since the firmware reload, I’ve kept the QoS settings disabled and I’ve put as much load, if not more, onto the router to test and see if I could replicate the previous issues. Outside of that one user’s experience, the router appears to be stabilized for now. There’s no guarantee that it will work for you but feel free to give it a try.
In a worst-case scenario, if this doesn’t work and Netgear does not release a timely, stable firmware version to resolve these issues, the next step will be to replace the router. I’ve been looking into several options, both Netgear-branded and non-Netgear branded which I’ll include below. There are also a couple of older Netgear models that I’ve used which are still in the market and are stable running the latest Netgear firmware for those respective models. I’ll also include them below.
You may wonder why I’m keeping Netgear on the short list and it’s because I’ve used Netgear for many years and generally, they have been reliable. I’ve also used Linksys both before and after they were acquired by Cisco. Likewise, I’ve used Belkin which acquired Linksys. If you plan on making a change, do your research and go with a brand and product that you feel most comfortable with.
Stable Netgear Routers I’ve Used:
Netgear R8000 AC3200 Nighthawk AC3200 Tri-Band WiFi Router – https://amzn.to/2W6zSWv
Netgear R8300 AC5000 Nighthawk X8 Smart WiFi Router – https://amzn.to/2AXDDEC
Alternative Routers I’m Considering:
Synology RT2600 AC – https://amzn.to/2W0ZDHP
Netgear XR700 AD7200 Nighthawk Pro Gaming WiFi Router – https://amzn.to/2MnzePK
Netgear RAX80 AX6000 Nighthawk AX8 8-Stream WiFi Router – https://amzn.to/2RTqlms
AmpliFi Mesh Wi-Fi System - https://amzn.to/2SaYpup
LATEST UPDATE: After over a month of stability, both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz wireless connections began to consistently drop. The wired connection was unaffected and there were no spontaneous reboots during this period. Rebooting the router did not help the situation. In fact, the wireless connections began dropping more frequently after the reboot. While the 2.4GHz would eventually recover, the 5GHz remained offline until the connection was reset. With no new firmware updates from Netgear, it looks like it’s time to get a new router. In the interim, I have factory reset the R7000 and reconfigured the router to see if this will help in the short-term until a new router is in place.