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  • Router Firmware Downgrade


    Nighthawk AC1750 R6700v3 WiFi Router – A few days ago I installed the most recent firmware for this router which was supposed to address security issues. However, since installing it I, like many others on the Netgear community forums, have been experiencing problems with the loading of web pages. Some of those folks have reinstalled the older firmware that they were using prior to the new firmware and that seemed to solve their browsing problems.

    Question – Is it really possible to downgrade router firmware to an older version? I was always under the impression that router firmware could only be updated to newer firmware.

    Viewing 3 reply threads
    • #2391893

      in my experience if it is not expressively stated that is NOT possible it is.
      BTW I will never do NetGear again, maybe Asus maybe more high end.


      Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2391899

        wavy – Thanks for the reply and your thoughts on Netgear.

        One more question – Does activating the “reset” button on routers return the firmware to the original firmware installed at the factory or does the “reset” button only reset all the router configurations to those set at the factory? My user manual is not clear on this point.

    • #2391913

      Yeah sure. I have a R7000 and R7800. Both are excellent routers. Netgear’s firmware has good versions and non-working versions. It’s been outsourced for years. Constant problems with upgrades, spyware, nagware, what else? Hardware’s excellent, that’s only half of what you need though.

      If you want to continue with Netgear’s firmware, you should be able to just flash the old version. A factory reset should not be necessary, but can be done either with the button in back or in the GUI (do NOT use that stupid Genie thing, do the entry method) in Administration (I think) will bring you back to OEM firmware, after which you can flash a functional version. Download it and enter the path in the firmware upgrade box. User manual says how to do all this. While you’re at it, look for the data submission and auto update settings and disable them.

      A Factory reset will reset everything, you have to re-enter network names, pwds, etc. I don’t recall if you get the original firmware ver. You definitely can by directly accesssing the firmware via. Telnet. If your new firmware works well, keep it, the security things, unless you have the router wide open an older version should be fine. They won’t even say what they are. A surreptitious attempt to reset data uploading? IDK.

      I went to third party firmware on both routers long ago and the differences were night and day different. R7000 has an Asus Merlin firmware port and R7800 uses Voxel. Both are simple to install. I don’t know of any for your model that won’t take you into serious geek land with WRT’s and others. Interest in router tweaking is nothing like it was a few years ago, efforts are lagging.

      General Netgear advice:
      Use it as a router and wifi radio. Skip VPN’s, child guard filters, using it as a poor man’s NAS, QoS(Netgear’s adaptive QoS lists are ancient). All those extras take processor time.

      Don’t try to run wifi too fast just ‘cuz you can. Go as slow as possible while still exceeding your ISP speed, transmission is more stable that way. 400 Mbps is fine unless you have very fast service.

      Keep up with the forums; Netgear has a rabid (deservedly) firmware “fan” base. You’ll eventually find fixes for issues there.

      SmallNetBuilder has the best router forums I know of. The Netgear forum:

      If you buy a new router, go Asus, a model that can use Asus Merlin or a Netgear model that can use Voxel. Asus’ interface is vastly better than Netgear’s.


      2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2392178

        I downloaded from Netgear’s website the zip file/folder for firmware that was on my router before I installed the most recent version a few days ago. Using Windows File Explorer I right clicked the zip file/folder and clicked “Open.” There were two files in the zip folder and I moved them to a new folder. One of the files was an .html file and the other was a .chk file which is the type of file that Netgear says should be uploaded to the router.

        Windows File Explorer states the file type for the .chk file as “Recovered File Fragments”.

        Question: Does “Recovered File Fragments” mean that something is wrong with this .chk file?

        • #2392369

          No, hopefully your router should complain if the firmware image is corrupt. Explorer is just showing that description for any known filename extension because of its association with a program.

          1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2392407

          “Windows File Explorer states the file type for the .chk file as “Recovered File Fragments”.”

          This IS confusing and results in ambiguity.
          Netgear uses a file-type of CHK for a legitimate data file.
          But, CHK also is the file-type used by Windows to indicate that the contents is the result of recovering lost file pieces. That is why Explorer gave you a fright.

          See this link for a better explanation.

          Do a Search for [ file type chk ] to see more opportunities for confusion.

          1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2392109

      This probably isn’t your problem, but the situation you describe sounds a lot like a problem I had with a crumbly router supplied by the ISP. The basic problem was the MTU setting my PC negotiated was way to adventurous. Here are a couple items I read..

      Then strangely after it had been working well for the remains of the first year, they sent a better router. Hmmm.

      Changed ISP, as the setting persists had to repeat the process. Strange thing is you can try differing pages with differing results – at one setting google loaded incredibly fast after entering search terms but Microsoft’s pages seemed to time out! Aiming slightly low seems to be the best compromise..

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2392426

      I have apparently successfully removed the problematic new router firmware that I recently installed and reinstalled the firmware that was on the router when I bought it a few months ago and that never gave me any problems. During a day of using the router and computer with the original firmware I have not experienced the problems that I did with the newer firmware.

      Thanks to everyone for your help and comments.

    Viewing 3 reply threads
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