Your Wi-Fi router needs a Reboot

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Joined: August 11th, 2011, 12:11 pm
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Your Wi-Fi router needs a Reboot

Post by tarun.kumar » July 6th, 2016, 10:25 pm

Why your Wi-Fi router needs a Power cycle /Hard Rebooting ?

Power Cycling or Hard Rebooting (Commonly known as Rebooting) your home Wi-Fi router can fix Internet connection , improve slow connections and resolve wireless issues.

How to PowerCycle / Hard reboot your Wi-Fi Router:
  • 1. Switch-Off Power Supply to Wi-Fi router .Verify you have Switched-off correct supply by checking that all the lights on Wi-Fi router are turned OFF.
    2. Wait 1 minute .
    3. Switch-ON Power supply to Wi-FI router .Some Lights should come back-ON on the Router. Wait for the Internet light to turn green.
    4. Try connecting to the Internet.
Please DO NOT push reset button on the back of your modem as doing so will necessitate a reconfiguration of your WI-FI router .

For those who are Technically inclined and want more details on Why and How of Wi-Fi router reboot …..Read ON

Below are common problems which are resolved by rebooting your Wi-Fi router .

Too many Connections

Your router's hardware (CPU , RAM , Chipset) may not be able to support too many TCP/UDP connections from connected devices . How many ? Depends on your hardware.

Too many connections just eat up CPU Cycles & RAM space thus denying new connections and lowering performance of your existing connected devices. It can seriously slow down internet speeds on all your connections.
Try reducing number of connected devices on the Wi-Fi router .

Sometime , even single device may generate many TCP/UDP connections. This is especially common if you are using file-sharing applications such as BitTorrent and Usenet, which achieve high download speeds by making multiple connections at one time. Most routers keep TCP connections alive for 3600 sec or more (especially d-link one), so each time you establish a connection on a BitTorrent client, your router open a new TCP Connection. After a few hours, maybe a day, it can become a problem very quickly as you might imagine.

Just shut off your Torrent/filesharing/Usenet client for a few days and see if your problems reduces . If so , you've found the problem and you'll just have to tune your Torrent/Filesharing/Usenet client Application for a lesser number of Connections/Seeds , Limiting download speeds ,limit upload speeds depending on what your client application allows.

Experiment with settings till you have the right balance between filesharing application speeds and router reboot.

Sometime , This may also happen due to malware/virus on WiFi connected devices. Try running a good antivirus do a full scan .

WiFi Channel Configuration

WiFi protocol allows 13 channels in 2.4GHz band . However many Laptops /Mobiles do not support channel 12 & 13 . This is because many countries do not allow Chl. 12 & 13 by regulation. If your Wi-FI router has auto selected chl. 12 or 13 , some of devices may not work . Rebooting the router helps if it selects another (1-11) channel .

You can change the channel setting such that it selects between 1 -11 or you can fix Channel setting on any channel between 1- 11 .

Also for similar reasons , keep Chanel width at 20 MHz even when you are allowing 802.11N. This is because some phones may not work correctly on 20+20MHz settings.

Wi-Fi router Configuration

Check router configurations and keep all values at default , except your Security settings/passphrase.

Do NOT keep your router in "Bridge" mode . Ensure that DHCP range for LAN/WLAN side is in 192.168.*.* range .

If you are using multiple Wi-FI routers to cover your home , cascade the routers correctly and Configure non conflicting IP ranges . It is better to take professional help from Wi-Fi router supplier or from neighbourhood IT pro in case you are using multiple routers at home. Your ISP will allow only one connection but by cascading routers correctly , you can use multiple WI-Fi routers in your home/office.

You can further disable SPI Firewall Protection & Access restriction temporarily to see if the problem is related .

If your Wi-Fi router resets itself losing all configurations , check and disable UPnP (Universal Plug & Play ) option.

Bad Firmware

Bad firmware may cause unclaimed memory , corrupt(Overwritten) memory space and endless loop . Sometimes few processes , such as (DNS or DHCP )may crash after running for some time .

Memory leaks (especially for the routing tables or ARP tables), buffer overflows (same), a port scan or other attack putting the system into an unrecoverable state (eg: resources exhausted), or a kernel (likely driver) bug putting the kernel into an unrecoverable deadlock – may all be resolved by Rebooting the Wi-Fi router .Rebooting helps to clear RAM , restart all services afresh and flushes your DNS/ARP cache .

For permanent resolution , Try updating the firmware on the router. You may have to consult the router’s manual to correctly update router firmware.

Sometimes, your manufacturer's firmware just isn't very good. In those cases, flashing a third-party firmware—like DD-WRT /OpenWRT can potentially fix your problems if your Wi-Fi router hardware is compatible. Google it and you will have all details.

CAUTION: This isn't for the faint of heart and can lead to bricked router if not done correctly .

However if you can ,it can seriously boost the usefulness and customizability of your router. It can also reboot your router on a schedule (See in DD-WRT Administration >> Keep-Alive >> Scheduled Reboot.) , which may not solve the problem itself, but will keep you from having to do it manually.

Hardware Issues

Your hardware may have gone bad due to ageing , Moisture/Water entry , Physical Shocks , Power Surges or loose connectors.
This would some get corrected after reboot .
Sometime , your WAN port jack or connector is dirty/dusty . You can clean the connector and jack using good contact cleaner and reconnect . Make sure you dry the contact before re-inserting.
Sadly , there is no permanent fix for most other Hardware issues . You need to get a New router .


The router produces heat, just like any other electronics. When the heat is not allowed to escape the immediate area, the router may overheat.
This may sometime cause hardware to malfunction , especially in summer time in non-AC environment.

The simplest solution is to ensure that the router is kept in an area in which heat is allowed to escape.Keep it out of enclosed places and away from other electronics. Raise it off of the surface, or even consider putting it around a fan or air source.

A lot of times, a router that keeps dying can be fixed with just a bit of extra airflow.

Bad Power Supply

Voltage fluctuation ,Surge ,momentary Low/High Voltage or bad earthing may cause malfunction of Wi-Fi router. Which will often correct after a reboot .

If your mains power supply fluctuates often, this could indicate an issue in your electrical system. You better call an Electrician to fix you Power Supply problem . Ask him specifically check earth potential .

A surge protector could prevent permanent damage to Wi-Fi router but may not prevent malfunction.

How to Verify That Your Wi-Fi Router Is the Source of the Problem :

If your Mobile /Laptop is not showing full Five Signal Bars (Fan shaped),even though you are standing next to your Router, Problem is MOST LIKELY on your Wi-Fi router unless you have changed /upgraded / reconfigured your mobile/laptop .
If you see all Signal bars and still facing the problem , make sure the problem doesn't lie with your Internet Connection or your PC/Laptop configuration.
You can check by bypassing your Wi-Fi router and connect your laptop directly to the Internet connection. To do this, remove your Internet Connection RJ45 (Ethernet) connector from Wi-Fi router WAN port and connect this to your Laptop Ethernet Port. Take a pic before you make any change. This will help you identify connector and jack position when restoring back .

If your Internet Problems are resolved , the problem is more likely related to your Wi-Fi router. You should revert back Internet connection to Wi-Fi router WAN port before you proceed any further.

If your problem continues ,Problem is likely on the Internet connection or your Laptop/PC configuration .
Regards ,

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