Power-cycling your modem/router
Why do I need to power-cycle my modem/router?
Power-cycling a device essentially means switching it off, waiting a couple of minutes, and then switching it on back again in the hopes that it will start working. There are many reasons that electronic devices need to be restarted in order to work properly- short-circuits, overheating, memory-leaks, etc. In any case, power-cycling the modem/router will allow it to start over and re-establish a connection to the internet hopefully without re-encountering the problem that was stopping the connection from working in the first place.
Power-cycling (switching off and then on again) the modem/router is probably the most common way of repairing a lost internet connection, and learning to do this in-house will save both your organisation and ours plenty of time when dealing with network problems.
Locate your modem/router
Often, the hard-part of power-cycling your modem/router is actually locating it. If no one has shown you what your modem/router looks like, then when the IT support desk tells you to turn it off and on again, it becomes a very difficult task.
- Your modem/router is most often a small box, about the size of a thick book with a series of cables coming out of the back of it and a series of flashing lights on the front. It often says ADSL/modem or router on it.
- The key difference between a modem/router and a regular router (or other similar device on the network) is that the ADSL-enabled telephone line plugs into the back of the modem/router along with a couple of network cables while another device will only have network cables coming out of the back. The telephone line and the network cables look very similar to eachother, except the telephone line is usually thinner and the little square head on the end is smaller than that of a network cable. You can spot it if you can see that the one end goes into a standard telephone socket in the wall while the other end goes into your modem/router.
- Another major clue on where to find your modem/router is that they're usually placed very closely to patch panels. A patch panel is a panel where a massive series of network cables are stripped on the one end and go into a panel which is connected to a large switch of jacks with smaller network cables. They generally look like a chaotic mess of wires coming out a racking on the wall. If there is a smaller device with flashing lights on it near the patch panel and it has a telephone wire connected to it, then you've found your modem/router.
How do I power-cycle my modem/router?
- Firstly, you need to look for an on/off switch.
- If there is no on/off switch, find the power-cable that goes to the electricity socket. This is usually black and has a round jack that goes into the back of the modem/router.
- Unplug or switch-off the modem/router for 30 seconds.
- Plug the modem/router back in and wait for the lights to stabilize. This usually takes about a minute while it authenticates to your internet provider and connects to the internet.
- After the modem/router has been power-cycled, make sure that you reboot your computer completely before testing to see if the internet is working again. This is necessary since every computer connects to the modem/router while they starts up and if it hasn't been working, they will need to be restarted.