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  #1  
Old 05-05-2012, 09:30 AM
Sinisterniik Sinisterniik is offline
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Power Cycling

(Not the kind that Lance Armstrong does.)

Every now and again my internet stops working. So, I do what I was taught a long time ago and power cycle the modem/router. The process involves 1) unplugging both devices, 2) rebooting the modem, and 3) rebooting the router (in that order). The end result is usually a working internet.

I understand some basic reasons for rebooting one or the other, but my question is why both? And why in that specific order (modem and then router)? If I reboot my router and then my modem would it still work just as well?

I don't have any technical reason I need to know; I'm just a curious Doper.
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  #2  
Old 05-05-2012, 09:50 AM
KneadToKnow KneadToKnow is offline
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Rebooting the modem clears and reestablishes communication with the ISP.

Rebooting the router clears and reestablishes communication with the modem.

In the simplest terms, you're basically clearing the pipes starting from the end furthest from the PC to be sure everything re-syncs properly from the ISP to the desktop.

IMHO, restarting both is just good time management. Why reboot just one, wait for it to settle down, only to find out you're going to have to reboot the other one, too? In my case, rebooting my router and modem involves crawling under my desk, so I like to just go ahead and do both while I'm down there in the dark.

Restarting in a particular order just makes sense from the stand point of what needs to happen in the communication. The modem needs to establish its communication first before the router starts trying to use the pipe, so it goes first.

Last edited by KneadToKnow; 05-05-2012 at 09:51 AM..
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  #3  
Old 05-05-2012, 10:00 AM
Sinisterniik Sinisterniik is offline
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If the modem has lost connection and I reboot it without rebooting the router, will most modern routers still find and broadcast the signal from the rebooted modem?

Again, just curious. I doubt this knowledge has any practical use.
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  #4  
Old 05-05-2012, 10:06 AM
Joey P Joey P is online now
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Like KneadToKnow said, when the internet is having problems, likely only one or the other is causing the problem and if you don't know which, you might as well power cycle them both at once and be done with it.

If you know that it's one or the other, go ahead and just power cycle the one with the problem. If you want to figure out which one is the problem, try power cycling one at a time and see if the problem goes away. Also, if you're in a position where you don't want your intranet to go down, you'll usually try cycling just the modem first.

Essentially it's just a quick way to get the internet back up and running without explaining to someone how to troubleshoot their connection when they'll get the same results by doing this. It's like telling someone to reset their computer even though pulling up the task manager and killing a couple of processes might fix the problem as well.
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  #5  
Old 05-05-2012, 10:07 AM
Joey P Joey P is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sinisterniik View Post
If the modem has lost connection and I reboot it without rebooting the router, will most modern routers still find and broadcast the signal from the rebooted modem?

Again, just curious. I doubt this knowledge has any practical use.
Yes, if the problem is with the modem, when the connection comes back the router should reestablish it's connection.
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  #6  
Old 05-05-2012, 10:10 AM
johnpost johnpost is online now
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in my experience having internet stop can be cured by modem reboot alone. though why not do both in modem then router order. different equipment and situations may give different results.
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  #7  
Old 05-05-2012, 11:52 AM
Sinisterniik Sinisterniik is offline
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Thanks for the info!

Commence zombification.
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  #8  
Old 05-05-2012, 12:02 PM
aruvqan aruvqan is offline
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So ... why can we not have *power* on/off switches on the damned things instead of having to crawl around unplugging and replugging them?
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  #9  
Old 05-05-2012, 12:08 PM
Absolute Absolute is offline
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You don't have to unplug them from the wall. Just unplug the power connector from the device itself. Having an on/off switch wouldn't save much effort.
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  #10  
Old 05-05-2012, 12:22 PM
johnpost johnpost is online now
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put your computer accessories (modem, router, speakers, usb hub) on a power strip and all can be switched on and off at the same time from a location away from the wall. get one that has the correct orientation for your power cubes (wall warts), manufacturers of wall warts have started them to fit better, or use a switched power squid (each receptacle on a short 6" cord).
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  #11  
Old 05-05-2012, 12:22 PM
KneadToKnow KneadToKnow is offline
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Before I replaced my decade-old cable modem, I was rebooting it so frequently, I was considering putting one of these on the outlet in the UPS it was plugged in to.
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  #12  
Old 05-05-2012, 12:49 PM
Joey P Joey P is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KneadToKnow View Post
Before I replaced my decade-old cable modem, I was rebooting it so frequently, I was considering putting one of these on the outlet in the UPS it was plugged in to.
Mine is in my basement and I considered getting an IP addressable power strip so I could power cycle it from the first floor of my house.
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  #13  
Old 05-05-2012, 12:51 PM
Michael63129 Michael63129 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aruvqan View Post
So ... why can we not have *power* on/off switches on the damned things instead of having to crawl around unplugging and replugging them?
The real question should be: why do we even have to reboot them in the first place (I have had the same problem; out of nowhere the internet connection drops out, only to be fixed with a modem/router reboot)? It isn't like they can't design the software so that it doesn't get "mucked up" during operation (the same is true of anything that uses software; of course, much harder to do on a computer than a simple thing like a modem/router).
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  #14  
Old 05-05-2012, 12:52 PM
KneadToKnow KneadToKnow is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joey P View Post
Mine is in my basement and I considered getting an IP addressable power strip so I could power cycle it from the first floor of my house.
You, sir, are my new hero.





Wait, what if it's the router that's locked up?
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  #15  
Old 05-05-2012, 02:14 PM
Digital is the new Analog Digital is the new Analog is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KneadToKnow View Post
You, sir, are my new hero.





Wait, what if it's the router that's locked up?
Run a separate, private network for the power strip!

-D/a
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  #16  
Old 05-05-2012, 02:20 PM
KneadToKnow KneadToKnow is offline
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  #17  
Old 05-05-2012, 02:23 PM
gotpasswords gotpasswords is offline
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My solution was to plug the DSL bridge and the router into a digital lamp timer set to turn on at 3:00 AM and off at 2:59 AM - One minute of planned downtime every day kept the DSL running at max speed - whenever there's a disturbance on the line, a DSL bridge will try to "re-train" to a lower speed to keep the service running, but they're not always good at re-training back to full speed.
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  #18  
Old 05-05-2012, 02:34 PM
ftg ftg is offline
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Which one needs to be rebooted depends on what is causing the problem. Sometimes it's the modem, sometimes it's the router.

E.g., I noticed my Internet was starting to go dead Sunday evenings. It seemed to happen when one of my kids came over for dinner. Odd.

It turned out FtGKid2 just got an Android phone and there's a problem with the Android WiFi networking. It screws up DHCP.

Until I figured it out, I was unplugging both. Now I only have to reboot the router when the kid forgets to turn off WiFi while visiting.

If it is happening regularly, you can try just doing one to see what happens. See if a pattern is forming. That might help you figure out if one needs to be replaced, etc.

gotpasswords problem and fix also happens with some cable modems.
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  #19  
Old 05-05-2012, 02:50 PM
Joey P Joey P is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KneadToKnow View Post
You, sir, are my new hero.





Wait, what if it's the router that's locked up?
Yeah, as D/a implied if the router is locked, you'll have to get off your ass and unplug it. You could also physically connect the power cord to a remote controlled servo that could pull it out of the router and plug it back in. Nothing wrong with a little redundancy.
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  #20  
Old 05-06-2012, 07:12 AM
aruvqan aruvqan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Absolute View Post
You don't have to unplug them from the wall. Just unplug the power connector from the device itself. Having an on/off switch wouldn't save much effort.
And *what* pray tell is the difference between unplugging a cord from the wall, and unplugging it from the back of the device? Unplugging is unplugging.
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  #21  
Old 05-06-2012, 08:13 AM
ZenBeam ZenBeam is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aruvqan View Post
And *what* pray tell is the difference between unplugging a cord from the wall, and unplugging it from the back of the device? Unplugging is unplugging.
Right, unplugging is unplugging. So if unplugging the cord from the back of the device is easier, and doesn't involve "crawling around", you can do that instead.

My router does have a on/off switch. It's right next to the power socket in the back of the router. It's a little easier to use, but no easier to reach.
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  #22  
Old 05-06-2012, 09:11 AM
johnpost johnpost is online now
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Originally Posted by aruvqan View Post
And *what* pray tell is the difference between unplugging a cord from the wall, and unplugging it from the back of the device? Unplugging is unplugging.
plugging into AC receptacle is a smooth operation.

plugging into a DC coaxial socket is sloppy. the plug might make and break contact a couple of times during insertion, like turning it on and off rapidly. also it can weaken the contacts of the socket.

all this depends on the quality of the equipment. i've seen some very rugged DC coaxial sockets that wouldn't be bothered by a lifetime of unplugging. i've also seen poor quality DC coaxial sockets that after a few dozen unplugging start to not grip as tightly.

so some items will be bothered by unplugging from the rear and others not.
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