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10 ways to fix Netflix's Error NW-2-5

You may need to improve your home networking setup.
By
January 26, 2024

Few things are more irritating than sitting down for a hard-earned rest only to be denied by an error message, and Netflix‘s Error NW-2-5 is probably all too common in that regard. Thankfully though it’s one of the better-documented errors out there, so there’s a known set of fixes available.

What is Netflix’s Error NW-2-5?

oneplus pad netflix menu
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

According to Netflix, Error NW-2-5 is triggered whenever a network problem prevents your device from reaching the company’s servers. Whichever version of the app you’re using will (normally) retry the connection within a matter of seconds. You might not have to do anything in other words, but if the error won’t go away or happens relatively frequently, there’s probably a more deep-seated issue you need to resolve. We’ll help with that below.

How to fix Netflix’s Error NW-2-5

Your best best is to run through this list top to bottom unless a particular option jumps out at you. We’ve organized it to put easier troubleshooting steps first, saving more complicated and/or time-consuming ones for last.

  1. Doublecheck your internet connection. In many if not most cases, the error is likely being triggered by weak or intermittent internet access. If you’re on cellular, check your signal bars, and consider switching over to Wi-Fi if you can. If you’re already streaming via Wi-Fi, you may need to move your device closer to your router and/or remove any signal barriers. Avoid hiding a router in a drawer, cabinet, closet, or behind your TV, for example. If a device supports it, you might alternately try switching from Wi-Fi to Ethernet, since that tends to eliminate signal concerns entirely. When router distance is an unavoidable obstacle, it might be time to upgrade to a new mesh router system supporting at least Wi-Fi 6, preferably Wi-Fi 6E or 7. Tri-or quad-band mesh units ensure an uninterrupted backhaul.
  2. Make sure you meet Netflix’s bandwidth requirements. You can test your bandwidth using Netflix’s fast.com or a site like Speedtest. Netflix requires at least 3Mbps for 720p resolution, 5Mbps for 1080p, and 15Mbps for anything in 4K. Remember that this translates into free bandwidth — if you’ve got two other people watching 4K streams and an arsenal of smart home accessories like security cameras, for example, there could be little bandwidth left over, depending on the internet plan you’re paying for and whether your provider actually lives up to its bandwidth claims.
  3. Find out if the network you’re on allows Netflix. This isn’t a common situation, naturally, but if you’re using public internet at a school, hotel, restaurant, or government office, there’s a chance management might be blocking Netflix to encourage productivity or avoid overwhelming available bandwidth. You might be able to get around this with a VPN (virtual private network) service.
  4. Check Netflix’s server status. The company has an official server status page, and if you’re doubtful for some reason, you can monitor user-reported outages at Downdetector. Should there be trouble with Netflix’s network infrastructure, there’s really not much you can do except wait until technicians sort it out.
  5. Check your ISP’s status. While we assume your ISP (internet service provider) is operating normally for the most part if you can read this, they could be dealing with problems that are affecting Netflix without killing internet access entirely. Search the web for your ISP’s outage map or notification dashboard. Call their support line, if you have to. As with the previous step, you may be forced to wait things out.
  6. Try power-cycling your modem and/or router. Issues with your modem or router can easily impact video streaming. Some of these have very technical answers that are too long to explain here (we cover one a bit later in brief), but a simple fix you can try is power-cycling. Unplug your modem for at least 10 seconds, plug it back in, then wait for it to reconnect before loading Netflix again. If that doesn’t accomplish anything, attempt the same thing with your router (assuming it’s separate).
  7. Restart your streaming device. This would be higher on our list except that it’s unlikely to solve the error. It’s still worth trying, just in case there’s a temporary cache or process glitch that’s interfering. This has the additional benefit of closing any outside apps that might be consuming bandwidth.
  8. Scan for app updates. One possibility is that an app bug is creating chaos, and if you haven’t updated Netflix in a while, it may have already been addressed. You can update Android apps using the Google Play Store, iPhone and iPad apps using the Apple App Store, and Windows 11 apps using the Microsoft Store (if they were installed that way). The situation is a little trickier with media streamers and smart TVs, since while they’re usually set to update apps automatically, you can’t necessarily force them to update on the fly. Check for those options in Settings menus. On Roku devices, you may be able to highlight an app icon on your homescreen, hit the star/asterisk button on your remote, then choose Check for updates.
  9. Disable any VPNs or proxy servers, or change their settings. While VPNs and proxies can actually help in some scenarios, if you’re still encountering problems this far down the list, experiment with temporarily disabling them. There might also be settings you can roll back, such as unnecessarily strict security measures.
  10. Verify that DNS settings are automatic. DNS stands for Domain Name Server, a key component of the internet that matches URLs to actual IP addresses. If you’ve been using custom DNS settings on your router, modem, or streaming device, you may need to switch them over to automatic so that a server with reliable Netflix info is selected. Note that if you haven’t tinkered with DNS settings in the past, your devices should already be in auto mode. Don’t mess around with any of this if you don’t know what you’re doing, because you could affect your internet access as a whole.