September 24th, 2020
Read Time: 4 minutes
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With more people working remotely from home now more than ever, it is important to have a good grasp on how your router and modem works as they can both have an impact on your wireless connectivity.
Power cycling your router has nothing to do with riding a stationary bicycle (shocking, we know); it really just means to reboot your router by disconnecting it from its power source, and then plugging back in. Sounds easy enough, right?
Routers themselves are essentially little computers. They use memory to help connect all your devices to your network. This means that your router’s memory could potentially become full, corrupted, or your router’s software could experience memory leaks. Whatever the issue is, a problem with your modem or router equals bad internet connection.
Knowing how to reboot your router is useful because it’s one of the simplest solutions that solves most connection problems. It doesn’t take a lot of time and it might be what fixes everything when you have no connection, slow connection, or wireless issues. It doesn’t matter what type of connection you have: DSL, cable, satellite, fiber optic… as long as a router is involved, it’s important to know how to reboot it.
Nowadays, many modems and routers have a separate power button or reset button. This allows users to restart or refresh their connections without having to unplug anything. If yours has no power switch, though, it’s time to pull the plug.
While you could simply unplug your modem and router, wait 30 seconds, and then plug them back in, a more thorough system-wide power cycle will help cover all your bases. This way, you don’t have to unplug over and over again. It might seem a little crazy to have a tutorial on how to properly turn things off and on again, but when it comes to internet connection problems, there’s no fooling around! Just follow these steps:
Step 1: Shut down or disconnect any network devices connected to your modem/router
Step 2: Unplug the modem and router from outlet
Step 3: Wait at least 30 seconds
Step 4: Plug the modem back into outlet first, then do the same with the router
Step 5: Wait for all panel lights on your cable modem to blink back on before testing your internet connection
Step 6: Turn network devices back on and test the internet connection
Patience is a virtue, but most of us don’t have a lot of it when it comes to our internet connection. You may be tempted to plug in your modem and router right after unplugging it, but trust us: wait the 30 seconds.
It’s important that your router’s power is fully reset, which means it needs to reach zero power before turning the power back on. Have you ever unplugged your phone’s charger out of the wall, and noticed your phone was still charging for a few seconds after? When you plug your modem or router back in right away, residual energy from the device could prevent a full restart, and that means your connection problems aren’t going away.
Modems and routers that have their own power switches don’t need to be unplugged at all. When you flick the power switch off, it completely cuts the power circuit within the device and discharges any residual energy. Even so, it might still be worth waiting 30 seconds before turning the power switch back on.
While there is no perfect answer to this question. It’s generally a good rule of thumb to reboot the main router and modem every couple of months. As mentioned previously, a router reboot can fix your connectivity issues-- from having no connectivity at all to getting bogged down by a slow wireless connection.
Beyond fixing connectivity issues, rebooting your router and modem can also benefit the security of your home network.
Rebooting your router can work wonders, but if you’re doing it every day or multiple times a week, you may just need a new modem or router. Even if you just bought your router this year, the model could have been from four or five years ago, and the technology is outdated. A new and current modem or router will offer you better coverage so you can feel more confident in your internet connection and concentrate on surfing the net.
Power cycling your router and modem is a no-brainer solution that rarely needs to involve an IT professional. However, if your connection issues can’t be resolved by simply turning them off and on again, it may be time to call in the big guns. When your company partners with Electric, our team of IT experts can diagnose your connectivity issues and troubleshoot them for you.
If that doesn’t cut it (although it usually does), we can handle the procurement and installation of a new router—and just about every single other IT issue your company will face.