NetGear Wireless Router Is Overheating

by Elizabeth Smith

A router than is hot to the touch indicates a potentially serious problem. When your router overheats, it can cause issues with your Internet service and, potentially, the router itself. By addressing the heating problem early on, you can avoid permanent damage to your hardware.

Implications of Overheating

When your router overheats, it means that the built-in cooling systems are not functioning properly. Too much heat often causes very slow Internet connections, a weak signal, or a Wi-Fi signal that drops out regularly. As a result, you will have trouble getting online, streaming videos and completing downloads. If the router continues to overheat, it can damage the internal components.

Placement

Although Netgear routers have built-in cooling systems, their placement has an impact on how they manage heat. When you place a router on a soft surface like a carpet, the material can block the vents. Without adequate space for air to pass through, the router overheats. For best performance, you should place your router on a hard surface that will enable the fans to function fully. If the router came with a vertical stand, using it can also help for cooling.

Cooling Pad

An easy, low-tech method to keep a Netgear router from overheating regularly is to use a cooling pad. Usually manufactured for laptops that tend to get too hot to use comfortably, a cooling pad uses fans to bring heat away from the equipment, supplementing the existing fans. When you place the router on the cooling pad, it will help stop the overheating, even if it doesn't address the internal issues that cause the problem. For a cheaper solution, place blocks or film canisters under the router to improve airflow.

Advanced Solutions

If you have the time and expertise to invest in fixing your router's overheating problems, you can change the hardware itself. Opening up the case to add a heat sink or install additional fans can help cool down the router. This method requires advanced hardware and is not recommended if your router is part of your Internet service; opening the case will likely violate the warranty and service agreements.

About the Author

Elizabeth Smith has been a scientific and engineering writer since 2004. Her work has appeared in numerous journals, newspapers and corporate publications. A frequent traveler, she also has penned articles as a travel writer. Smith has a Bachelor of Arts in communications and writing from Michigan State University.