Why Does My Netgear WiFi Extender Keep Dropping the Ethernet Connection?

Oct 20, 2023 | Troubleshooting, Blog | 0 comments

Netgear WiFi extender is a useful device that can help expand your existing WiFi network coverage into areas that cannot get a good wireless signal from your main router. It works by picking up the WiFi signal from your router and rebroadcasting it to extend the range.

One way to connect a Netgear extender is via an Ethernet cable to your router. This provides a faster and more reliable connection than using a wireless link. However, some users encounter an issue where the Netgear extender keeps dropping the Ethernet connection periodically. The extender loses the wired connection to the router and you have to manually reconnect it again and again.

This constant dropping of the Ethernet connection can be extremely frustrating. It interrupts whatever you are doing online and makes it hard to rely on the extended WiFi coverage. In this article, we will examine the common reasons why a Netgear WiFi range extender keeps losing its Ethernet connection and what you can do to fix the issue.

   

Main Reasons for Dropping of the Ethernet Connection

1. Faulty Ethernet Cable

One of the most common and easiest issues to fix is a faulty Ethernet cable between your Netgear extender and the router. Ethernet cables can go bad over time due to wear and tear, kinks, or damage. This can cause an intermittent connection with periodic dropping that is characteristic of a defective cable.

Try replacing the existing Ethernet cable with a different, high-quality cable that you know works properly. Use a Cat 5e or Cat 6 Ethernet cable that is less than 100 feet long. Ensure the connectors on both ends are securely plugged into the router LAN port and the extender’s Ethernet port. A faulty cable is often the culprit behind frequent Ethernet dropping with a Netgear extender.

2. Loose Ethernet Connection

Along with the cable itself, also check that the physical Ethernet connections are tight and secure. Sometimes the Ethernet cable works loose from the router or extender ports over time due to vibration, movement, etc. This can manifest as occasional drops in the wired connection.

Examine the connections carefully on both devices and firmly push the Ethernet cables all the way into the ports on each end. If the cables are loose to the point where they disconnect with minimal movement, this will definitely lead to intermittent drops. Tightening up the physical connections may resolve your issue.

3. Extender Placement and Distance from Router

The location where you place your Netgear extender and the distance from the main router can also impact the reliability of the Ethernet connection.

For best connectivity, you want the extender positioned less than halfway between the router and the weak WiFi coverage area. Long Ethernet cables running over 75 feet or through multiple rooms/floors can sometimes result in connectivity issues.

Try relocating your extender closer to the router if possible and using a shorter-length Ethernet cable. This minimizes the chance of signal degradation over the cable length. Just make sure the extender is still close enough to project WiFi to your desired extended coverage zone.

   

4. Interference from Other Wireless Devices

There are a myriad of devices that use the 2.4GHz and 5GHz wireless spectrum these days. At times this wireless interference from other WiFi networks or devices like cordless phones, Bluetooth gadgets, baby monitors, etc can disrupt the connection between your Netgear extender and router.

Scan for interference using a WiFi analyzer app or your router admin interface to detect competing signals. Switching to a less crowded WiFi channel on your router and extender may help stabilize the Ethernet link. You can also try turning off or moving other wireless electronics away from your setup.

5. Outdated Extender Firmware

Netgear regularly provides firmware updates for its extenders to improve performance, and stability, and fix bugs. However, most users forget to check for the latest firmware, which can sometimes lead to issues.

An outdated or buggy extender firmware version could be the reason your Ethernet connection keeps dropping. Go to Netgear’s support site and check if there is a newer Netgear WiFi extender firmware update available for your specific extender model. Download and install the latest firmware update – this often resolves connectivity bugs.

6. Overloaded Extender

Extenders have a maximum capacity for the number of connected devices they can handle reliably. If you exceed the recommended number of devices on your Netgear extender, it could become overloaded. This can manifest as periodic dropping of the Ethernet connection along with overall lag and slowdowns.

Try reducing the number of devices connected to the extender to see if it stabilizes the Ethernet connection. As a rule of thumb, limit devices to 5-10 per extender to avoid overloading issues. You may need to add a second extender if you require more wired and wireless connections.

   

7. Extender Hardware Issue

In rare cases, the underlying issue may be a hardware problem with the Netgear extender itself. Issues like a faulty internal antenna, defective Ethernet port, or problems with the main board/circuits can lead to intermittent Ethernet connectivity.

If you have ruled out all other causes and the connection keeps dropping persistently, it’s quite possible your extender has developed a hardware fault. Try factory resetting the extender to see if it helps. Otherwise, replacement may be necessary if it is still within the warranty period.

Solutions and Preventative Tips

The main solutions to try if your Netgear extender keeps dropping the Ethernet connection are:

  • Replace the Ethernet cable with a high-quality Cat5e/Cat6 cable
  • Check for any loose connections and firmly plug cables into the ports
  • Relocate the extender closer to the router if possible
  • Scan for wireless interference and change to a less congested channel
  • Update the extender firmware to the latest version
  • Reduce the number of connected devices to avoid overloading
  • Perform a factory reset or replace the extender if there is a hardware issue.

Here are some tips to help prevent future Ethernet connection issues:

  • Use a shielded Ethernet cable for added protection from interference
  • Place the extender in an optimal mid-point location between the router and the weak signal area
  • Enable automatic firmware updates on the extender (if available)
  • Avoid overloading the extender by connecting too many devices
  • Disconnect unused Ethernet connections to reduce interference
  • Periodically check the connections to ensure they are tight
  • Keep the extender away from other electrical devices that could cause interference

Following these troubleshooting steps and preventative measures will help stop your Netgear extender from dropping its wired Ethernet connection.

   

Key Takeaways

Having to constantly reconnect your Netgear extender because it keeps dropping the Ethernet connection can certainly be aggravating. However, in most cases, this issue can be resolved with basic troubleshooting.

We have covered the major issues like faulty cablesloose connectionspoor placementinterferenceoutdated firmwareoverloaded capacity, and hardware failures. Checking each of these and applying the suggested fixes typically eliminates the Ethernet disconnects.

Relocating the extender, trying a better Ethernet cable, reducing connected devices, and updating firmware are among the most effective solutions. Preventative steps like using shielded cables, limiting connections, and periodic maintenance will also help minimize future connection drops.

If you have tried all the troubleshooting tips but your Netgear extender still keeps losing the wired Ethernet link, don’t hesitate to contact Netgear support. They can assist with advanced fixes or process a replacement if your device is under warranty. Just be sure to provide details on the steps you’ve already attempted.

We hope this guide has helped shed light on why your Netgear WiFi extender may be dropping its Ethernet connection periodically. Please leave a comment below if you have any related questions or feedback to share. And check out our other articles for more tips on boosting and troubleshooting your home WiFi network.

Article you might be intrested in: How to Update Firmware on Your Netgear WiFi Extender?

FAQs

Why does my Netgear extender lose the Ethernet connection randomly?

Frequent Ethernet dropping is typically caused by a faulty cable, loose connections, interference, outdated firmware, overcapacity or hardware issues. Check each of these potential causes to identify and fix the root problem.

How can I stop my Nighthawk/Orbi/Ex6000 extender from dropping the Ethernet connection?

Solutions like replacing the Ethernet cable, relocating the extender closer to the router, reducing connected devices, and updating firmware usually resolve Ethernet disconnects for Netgear models like Nighthawk, Orbi, and Ex6000.

My Netgear EX3700 extender Ethernet light keeps blinking and losing connection – what should I do?

Blinking Ethernet lights and dropped connections on an EX3700 most likely indicate interference from other wireless devices. Try changing the WiFi channel or moving other electronics away from the extender.

I get a “connected but no internet access” message on my Netgear extender wired connection. Help!

This points to a broader connectivity issue between the extender and router. Ensure the router has internet connectivity, reboot all devices, check to cable, and upgrade firmware to fix this no-access error.

How far can I place a Netgear extender from the router using Ethernet?

For reliable Ethernet connectivity, Netgear recommends placing extenders no further than 100 feet from the router using Cat5e/Cat6 Ethernet cabling. Greater distances may result in intermittent dropped connections.

   

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