Netgear Firmware Update = Brick

Got an email from Netgear last week that they’d discovered a vulnerability and the firmware needed an update. Fiancé started the process last night, set it downloading, walked away to let it do its thing, and came back to find it unusable.

We’re quite technically savvy, and are comfortable trying to find a solution ourselves, but after none could be found (basically, need to login to router to fix, but it refuses to recognise the connection), we called technical support. Netgear wants $69 before they will help us at all as we’re outside of their 90 day technical support window (the router is under 18 months old).

Is this right? Considering their firmware broke their product… And I wonder how the reasonable length of life point from consumer law applies here. I would have expected a >$200 router should last longer than this.

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That is the most common response from any tech company. Suggest you read the Australian Consumer Law web site and send them a formal “letter of demand” stating your case and exactly what you want them to do, with a response date and how you claim their $69 contravenes the ACL. Quote any claims from their advertising or on the box about quality and reliability that helps make your case. Their T&C about downloading/installing firmware at your own risk is nebulous, especially when it is at their instigation.

Make sure you have acknowledgement they received your email/form letter of demand. If they ignore you, you could then go to consumer affairs. Reality is if Netgear stonewalls you, your only option might be legal advice which is more than the cost of a new router and they know this. You could pay them the $69 and then demand a refund.

If you consider a “new” router (permanent or temporary) since this could be weeks at best, sans $69 out of pocket, suggest you check out and then look on ebay for a used Billion 7800N - they are going for $20-30 delivered, perform well, and have a hidden SNR page that can make your ADSL connection faster than defaults it will connect with.


Thanks for the detailed response! It was most helpful.

And yes, I kinda figured tech support were trying to fob us off. We let it go so we could do a bit more research on a solution, but if one didn’t appear, I was going to go back to them and tell them its unreasonable to expect us to pay for a problem they caused. Probably not worth the bother, and instead I should go with the email approach, as frontline staff are usually stuck with a script they must follow.

And thanks for the tip on the router, we have cable internet, so it limits our options. Luckily, I still have my previous router (yay for hoarding) that seems to be holding up for now.


Some routers allow you to downgrade the firmware on them with a bit of mucking about, with the required files available on the web. It may or may not be on a netgear site. Google it and I’m sure there will be a blog.

Unless I am having a problem I am very wary of updating the firmware, operating system or IOS on ANY device. I have had more bad experiences than good.
I recently got a message that the firmware on my LG TV had been updated; and I blindly updated it, which I now regret as the interface in the screen has changed in functionality, I believe for the worse. I wish I hadn’t done it now.

An older laptop I had which was running fine on Windows 7 but ran like a pig on Windows10. Fortunately I was able to restore back to 7.

An IOS update rendered useless some aftermarket Apple accessories in had, such as cables and card reader/usb device.

However a firmware update on my Humax PVR was a great success bringing better functionality to some of the recording features.


Good luck with reflashing your netgear router.

Have you tried the 30 30 30 reset? It may not work but it is probably worth a try.

From the Lifewire website

"How to Perform a 30-30-30 Router Reset

Follow these steps to perform a router hard reset:

when the unit is powered on, hold down its reset button for 30 seconds
while still holding down the reset button, unplug the router from power and hold for an additional 30 seconds
still holding down the reset button, turn on power to the router again and hold for 30 more seconds

After this process is complete, a total of 90 seconds, your router should be restored to its factory default state. Note that your particular router may not require the full 30-30-30 procedure. For example, some routers can at times be hard reset after only 10 seconds and without power cycling. Nevertheless, memorizing and following this 30-30-30 rule is recommended as a general guideline."

…and one of the most irritating, printer firmware upgrades that as often as not only seem to “defend” the manufacturers profit centre (eg $$$$$ inks) against compatible products by making them reject ever more compatibles.

Unless you have a problem with your printer, never upgrade the firmware unless you always use OEM inks, and even then if it works, why?

The Billion 7800N that was suggested can be used with a cable modem. The Billion 7800N has an EWAN port that is usable with a range of technologies that are not ADSL. You don’t have to use the built-in ADSL modem if you don’t have ADSL.