When your modem or router screech to a halt, it can lead to webpages that won’t load, streaming videos that keep buffering, and blood pressure to shoot through the roof.
The common solution in these scenarios is to restart the router or modem to get back on track. And, in many cases, it’s common to rip the plugs out of the back and hope that when it’s plugged back in, things will work like they’re supposed to. Tap or click here for better Wi-Fi.
Ripping cords out of the back of the modem or router isn’t the right way to go about it. There are better ways to reboot your devices properly. We’ll teach you the pros’ techniques when dealing with slow router frustrations.
When to restart your router and/or modem
You may think it’s wise to restart your router or modem every time you have a lag in connectivity, and you’re right. A router reboot is one of the first things to try if the internet has stopped working or you’re having connectivity issues. A simple reboot will often resolve connectivity issues quickly and get you back to your normal browsing or load times in a matter of minutes.
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But while you’re likely aware that rebooting will help solve slow internet signals, what you may not be aware of is that resetting your router will also help to deter or interrupt any malicious attacks aimed at your network, so rebooting can actually be an additional security measure, too.
And, as an added bonus, rebooting will kick any unwanted or unrecognized devices from your network, so it’s wise to do this from time to time — even if you aren’t having load or connectivity issues with your internet or Wi-Fi signal.
But how do you reboot like a pro? Let’s take a look at how to reboot your modem and/or router in two different scenarios.
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(Note: these are general instructions; the proper process for rebooting your modem and router could vary, but in general, the instructions below will work for most. Your models’ instructions should be found in its manual. Tap or click here for thousands of free manuals online.)
Scenario #1: Rebooting a separate modem and router
Rebooting a separate modem and router is a little different than rebooting a combined router/modem device.
Here’s how to reboot a separate modem/router:
- Locate your modem and router. If you aren’t sure which is which, you can often identify your wireless router by the visible antennas. Your router, on the other hand, is what plugs directly into your modem, and your modem will plug into the wall or other power source.
- Unplug both the modem and router. Once you’ve located your modem and router, you’ll need to unplug both devices. You should see a power connection on the back of each device, and you’ll need to pull out the plug from each one.
- Leave both devices unplugged for at least 30 seconds. While a full 10 seconds will suffice in many cases, you should still leave your devices unplugged for at least 30 seconds — just to be thorough. Waiting a full 30 seconds ensures that the capacitors in your router and modem completely discharge and that the modem loses its connection to your ISP. You want this to happen so the connection is forced to re-establish.
- Plug the power back into your modem ONLY. When you do this, the lights on your modem should light up to indicate that the modem has power. The process of booting up and reconnecting to your ISP will take a few minutes — though in some cases, it can reconnect in as little as 60 seconds — so don’t panic if you don’t see a row of green lights immediately.
- Plug in the router and wait, at minimum, two full minutes. You may need to press a power button on your router to get it to boot up, but it will depend on the type of router you have. Once it’s plugged in (and powered on), you’ll need to wait at least two minutes to give it enough time to boot up.
- Test things out. Is your connectivity issue resolved? Perfect. You’ve successfully rebooted your modem and router.
Scenario #2: Rebooting a combined modem and router
If you’re trying to reboot a combined router/modem device, the steps will differ slightly from the ones above. To manually reboot a combined modem and router, you should follow the steps below.
- Unplug the power cord from the device or remove any batteries. Your device may not have batteries, so you can skip that step if it uses a plug and outlet to power it.
- Wait a full 60 seconds. Waiting a full minute before powering up your device will give it time to fully disconnect from your ISP and completely discharge. If you plug your device back in too quickly, it may not do much to fix your connectivity or loading issues.
- Reconnect the device to the power source. The next step is to reconnect your combo modem/router to its power source. This could mean that you need to put the batteries back into the device or just simply plug it into the wall or outlet.
- Wait at least two minutes. You need to give your device time to power up, so wait a full two minutes (or more) for your device’s lights to power on.
- Check to make sure the device’s lights are all green. The color can vary from device to device, but in general, a full row of green lights confirms that the device has power and that you’ve waited enough time for it to connect to the internet.
- Check your internet connection to make sure it’s working. Are your webpages loading at the right speed? Did that movie stop buffering? If so, then reboot worked and you’re good to go.
If you’ve taken these steps and are still having internet problems make sure to contact your provider ASAP to find out if the issue is on their end. The last thing you want to be doing is paying for high-speed internet and not getting what you pay for. Tap or click here for the best way to test internet speed.