• #1 NetSpot
  • Wi-Fi Site Surveys, Analysis, Troubleshooting
  • 4.8
  • 957 User reviews

How to Reboot Router to Fix Common Network Problems

When something happens to the WiFi connection, the first thing most people try is turning the router off and on again. But is it really that simple?
top choice
  • NetSpot
  • Wi-Fi Site Surveys, Analysis, Troubleshooting
  • 4.8
  • 957 User reviews

More importantly, what’s the difference between router reboot and router restart? We answer these and many other questions in this article.

Restart Router? Reboot Router?


A human language is a wonderful tool, but it’s not exactly known for being efficient. Often, there are many ways how to express the same idea, and that’s why the terminology used by router manufacturers, internet service providers, and tech support staff may sometimes seem confusing.

In reality, there’s absolutely no difference between router reboot and router restart. They describe the same thing: turning off a router and then immediately turning it back on again. Unfortunately, the confusion doesn’t end there because many routers also have a “reset router” button.

By pressing and usually also holding the reset router button on your router, you can completely wipe out all of its settings, resetting it to its factory configuration, which is what all articles that describe how to reset routers boil down to. When fixing common network problems, there’s usually no need whatsoever to press the reset router button.

All you need to do is turn off your router and then turn it back on again, and we describe exactly how to do that in the next chapter of this article.

How to Reboot Router the Right Way


You might be wondering why you need to learn how to reset the router in the first place. After all, why not simply unplug it from power and then plug it back in? There’s a couple of reasons why, and we’ll explain them when we get to them:

  1. Unplug your router first and your modem second.

    • If you have a router with a built-in modem, you’ll obviously have only one device to unplug. But if your router connects to an internet modem provided to you by your internet service provider, you should first unplug the modem and then the router.
    • By unplugging the router first, you ensure that it won’t register the loss of internet access before being shut down, which could put it into an emergency mode that might persist even after being unplugged from power.

  2. Wait at least 10 seconds.

    • There are many different router manufacturers, and each manufacturer has at least a few different models. Some routers may have a small battery inside them that allows them to store critical data in the event of a sudden and unexpected loss of power, while others may have memory chips that need a couple of seconds to lose any stored information.
    • What’s more, by keeping your router turned off for a while, you also give your internet service provider time to notice that your computers and devices are offline, which might trigger some automated action on their end.

  3. Plug your modem back in first and your router second.

    • Again, you want to plug your modem back in first and give it enough time to fully boot up so that you don’t confuse your router when the time comes for it to be plugged back in.
    • We recommend you give your modem at least one minute to get a public IP address assigned. Keep an eye on the LED lights on the modem because they indicate its status.

  4. Go make yourself a cup of coffee or tea.

    • In other words, wait at least two or three minutes before you test whether you’re back online.
    • Some routers take much longer than you might expect to boot up, and there’s no point in testing whether you’re back online before the boot process has completed.

  5. Test your internet.

    • We recommend you check this list of WiFi speed test apps, which lets you test your internet connection bandwidth to locations around the world.
    • If the site loads in the first place, it means that you’re connected to the internet. However, you should also run the test to see whether you can reach the maximum speed or not.

How to Avoid Router Reboots

Most problems with routers are caused either by overheating or by outdated firmware. Routers are basically just small and highly specialized computers, and they can overheat just like your desktop or laptop computer.

Never place a router close to a source of heat or hide it behind furniture where fresh air can’t easily reach it. Of course, hiding a router behind furniture or placing it close to large metal objects is also guaranteed to significantly reduce the router’s coverage.

Newer routers can update themselves automatically, but older models often have to be updated manually from their web interface. To access it, you need the router’s IP address and the administrative user’s password and username. Both are often printed on a sticker located at the back of the router, so make sure to look there first. If you can’t find the information, we recommend you search for help online because most routers are well-documented.

Conclusion

As you can see, there’s more to learning how to reboot your router than you might think at first. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to solve all network problems with router reset alone. More complicated problems require more complicated diagnostics and troubleshooting methods, but that’s a topic for a different article.

Have more questions?
Submit a request or write a couple words.

Read next in All about Wi-Fi

If you want to dive deeper into this Wi-Fi thing, check out the following articles about Wi-Fi security, the best apps for wireless networking, inflight WiFi, etc.

Other Articles

Get NetSpot for Free
Wi-Fi Site Surveys, Analysis, Troubleshooting runs on a MacBook (macOS 10.10+) or any laptop (Windows 7/8/10) with a standard 802.11a/b/g/n/ac wireless network adapter.