How to restart Wi-Fi router – Overview
Whenever your internet router starts to malfunction, webpages start to load slower, and streaming videos keep buffering, which can be annoying. When this happens, the first solution is always restating the router. For most people, this means pulling out cables from the router and putting them back in.
While this method may restore better service, it is the best or safest way to restart your router. Whether you own a Netgear, Xfinity, Spectrum, Google Mesh, Asus, or Linksys router, the restarting method is the same.
When to restart a router
Also referred to as rebooting, restarting a device is the easiest way to troubleshoot to come up with a better way of fixing the issues detected. When your windows seem buggy, restarting the computer often solves the problem, and if your phone starts to hang, restarting it is the easiest way to fix the issue. The same is true for Wi-Fi routers.
Restarting a device can also help in fixing some network hardware issues. Whether your smartphone or computer loses a connection to the internet or your NAS is not visible on your desktop, rebooting your router has a 75% chance of clearing the network error.
Apart from correcting connection issues, restarting your router is also a good way of enhancing your security. When you restart your router, you interrupt any malicious attacks against your network. Therefore, you can consider rebooting to be an additional safety measure.
It is essential to restart your router in the right order for the issue to be fixed. When you fail to reboot your router correctly, it can cause additional connection issues that may require resetting the modem/router, which would have been avoided.
Steps on how to restart a Wi-Fi router
The first step is unplugging the router and modem, plus any other managed network hardware like network switches. Avoid clicking on reset or restart buttons on the modem since these may restore the factory settings. If the modem has a power button, you can click on this to power off the modem before unplugging from the power source.
Wait for at least 30 seconds before plugging in the hardware. This will give your router time to cool down and send a signal to your computers, ISP, or any other connected device that they are offline. This way, the network will restart afresh across all connected devices once you restart the router.
Plug in the modem and give it a few seconds to power back on. If it is not back on in a few seconds, you can use the power button. A modem is a device that attaches your connection to the internet. For cable-based internet, the modem is connected to a coax cable.
Wait for at least one minute for the modem to authenticate with the ISP and connect to a public IP address.
Remember, most modems come with a power light, received light, send light, and an activity light. You can tell whether the modem is fully powered on when it shows three stable lights. If it comes with an internet light, you need to check if it is on to know whether the modem is connecting to the internet.
Plug in your router and press the power button if your router has one. This is not necessary if you use a combination modem-router since it uses software that automatically initiates the restart process in the required order.
Give the router up to 2 minutes to reboot. This is also when smartphones, computers, or any other devices connected to your network connect to new IP addresses from the DHCP service on your router.
Remember to switch on any power sources for switches and network hardware for the connections to complete. Give the network a minute or two to come back on. Test the connection to see if the issues you were experiencing have been resolved.
What to do if restarting does not work.
If restarting your router fails to fix the connection issue, you can try other troubleshooting methods, depending on the router brand you are using. If the modem is not receiving a signal from your internet service provider, you should contact support for help.
Sometimes you may require resetting a router to fix a connection issue. Resetting restores the factory settings on the router, which may require reconfiguring to restore the connection. This includes changing the router password, clearing connections from all devices, deleting custom DNS, and other steps.
Once the reset process is complete, you need to log in to the network on all connected devices using the new login credentials.