Netgear equipment not made to be "on all day"


Update 2: I decided to call again and eventually got someone helpful who let me replace the switch for a small fee. Still didn't make the process less frustrating.

Woah. Let's just say that Netgear management didn't read "Who did you make smile today?".

(If you need Netgear Customer Support, call 888‑638‑432 - press 41. Don't leave a comment here!)

I have a bunch of Netgear switches at home, I've been getting them mostly because of the neat slim form factor.

One of them have been working intermittently for the last 6 months; every week or two it just "hangs". Netgear claims to have "a solid warranty: switch - 5 years, power supply - 2 years", so hey - I should call them, right? Well, wrong!

First I wait on hold and when finally through they tell that they can't help until I go to the website to register the product. Fine, whatever. I do that and call back and wait on hold for another 10-15 minutes.

After finally getting through the technical support person was trying to make me find the reset button so we could get the switch to "factory settings". I had to patiently explain it's a dumb switch with no settings. No no she kept insisting, "you want to get it to factory settings, right?". Aargh.

When we got through that, they decided that they can't replace it because "it's working"! Apparently "it turns on with no smoke coming out" is "it is working". Besides, it's not made to "be on all day". It's a 16 port switch with only 6 ports in use! It is reasonable that a few of those devices are "24/7". Their list price is $400+ (it retails for a little less than $200). "Oh sir, you can't be using your { VoIP / wireless router / DSL modem / print server } all day so just turn off the switch when you are away from your desk". How in the world can that be sane? Well, it's "Netgear policy".

They say that it is overheating and since it's "on all day" it's not a defect that they can replace on warranty! It's on my network at home - a bit of SMTP, a bit of NFS and MySQL (for MythTV), traffic from the wireless network when we are home. It's under my desk with reasonable circulation - not behind the fans on a warm computer or some such.

Alright then, on to my 8-port which last week started to hang during large file transfers. Sometimes after 20 minutes, sometimes after a few hours. Quickly again they decide that it must be overheating and insist that it's working. "Hanging after 20 minutes is working?" "Yes, you must understand my situation there is nothing we can do". Yes, I understand that she (Sarnya was her name, hello google) has to get approval from someone to give me an RMA and let me return the defect product; No, I don't understand how "it works for 20 minutes so it is okay" is a reasonable response.

I tried to find out what could possibly be covered by their warranty when "switch hangs after 20 minutes" isn't covered, but she couldn't tell me.

I kept asking for a supervisor and was told that "the supervisors aren't technical" so that wasn't possible. When I insisted I was promised that a supervisor would call me back in one hour. Hah. Yeah right they will. (A couple of hours later: No, they didn't.)

Anyway, don't buy Netgear equipment. It is badly designed and will break and they won't care. If you read through all this, please go mark my Amazon review helpful. :-)

Update: I mentioned it to Leonard Lin and his brief comment was "Had a similar overheating Netgear problem; switched to Linksys; never looked back".


Wow, what a delightful attitude. Quote - "so just turn off the switch when you are away from your desk". Right, and what about the rest of my family? And what about the people sending me emails, IM's, or visiting my self-hosted web site?

If you have the time and motivation, get onto some sort of consumer advocate. I reckon their "overheating" excuse is rubbish and they're just covering for the fact that they've cut corners on a product and couldn't be bothered supporting it.

Yeah -- I learned my lesson regarding Netgear products with the MR814 cheapo AP/router device:

I wouldn't go near Netgear-branded hardware, after that.

Fun stuff,

Not surprising however. Most big companies have dumb people on support front line, most of them have a lot of dumb users and dumb questions too :)

I have had much worse experience with Linksys products than I have with Netgear. I was a technical support consultant for several years and installed many wireless routers. The only problems I had with them were generally getting WPA security working, from any manufacturer. My only problem was never quite figuring out why, exactly, wireless routers (from all the 3 manufacturers) would work fine with WPA security with some devices and not others with the same settings and how switching to insecure WEP would work for everyone. Regarding WPA security, I've come to conclude there must be driver incompatibilities between wireless connection devices from different manufactures, probably. But I digress...

I have found though that only my Linksys products have ever died or individual features simply stop working (for example, wireless, but ethernet and routing features still work fine). All of my Netgear and D-Link products have worked fine since purchase and have all been running constantly all hours of the day.

Of course, every manufacturer is going to put out a few bad units, but, in my experience, Linksys has A LOT more bad product come off its line than anyone else in the consumer networking equipment market.

I have never bothered to call D-Link customer service, but D-Link products are also flaky and to be avoided. (Perhaps their customer service is good, though.)

Anyway, I agree with Leonard. Linksys is the way to go.

Well, Netgear Support sucks. My recent experience with Netgear Support can be read on my blog, here.

Support sucks, but I have to admit, my WPN824v2 and my mother's v1 router never crashed and is rock solid. Same with the SPH101. I just wish their support was better. :(

Anyway, you made a very good post there, congrats!

For your amusement, I quote verbatim from my Netgear Case Log.

Case # 4462399
Problem Other
Cause Service - Customer Service Issues
Status Open
2/7/2007 4:21:00 PM
When I first login to my PC, my firewall monitor finds that the WN311T driver (Driver version Utility version is attempting to contact a numeric ip address (DNS does not resolve it). The firewall is set to block this request. I checked the address and found it has a web server configured and it's got a Netgear main page. Why is my driver contacting Netgear on each startup? Was this revealed in the EULA?
2/8/2007 11:23:00 PM
Dear Hank,

Thank you for choosing NETGEAR, my name is Balamurali and I will be your support engineer.

We will be working to assist you in resolving the issue you described. Because we are doing this online it may require a few mail exchanges before we can resolve the issue. We will do our best to help resolve your case at the least possible time.

From your enquiry I understand that wireless connection drop due to firewall settings on computer.

If you use any cordless phone which works on 2.5 Ghz, Any Satellite TV or Microwave oven or so Please Switch it of and try.

If you are running Firewall software as like Zone Alarm or Black Ice & Antivirus program like Norton, Mcafee, Pc-cllin please disable it.
click on start, click on control pannel,on left side menu click on switch to clasic view, click on windows firewall and disable it.

Also please Check the location of the router and the Distance beween the modem and the router should be 3 or 4 Feet

Do place the router away from any other Wireless Devices and in a Seperate Cool place

Please try the Following power cycling proceedure as a step to resolve this issue

Turn off the router, modem & computer.Turn on the modem
first, wait for 2mins till it gets ready then turn on the router & the computer.

I would like to know whether your computer is hard wired to the router. You must have a hard wired computer to configure the router.

Log in to the router configuration page.
Open Internet Explorer or any other browser and access the site : (or)

By default, the username is admin, the password is password.

Under Advance, click Wireless settings, click on setup Access list button and uncheck Turn Access Control On and apply the settings

Click on Wireless Settings under Setup.

Change the SSId from NETGEAR to any other name.
Select the appropriate region.
Change the channel to 6.
Select the security to be disable and apply the settings.

Try the steps to configure wireless computer to connect wireless

If you are using windows xp utility, Click Start => Control Panel => Double click Network connections => Right click Wireless network connection => click view available wireless networks.
You can see the SSID => Select it & click Connect.
You will be able to go online wirelessly.


If you are using Netgear utility, Double Click the Wireless Icon for the Netgear on the system tray.
Click on Networks Tab.
Select and highlight the appropriate network that you want to connect.
Click on CONNECT at the bottom.
You will be able to go online wirelessly.

Again, thanks for choosing NETGEAR and we appreciate your continued patience.


2/8/2007 11:47:00 PM
Please re-read my original submission. I did not say I was having problems with the router dropping out or any other similar problem. I said that your WN311T driver is behaving like spyware. It is contacting an unregistered IP address which turns out to be Netgear. This should not be done without my permission, and I do not believe I have given such permission. I will next forward this to the Netgear discussion group.
2/9/2007 6:50:00 PM
Dear Hank,

Thank you for writing back my name is Balamurali and I will be your support agent for this case.

Please try assigning a static IP & DNS address and check the connect status and reply us back.

Windows XP and 2000

=Click Start=> Control Panel(in clasic view)=> Network Connections
=Right Click Wireless network connection and select properties
=Highlight "Internet Protocol TCP/IP" and Click Properties
=Select IP address be "Use the following IP address"
Ip address:
Subnet mask:
Default Gateway:
=Select "Use the following DNS server address"
Preferred DNS:
Alternate DNS:
=Click OK and Exit out of all the windows

Windows ME and 98

=Click => Start => Settings => Control Panel => Networks
=Select the adapter which starts with TCP/IP and click Properties
=select the Tab "IP Address" and Select the option "Specify and Ip address"
Ip address:
Subnet mask:
=Click OK and Exit out of all the windows
=Restart the computer

If you still face any difficulty please email us back and we are there to assist you.

Again, thanks for choosing NETGEAR and we appreciate your continued patience.


2/12/2007 2:18:00 PM
Please pass my submission onto your next level of support. Your answers do not address my question.

"Please re-read my original submission. I did not say I was having problems with the router droppin g out or any other similar problem. I said that your WN311T driver is behaving like spyware. It is contacting an unregistered IP address which turns out to be Netgear. This should not be done without my permission, and I do not believe I have given such permission."

For what purpose does the WN311T driver contact Netgear''s site?

2/13/2007 11:20:00 AM
Dear Hank,

Based on the complexity of this case, it may be appropriate for me to seek additional resources. I recommend escalating your case to the next level for further review and response Please allow them 24 hours to respond to you.

This message is for your information only. There is no additional action needed from you at this time. The next level agent will update the case and you will be notified.

Again, thanks for choosing NETGEAR. We appreciate your continued patience. We will get back with you very shortly.


2/15/2007 3:20:00 PM
No one has called!

Do not ever get Netgear products. I had a bad experience with their USB adapter, namely WG111v2. When I first opened the box, I noticed a large scratch (at least 0.8 inch). At the side, there were stickers with printed serial numbers and MAC ID. Well, the sticker seemed to be tampered. The ends were folded, and could not stick properly. What bad luck. I also had intermittent connection problems. Had to move the adapter a little before it started to connect to my router. I tried it on several computers and the problem persisted, so the USB ports couldn't be the issue.

Next, what I did was to contact Netgear support about the scratch (first). They said "The resolution to this issue would also be to obtain a replacement from the retailer." Fine. I went back to the retailer and it was predictable that they would reject an exchange because the Netgear product I purchased was wrapped in the plastic, unopened and clearly untampered. It is clearly Netgear's manufacturing problems. They said "We would have hoped that such an issue would have been reported earlier as such a defect is very uncommon." HOW EARLY THEN? I bought that 3 days ago and it's still not fast enough? And what did they mean by 'uncommon'? Do they mean that there's still a possibility that their products would have scratches over time?

I started to also complain about the connection problems. They once again requested me to contact the retailer for a replacement. I did not have the time to reply them and after one day they e-mailed me that the case would be closed if I do not reply in 3 days' time.

Netgear, being a network equipment manufacturer could not even provide enough bandwidth to their website. It loads slowly all the time. Note that I have a 10Mbps connection and I am not having problems with other websites.

Till now the issue has not been resolved and the Netgear USB Shit has been disposed.

Go for D-Link. Netgear products AND support is lousy. =/

I'm not surprised by your post here. We purchased 2 rather expensive L3 Managed switches from netgear (GSM7312), and they did not care to help us out one bit. We have been waiting 6 months for a resolution on an issue with them... "the US techs will get back to us"... well we are still waiting, operating on a workaround we devised. We have had similar issues of intermittent faults with 8port gigabit switches too.. Personally I would recommend Linksys.. so far so good :) Cheers.

The comments on this forum parallel my experience with Netgear equipment. Their helpless desk is always there to ensure that your experience with them leaves you drained and frustrated. I had a similar experience with a failed pcmcia card. Not as bad as the ones above, but after spending time with tech support and getting the rma number to call the support desk and find out how to return the card, I found that the support desk phone always goes to voicemail and the mailbox is always full.

They may give a 5 year warranty on the part, but they also make it impossible to have it fulfilled.

Fortunately, when I concluded that I could replace the card with a variety of other vendor's products and save my sanity, I will be able to fully recover from my Netgear experience. Thanks to you who responded above and prevented me from making the same mistake twice.

I haven't read all of the comments here if I'm to be perfectly honest and I arrived here by doing a websearch for "why is netgear support shit".

Netgear support is shit, there's no doubt at all. I look after the IT for a large group of companies and we have a lot of their products. The products themselves seem to perform their function adequately, but the infrastructure Netgear have in place to deal with post sales enquiries is fucked up. Netgear as a company are more about what they can't, or more correctly 'won't' do for their paying customers. Idiotic policies and a poor company to deal with - I hope they go belly-up.

I'll be putting my money into D-Link I reckon (Linksys products have caused me nothing but a pain in the arse, but I can't speak for their support.)

We have two netgear unmanaged switches in our company and no matter how we try to change the way they are connected, they seem to have it somehow almost hardcoded that they should be daisy chained. Connecting them through a router doesn't work, no matter how many times we reset and powered off everything, switches included.

So I tried to get support. First thing it says to get a serial number. I walk over to the switches and there are no serial numbers on the front, back or sides. And they are both rack mounted. Then I do a search on how to really reset the switches which have no reset button, and come across this blog, and realize that trying to get help from netgear is a waste of time. Too bad we didn't know that before we bought those two switches.

If you are a gamer, then netgear is probably OK. But if you have any more interest in networking other then just having one or two computers on the internet, then good luck with netgear. One can tell by the position of their serial numbers on rack mountable switches that they are not into customer service.

I bought a refurbished (yeah yeah I know) Netgear HDX101 powerline adapter. Basically the thing overheats and i get burned unplugging it after I realize it is not working. That is not working ever out of the box. So basically my conversation with support basically consisted of support telling me they have every right to sell products that don't work because they slap the refurbished label on them and bear no responsibility when those refurbished products start a fire. IE they can profit from killing you!


Right guys, seriously?

Linksys (the fake cisco)
to name but a few. DONT BUY THEM. They are 5th rate consumer products. Working in IT, i wouldnt dare use any of those, instead if one is found it is binned. All are full of weird issues. You dont see these brands in large coporations, why? Because we know they arent reliable. Use the following, and lead a stress free life;

and 3Com to a lesser extent.

One day, people will realise that cheap IT equipment is cheap for a reason.

Thanks for valuable input about Netgear support. I am in the market for about a dozen simple managed switches, and I am afraid your comments about the support makes me I loose interest in Netgear. Too bad...

Please, allow me add to the ramble above:

On Bjørns original problem, I have expreienced this several times in 3Com equipment. Even worse, the 3Com switches would even generate IP storms in the network, pulling the whole network down with erroneous packets. Experienced this from about five separate switches, and after that I binned all the rest - 3com now banned from my network.

On Mufasas experience with Linksys, I have to agree, this is the worst rubbish I have laid my hands on. I have still not found a single Linksys item which works as it should. I have tried routers, switches, wireless bridges, etc. Even professionally in networks with hundreds of managed Linksys switches, and there are always something failing.

Now, to be fair, most of the manufacturers build their products on a mix of similar hardware. Typically Broadcom/Texas Instruments/Intel/Samsung processors, Broadcom/Intel/Atheros wireless transmitters, Realtek/ADMtek/Broadcom switches. Mostly the hardware is cool enough, running under some Posix based operating systems like Linux or vxWorks. The main difference seems to be between the implementation of the drivers (usually proprietary, notable exception for Atheros) GUI interfaces (often built on old CGI or SSI platforms) and programming done on very limited budgets.

  • It seems D-link which used to be very shady have cleaned up pretty well lately, and seems to be on a good track - cudos to you guys, but programming using Server Side Includes? - seriously...
  • Cisco has been cleaning up pretty well the last years as well and are as always driving the innovation for the real enterprise market (core switces and edge switches, advanced routing), but is still expensive for basic enterprise equipment. And you will have to read yourself up on the IOS operating system.
  • Netgear seems to have a good stratgy going in providing loads of technology (even L3 switching/routing and SNMP control for the cheap switches - nice!) for a very low price - no funny licencing policies, you get it all, but does it work, ref Bjørn?
  • And HP. Enterprise equipment, but limited funtionality on lower end switches. But it just works and is available at reasonable prices.
  • SMC has funny user interfaces on their wireless routers, but truely excellent unmanaged switches.
  • Asus routers are attractive in wireless routers sporting USB ports, generous memory, and capable of running OpenWRT operating system. They come with proprietory Broadcom wireless cards, but they are miniPCI based so you can change them to Atheros.
  • As a newcomer, Router Station from Ubiquiti networks seems a very intersting router platform running a MIPS platform under OpenWRT operating system by default. Have not tried it yet, but it seems very similar to the Routerboard from Mikrotik.
  • But Linksys and 3Com - you will never have me touch it again unless someone pays me good money for it.

Just my two cents... HP it is for the switiches I need this time, thanks guys!

"You dont see these brands in large coporations, why? Because we know they arent reliable. Use the following, and lead a stress free life"

Yeah, ok.
12 years in IT, 6 of them @ a 4 billion dollar operation and the little netgear I've had under my desk the whole time keeps chugging along. Put your ego aside and help for a change, jeez.

The problem with these things are the grossly underpowered power supplies they are shipped with. Go get a power supply with a the same voltage and a higher amperage rating and you'll be fine, the unit will only draw what it needs.

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This page contains a single entry by Ask Bjørn Hansen published on January 16, 2007 2:57 PM.

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