Monday, November 03, 2014

Power Cycle your Internet Modem and Router [tip]

A problem/question I get quite often deals with internet issues, whether it be connecting to or the speeds appear slow.  Since we are now pretty much all on a high speed "always-on" internet connection, that always-on means your cable modem (or ADSL modem) is always powered on, providing internet to your computer and internet connected devices. The problem is because these devices are always on, they sometimes require a reboot just like your computer often does. In fact they even make devices now that handle this automatically. The MSNSwitch (which I highly recommend), monitors your internet connectivity and when it loses connection it automatically disconnects the power to your modem (and router if you have it connected as well).  If you don't want to buy this switch then take it upon yourself to unplug the power directly from the back of your modem (and router) and leave it unplugged for at least 30 seconds, so that when you do plug it back in, it can perform an ip address refresh from your internet provider.  Also, if you are using a modem that is at least 2 years old then you may want to contact your internet provider and request a new one. Since the internet speeds are now 20 megabit per second and up as high as 100 megabit per second, depending on the plan you have, in order to get these speeds through your modem it must be a Docsis 3.0 unit.  Most of the newer Docsis 3.0 modems are also wireless routers built in which can be nice, but if you are serious about your speeds then you will still opt for a separate Wireless router, one that includes the newest Wireless AC frequencies.  These Docsis 3.0 routers with built in wireless are unfortunately only Wireless N so you won't be able to take advantage of the full speeds available from your internet connection over wireless.  Also, because these new modems have their own built in DHCP server, it is important to power cycle your existing wireless router if you are using one as well. Remember to unplug the power directly from the back of the unit and don't just rely on turning off any power switch found on a power bar, especially if you are plugged in to a UPS (uninterrupted power supply).