Nintendo 3DS: One way to solve error 003-2001 and 003-2101

Difficulty level: Medium-Low. — Dialogue level: Medium-High. Last edited substantially on the 25th of January 2016.

The tales of the internet are full of stories about Nintendo 3DS users who simply cannot connect to the internet with any regularity, getting the errors 003-2001 and 003-2101 on almost every attempt. These errors attempt to tell you that it could be a signal environment interference or a DNS problem. I do not claim to have the one and only ultimate solution, but it helped me, so surely this would have to help someone else out there who have the same problem.

In my case, it was the former, but not in a way that I expected it to be. It turned out that my router and my range extender were in a serious clinch with each other, preventing both of them from getting a consistent online access. And for me, it was as easy as just pulling the electricity plug out of the range extender, but for an only slightly more detailed list of things to do, read on further, after this break!

If you keep getting the errors 003-2001 and 003-2101 on your Nintendo 3DS / 2DS / New Nintendo 3DS / 3DS XL (you know the drill), find the house’s other wireless units, such as phones, laptops or very recent SmartTVs, and test out their consistence in acquiring online access. While those three can usually get somewhat of an online access still, they may be periodically struggling to connect, struggle hard to load websites, or get something resembling a bottlenecked Wi-Fi signal. There may also be consistence disturbances for Ethernet users.

In those cases where you do have connection struggles, check your network’s effective DNS address. This usually cannot be seen through the router settings pages, and is easier to find on your phones than on your PCs. On a phone, it’s usually as easy as going to your Wi-Fi settings and choose “Details” for your current connection point. If it shows 192.168.(…), that means that your router currently cannot connect decently to the Internet, since those numbers are always reserved for local LAN connections.

I decided to test a number of solutions to fix the ordeal, and none of them was the main problem:

  • Disabling ADSL and 3G in the settings, to relieve the router’s “Memory” tab that showed 97%. This will have almost no effect on the memory level whatsoever, and was not the problem in-so-far as I can tell.
  • Setting up a secondary Wi-Fi signal through the router’s “3 x 3” function, and setting that signal to the substantially lower WPS1 and ATKS security levels. This only helped the 3DS on the first initial connection to the router, only to implode again upon trying to get to the eShop.
  • Changing the DNS address by using “Do not auto-obtain”, and using numbers from Google’s DNS system and from Norton ConnectSafe. This at least delayed the error message a bit, but did nothing to solve the core problem.

I was sloooowly cued in to the problem when I was occasionally presented with my range extender’s settings login page (With a NETGEAR range extender, that would be, in a manner akin to those login pages you see on public Wi-Fi networks, when I tried to connect to my regular router through my Windows Phone (and earlier in the evening, an iOS9.0 iPad). It was at this particular point that I realised that there was a big clinch going on. My router believed that the range extender was the way to the internet. My range extender believed that the router was the way to the internet. The result was a severe circular clinch, largely resulting in neither of them being able to connect to the internet.

The solution? As said in the prologue, plug out the range extender entirely and see if you can sense any connection differences within 2 minutes tops. If you do, then congratulations, the problem is solved! Yay!

I hope this has been to good help for someone out there in the world, whomever it may be.

Nintendo 3DS: One way to solve error 003-2001 and 003-2101

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