The influence of random short time-delay to networked control systems (NCS) is changed into an unknown bounded uncertain part. Without changing the structure of the system, an H∞ states observer is designed for NCS with short time-delay. Based on the designed states observer, a robust fault detection approach is proposed for NCS. In addition, an optimization method for the selection of the detection threshold is introduced for better tradeoff between the robustness and the sensitivity. Finally, some simulation results demonstrate that the presented states observer is robust and the fault detection for NCS is effective.