Why do home WiFi routers need rebooting regularly?

If you have ever called for ISP technical support, you have probably rebooted your router as a simple, harmless first step. But did you know rebooting router occasionally can help your network run more efficiently?

WiFi routers are like small computers that use memory, an operating system, and a processor. Giving this system an occasional reboot helps it to run more efficiently. But there are also other steps you can take to make sure your system runs the way it should.

Changing IP addresses:

Interestingly, most internet providers assign temporary IP addresses to your mobile devices. Since these change, the router has to catch up to the change in IP addresses. 

Because the IP address can change for each of your mobile devices, sometimes the router doesn’t catch up to the change quickly enough. A quick rebooting router can sync your mobile devices to your router again. Most routers are good at quickly finding channels.

Overworked router:

Another issue that can affect router functioning is the number of devices on your local area network (LAN). More people today are adding 10 to 15 devices on their home network which can cause the network to slow down to a near stop.

The average router has less than 1 GB of onboard memory so can slow down with high download requests. A reboot can restart the memory and reduce the load on the network to restore performance.

Keep your Router Cool:

Finally, you need to check if your router is getting too hot. If the router reaches around 115 degrees, your router is overheating. Most LAN gear works with a passive cooling system so make sure you have at least 6 inches of air flow around your router.

Though some routers do have internal fans, you can place a fan near your router to make sure there is good airflow around the router.

Rebooting your router occasionally can improve network performance and help all of your devices to function better. You can even purchase an inexpensive outlet timer adapter, like those used for lamps and Christmas lights, to give your router a break once every 24 hours. You simply program it to recycle the power at a time when no one in your household is online, such as 2 a.m.

Please note that a reboot is different from a reset. A reset requires that you reconfigure your settings afterward while a reboot does not.

If you continue to have issues with network performance, you may need a new router. The latest models can handle up to 20 devices and support 802.11ac standard. The upside to this is a new router will give you the speeds you need for all your devices.

Sujatha Naidu

Passionate blogger and Technology enthusiast. I love DIY home projects, here I am sharing my experience.

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