Is your Netgear router blocking certain websites? Are you unable to access some websites even though your internet connection is strong?

Several users of Netgear routers report that their device is blocking certain websites that seem to work fine when they use another router. Are you experiencing the same issue? In this guide, we will examine why Netgear routers may block some websites, what Netgear Armor means, and show you some steps on how to fix the issue.

When your Netgear router blocks a website it indicates your firewall (Armor) is active, and the site might be harmful. Disable the firewall on your Netgear router.

Why is my Netgear router blocking websites?

Netgear Router blocking websites
Photo credit: Compare on Unsplash

Netgear router might be blocking some websites because of some issues with the website or your router. Some of the reasons why Netgear router is blocking some websites are:

  • A website with scam or credit card phishing tendencies.
  •  A website with malware files
  • A website that forces visitors to download files and requests illegitimate access to their device files and programs.
  • A yet-to-be whitelisted legitimate website
  • The router’s Domain Name System needs to be changed
  • The router’s Media Access Control (MAC) address needs to be changed
  • Need to reset the router and perform a power cycle on your devices

How to fix the Netgear blocking websites issue

Netgear Router blocking websites
Photo credit: Misha Feshchak on Unsplash

Netgear’s blocking websites is the router’s in-built feature that protects users from malicious websites. But, sometimes users complain that even safe websites like banks and authoritative websites are blocked when they use the Netgear router. If you are a new Netgear user, seeing that some websites are blocked when you connect to a Netgear router can be a shocker. To fix the Netgear blocking websites issue, follow any of the steps below:

Whitelist legitimate websites

A simple fix to Netgear blocking websites is to include the website in your list of trusted and whitelisted websites list. Though it is time-consuming, this method is both safe and effective.

Follow these steps to whitelist a website:

  • Go to netgear.opendns.com
  • Sign in to your Netgear account
  • Click on account settings at the top of your screen
  • Select Whitelist option
  • Copy and paste the correct URL of the website you want to unblock/whitelist 
  • On the drop-down menu, click on Never block and click Add this domain.

Alternatively, you can use the Nighthawk app to unblock a website that is being blocked by Netgear Armor. To do this, 

  • Access the app using a smartphone connected to the router’s network
  • Open the Security option
  • On the Threats Blocked card, a list of blocked websites will show
  • An explanation of why a website was blocked will be displayed alongside its URL
  • Select the website you want to unblock and confirm your selection by clicking OK
  • The unblocked website will move to the unblocked card

Your Netgear router will no longer block the unblocked website(s) upon subsequent visits. Always ensure that the website you’re whitelisting is the correct URL of a trusted website like a school or bank website.

Use a proxy site

Proxy sites hide your real IP address from your internet service providers. When you are accessing a website through a proxy site, you are not really connected to the site, the proxy server connects to the website while you get a cached version of it. Using a proxy server can fix the Netgear blocking websites issue.

Use a public DNS

Domain Name Server or DNS records and translates requests made by different devices and IP addresses.DNS controls what server you can reach whenever you try to access a website. Configuring your domain name system (DNS) can help fix the Netgear blocking websites issue. 

To set up a public DNS IP address, follow these steps

  • Go to Netgear’s admin page by inputting any of these IP addresses: 192.168.1.1 or 192.168.0.1
  • Depending on your Netgear model, select either the Basic or Advanced option and find your way to Domain Name Server (DNS) Address section
  • Click on the Use These DNS Servers option
  • Input your chosen primary and secondary DNS on the Primary and Secondary bars accordingly.
  • Finally, click on apply and restart your Netgear router to enforce the DNS changes.

A DNS change can effectively fix the Netgear blocking websites issue and allow you to access any website without restriction. 

Disable the firewall (Netgear’s Armor)

Netgear Armor is a Bitdefender-based cybersecurity tool that helps protect Netgear users from cyberattacks and malicious content on the internet. Disabling the often “over-protective” tool can solve the issue of Netgear blocking websites. Before disabling your Netgear’s firewall, however, ensure that the websites you are visiting are safe and devoid of malicious content. Netgear discourages disabling the router’s firewall by not making a definite button for it. Yet, users can disable Netgear’s firewall by adding a new rule to the firewall’s setup.

To add a new rule, follow these steps:

  • Type in the router’s default IP address—either 192.168.0.1 or 192.168. 1.1—to the browser. 
  • On the next screen, enter the default username and password. The default username and password are admin and password, respectively.
  • On the main menu, add a new rule for Inbound services by choosing Security and selecting Rules.
  • Click on “Allow always” on the action option, and move the new rule to the top in the Inbound Services section.
  • Tick the enable column to activate the new rule.

The firewall on your Netgear router has been disabled and can no longer block websites. However, you are not protected against cyber-attacks.

wifi connection
Photo by JJ Ying on Unsplash

Conclusion

While Netgear router blocking websites can be an effective tool against scams, viruses, and other malicious attacks. Sometimes the tool can block even legitimate websites such as banks and schools. You can fix the Netgear router blocking websites issue by following any of the above guides. If you’re still experiencing the same issue, reach out to Netgear’s customer care. Don’t hesitate to comment below on how you fixed the Netgear router blocking websites issue.