WHY do wireless routers need periodic reboots?

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nisiprius
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WHY do wireless routers need periodic reboots?

Post by nisiprius » Sun Jan 28, 2018 9:32 am

So this morning my tablet wouldn't connect to my Wifi, and I rebooted the router, and fixed it.

It's in the folkways, it's accepted, it's not a big deal... but "everybody knows" that wireless routers need to be rebooted "every few weeks."

Why? I don't get it. It's firmware. It's not constantly loading dozens of different applications from different vendors, some of whom might not have caught all their memory leaks. It's supposed to be tested, debugged code.

a) Why should they need to be rebooted every few weeks? Is there any reason for this other than bad code?

b) If it does need to be rebooted every few weeks, and there's some good reason why it's unavailable, and this is regarded as acceptable... then why don't the come from the factory default-configured to automatically reboot themselves very Sunday at 3 a.m. (with a user option not to, or to use some other schedule?) Given the hundred-odd other settings you can make, why isn't that one of them?
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livesoft
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Re: WHY do wireless routers need periodic reboots?

Post by livesoft » Sun Jan 28, 2018 9:35 am

As I noted in another discussion, our router is fine for weeks until my spouse uses her new laptop to connect via wifi.

Here is a hint of what might be happening:

https://www.theverge.com/2018/1/16/1689 ... her-router

I suspect that a Chrome browser that is never shut off when a laptop is closed is the culprit. When one pops open the laptop, Chrome says "OMG! I need lots of stuff since the last time I was connected to wifi and I am going to get it!"

Are you running an adblocker to reduce content thrown at your browser?
Last edited by livesoft on Sun Jan 28, 2018 9:39 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: WHY do wireless routers need periodic reboots?

Post by mouses » Sun Jan 28, 2018 9:37 am

I assume it has bugs and this is the only way to recover.

Same as my Nook HD+, the Adobe reader sometimes can't find the next page of a book (it skips over one) and the only way to fix that is to power it off and then on again. Sometimes the reader freezes, and then I have to do a full reboot, which fortunately does not lose any data or my place in the current book.

If they hired experienced older programmers who've "seen everything" instead of newbies, these problems would be caught in design and testing, and not make it out to the field. Just imho.

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Re: WHY do wireless routers need periodic reboots?

Post by jebmke » Sun Jan 28, 2018 9:39 am

I can't remember the last time I had to reboot our router.
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Re: WHY do wireless routers need periodic reboots?

Post by HueyLD » Sun Jan 28, 2018 9:40 am

I had sluggish issues with my home WiFi and Comcast tech support person advised me to reboot the modem/router weekly.

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VA_Gent
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Re: WHY do wireless routers need periodic reboots?

Post by VA_Gent » Sun Jan 28, 2018 9:40 am

Buy an inexpensive timer and create this feature yourself.

Also good link with answers.
https://www.consumerreports.org/wireles ... -a-router/
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Re: WHY do wireless routers need periodic reboots?

Post by noco-hawkeye » Sun Jan 28, 2018 9:41 am

Buy better routers and try using better firmware. For those that are adventurous, many routers support open source firmware alternatives (dd-wrt/tomato/merlin etc).

My router goes many months without a reboot, and we've got 20-40 devices connected.

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Re: WHY do wireless routers need periodic reboots?

Post by whodidntante » Sun Jan 28, 2018 9:44 am

You've chosen a poor quality router. A bit of research can help you find a reliable one. It's not necessary to buy a high end consumer router or to buy a commercial quality one to get a reliable one. I paid $50 and mine is reliable.

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Re: WHY do wireless routers need periodic reboots?

Post by pshonore » Sun Jan 28, 2018 9:46 am

Maybe a "blip" on the hard wire coming into the house? I'm having a problem with Direct TV where I lose their signal and screen goes black for 1 or 2 seconds, then comes back. Might happen 5 times in one minute and then be fine. Definitely not weather related. Only happens on one station (Local PBS). Technicians are stumped - they've checked all cable and connectors and replaced the dish "head".

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Re: WHY do wireless routers need periodic reboots?

Post by anoop » Sun Jan 28, 2018 10:01 am

Typically bad code that leads to memory leaks which add up over time -- this is poor implementation of hardware (silicon) and/or software.

Now for some humor...

https://mailman.nanog.org/pipermail/nan ... 84897.html

The staples link referenced above is broken, but this is the product it refers to:
https://www.amazon.com/NetReset-NR-1000 ... B00HUEU9H8

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Re: WHY do wireless routers need periodic reboots?

Post by dpm321 » Sun Jan 28, 2018 10:06 am

Memory leak.

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Re: WHY do wireless routers need periodic reboots?

Post by anoop » Sun Jan 28, 2018 10:09 am

It's the same reason why, when you call a helpdesk for an issue with your computer (laptop, desktop, phone, tablet), the first thing they make you try is a reboot.

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Re: WHY do wireless routers need periodic reboots?

Post by hand » Sun Jan 28, 2018 10:17 am

Fundamentally, this is a structural issue because the mass market competes on price and features rather than quality and stability.
My perspective is that our lives would be better with a bit more engineering and a bit less marketing.

Like most, you likely either purchased the lowest cost wireless router that had the required features, or worse yet have one that was bundled with service from your internet provider.

If you want to put in the work, as previously noted there are open source software options that are more biased towards quality and stability (and advanced features). Alternately, consider one of the prosumer options if you don't mind paying more.

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Re: WHY do wireless routers need periodic reboots?

Post by TravelGeek » Sun Jan 28, 2018 10:24 am

whodidntante wrote:
Sun Jan 28, 2018 9:44 am
You've chosen a poor quality router. A bit of research can help you find a reliable one. It's not necessary to buy a high end consumer router or to buy a commercial quality one to get a reliable one. I paid $50 and mine is reliable.
Not necessarily true. The two of you might have the very same router and it is reliable for one of you and not for the other. Why? Because you don’t use it with the same cable modem, DSL modem, fiber connection and the same consumer devices and services. The Google Chromecast bug is an example. And you may not have the same features selected in the router’s settings.

My new WRT3200ACM has been pretty reliable on the 2.4g band, but the 5g band has occasional issues accepting new connections. Just applied an update last night for the Chromecast issue, hoping that it doesn’t break anything new. It also does not work properly with my Carrier “smart” thermostat; an older Linksys router didn’t have that problem, so it has now “in retirement” become my IoT router (also nice to isolate those devices from the rest of my network)

Next wekeend’s project: switch to DD-WRT.
Last edited by TravelGeek on Sun Jan 28, 2018 10:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Pajamas
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Re: WHY do wireless routers need periodic reboots?

Post by Pajamas » Sun Jan 28, 2018 10:30 am

Because they are poorly designed. If nothing else, they should reboot themselves when necessary. Same for modems.

Here's an article that explains what is going on:

https://www.howtogeek.com/165110/do-i-r ... 0-seconds/

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Re: WHY do wireless routers need periodic reboots?

Post by Peculiar_Investor » Sun Jan 28, 2018 10:48 am

Lots of good suggestions/answers above. I would chalk the need to reboot down to the fact that a router is a mini-computer, typically running a variant of Linux, and therefore there are bugs, including possibly memory leaks.

One step you can take is to periodically update the firmware for their router. I generally check every monthly for a newly purchased router and at least annually for older routers. Firmware has bugs and router manufacturers do fix them periodically. But many end-users just connect the router, do some basic configuration and then leave it to gather dust bunnies.
nisiprius wrote:
Sun Jan 28, 2018 9:32 am
b) If it does need to be rebooted every few weeks, and there's some good reason why it's unavailable, and this is regarded as acceptable... then why don't the come from the factory default-configured to automatically reboot themselves very Sunday at 3 a.m. (with a user option not to, or to use some other schedule?) Given the hundred-odd other settings you can make, why isn't that one of them?
The past four or five routers that I've had provided this as a configurable option, although not enabled by default. I've always taken advantage of it. I don't think the manufacturers could establish a default value because different people use their routers in vastly different ways. Some more information can be found in Scheduled reboot - DD-WRT Wiki

BTW, if your router manufacturer doesn't periodically release updates, then I would suggest checking www.dd-wrt.com | Unleash Your Router or OpenWrt (there are others). Often these firmware packages are far better maintained and offer better performance and features than the stock firmware that router manufacturers provide.
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Re: WHY do wireless routers need periodic reboots?

Post by Y.A.Tittle » Sun Jan 28, 2018 11:15 am

It may be your particular router.

The only time by router reboots is when I download firmware updates, about twice per year. I advise doing that for security. Also I have my router on a quality surge protector.

I don't use an integrated cable modem + router. I bought my own cable modem (don't like paying rent to comcast) and my own ASUS router.

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Re: WHY do wireless routers need periodic reboots?

Post by MindBogler » Sun Jan 28, 2018 11:46 am

nisiprius wrote:
Sun Jan 28, 2018 9:32 am
Why? I don't get it. It's firmware. It's not constantly loading dozens of different applications from different vendors, some of whom might not have caught all their memory leaks. It's supposed to be tested, debugged code.
Most consumer grade routers are just poorly designed. This is common behavior and suggestions to load open source alternatives such as DD-WRT or Tomato won't fix the underlying hardware. I've been down this road.

If you have even a modest technical background, I suggest buying one of these instead:
https://www.ubnt.com/edgemax/edgerouter-lite/

I've had uptime in excess of a year on these. The only time I've ever rebooted the device is to install new firmware. The reason for the technical background is you're going to get a device in a tabula rasa configuration. There are at least some wizards now for general guidance on the newer firmware revisions. When I started down this path I had to build a config from scratch (which I enjoy). If you go this route, the UniFi wireless access points are also incredible. I have a single AP ceiling mounted in the house which covers not only the house but a quarter acre of property. The router supplies the power over Ethernet required for the APs.

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Re: WHY do wireless routers need periodic reboots?

Post by amd2135 » Sun Jan 28, 2018 11:54 am

MindBogler wrote:
Sun Jan 28, 2018 11:46 am
Most consumer grade routers are just poorly designed. This is common behavior and suggestions to load open source alternatives such as DD-WRT or Tomato won't fix the underlying hardware. I've been down this road.

If you have even a modest technical background, I suggest buying one of these instead:
https://www.ubnt.com/edgemax/edgerouter-lite/

...
I second this. I've had nothing but bad luck with consumer grade routers. DD-WRT, in my experience, lowers WiFi throughput and isn't any more stable.

My Ubiquiti ER-X-SFP + UAP-AC-LITE combo has been serving me very well. I love the CLI, VLAN support and customization options. Unfortunately such gear is aimed at customers with networking experience.

Ubiquiti has an easier to use Amplifi system for home users, but I've never used it and therefore can't comment on its stability.

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Re: WHY do wireless routers need periodic reboots?

Post by onourway » Sun Jan 28, 2018 12:20 pm

On the other hand I've been using Tomato firmware on my own routers and on any friends and family members that ask for assistance because I never have to reboot them. Been using Tomato for what must be going on 10 years now. I find no need for expensive hardware for home use.

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Re: WHY do wireless routers need periodic reboots?

Post by Doom&Gloom » Sun Jan 28, 2018 12:21 pm

jebmke wrote:
Sun Jan 28, 2018 9:39 am
I can't remember the last time I had to reboot our router.
This.

The only time my router has ever needed rebooting was immediately after upgrading to a new firmware.

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Re: WHY do wireless routers need periodic reboots?

Post by NYCguy » Sun Jan 28, 2018 12:24 pm

amd2135 wrote:
Sun Jan 28, 2018 11:54 am
MindBogler wrote:
Sun Jan 28, 2018 11:46 am
Most consumer grade routers are just poorly designed. This is common behavior and suggestions to load open source alternatives such as DD-WRT or Tomato won't fix the underlying hardware. I've been down this road.

If you have even a modest technical background, I suggest buying one of these instead:
https://www.ubnt.com/edgemax/edgerouter-lite/

...
I second this. I've had nothing but bad luck with consumer grade routers. DD-WRT, in my experience, lowers WiFi throughput and isn't any more stable.

My Ubiquiti ER-X-SFP + UAP-AC-LITE combo has been serving me very well. I love the CLI, VLAN support and customization options. Unfortunately such gear is aimed at customers with networking experience.

Ubiquiti has an easier to use Amplifi system for home users, but I've never used it and therefore can't comment on its stability.
=1

Dare I say most people do not update their home networking equipment that often or live with the crap provided by the cable companies. The Ubiquiti product line is outstanding. There are also many other reasonably priced excellent options on the market.
If your out-go is greater than your income, your upkeep will be your DOWNFALL.

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Re: WHY do wireless routers need periodic reboots?

Post by revert » Sun Jan 28, 2018 12:27 pm

Probably memory leaks or similar. Good ones don’t need to be rebooted.

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Re: WHY do wireless routers need periodic reboots?

Post by Hyperborea » Sun Jan 28, 2018 12:56 pm

Image
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Re: WHY do wireless routers need periodic reboots?

Post by Afty » Sun Jan 28, 2018 1:58 pm

The dirty little secret of the electronics industry is that companies that make hardware are generally terrible at software. Writing good software is hard, and software isn't where their expertise lies. Also, there isn't much incentive for them to invest in software quality. People buy things like routers based on specs, not on software quality.

FWIW, my Google WiFi devices have been rock solid. No reboots needed the entire 6 months I've owned them. They even auto update like Chromebooks.

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Re: WHY do wireless routers need periodic reboots?

Post by andypanda » Sun Jan 28, 2018 2:15 pm

I've has FiOS for many years at my house and never have to reboot the router.

My girlfriend has had Comcast Xfinity for the 3+ years we've been together and OMG, it's one problem after another.

Fwiw, we both happen to have old HP laptops running Vista that stay on 24x7 for quick checks of this or that or just to google. I haven't updated mine in years and FiOS doesn't mind. Hers? Ha. Comcast, pfui.

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Re: WHY do wireless routers need periodic reboots?

Post by Hyperborea » Sun Jan 28, 2018 2:25 pm

andypanda wrote:
Sun Jan 28, 2018 2:15 pm
My girlfriend has had Comcast Xfinity for the 3+ years we've been together and OMG, it's one problem after another.
Consumer-level Comcast is pretty horrible but Comcast Business rocks. I've had problems with the line where they were out to fix it within a couple of hours rather than somewhere between August and September 2 years from now. The phone support techs are knowledgable and don't treat you like an idiot (is the cable modem plugged in?). The network speeds are great and there is no bandwidth cap. It is somewhat more expensive than consumer but it is less than consumer internet and cable tv combos. I actually have it cheaper still because I'm still in a grandfathered group rate that I had from the last employer I was at before I retired. Might be worth considering if Comcast is your only option (like it is for me).
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Re: WHY do wireless routers need periodic reboots?

Post by tarmangani » Sun Jan 28, 2018 2:39 pm

Peculiar_Investor wrote:
Sun Jan 28, 2018 10:48 am
Lots of good suggestions/answers above. I would chalk the need to reboot down to the fact that a router is a mini-computer, typically running a variant of Linux, and therefore there are bugs, including possibly memory leaks.
This. It's a computer. You see this kind of behavior with virtually every kind of computer. At work we have a coin bill acceptor that's about as basic as it gets. It takes change, processes it with embedded hardware, and eventually copies paper. That's it. Well, twice last year it stopped accepting certain kinds of change, and after we turned it off/on it worked fine. As for what literally is happening to glitch out your router, not sure, but it probably relates to having so many open connections and over time some don't close properly, leaking memory.

As others have said, though, if you're rebooting too often then you might want to buy a new router. I've certainly noticed a big difference from my old WRT whatever router in the mid-2000s to what I've used in the past few years.

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Re: WHY do wireless routers need periodic reboots?

Post by Blueskies123 » Sun Jan 28, 2018 2:55 pm

I used to reboot my router once every 3-4 months but since I got my new Xfinity router I have not had to reboot once. Do you get power surges? You might try a dedicated back up power supply and or buy a highly rated new router.

https://www.amazon.com/APC-Back-UPS-Con ... ery+backup

Check Amazon ratings and PC magazine and PC world.

This is the router Comcast supplied:
https://www.amazon.com/ARRIS-Residentia ... 862G-CT%29
Last edited by Blueskies123 on Sun Jan 28, 2018 3:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Pajamas
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Re: WHY do wireless routers need periodic reboots?

Post by Pajamas » Sun Jan 28, 2018 2:57 pm

Just wanted to mention that devices that reboot for you are available.

Example:

https://www.amazon.com/NetReset-NR-1000 ... 01FY1PFLS/

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Re: WHY do wireless routers need periodic reboots?

Post by adamthesmythe » Sun Jan 28, 2018 3:06 pm

It's because the electrons get tired and run slower and slower. When you reboot you put in new, more energetic electrons.

Seriously: it's what we get for cheap hardware and software with many many features. There are ways to design hardware and software to be rock-solid. It's what they do for airplanes and other critical applications. But airplanes don't surf the web and load Facebook.

So good advice for any computing problem

"Reboot twice and call me in the morning."

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Re: WHY do wireless routers need periodic reboots?

Post by munemaker » Sun Jan 28, 2018 3:27 pm

nisiprius wrote:
Sun Jan 28, 2018 9:32 am
So this morning my tablet wouldn't connect to my Wifi, and I rebooted the router, and fixed it.

It's in the folkways, it's accepted, it's not a big deal... but "everybody knows" that wireless routers need to be rebooted "every few weeks."

Why? I don't get it. It's firmware. It's not constantly loading dozens of different applications from different vendors, some of whom might not have caught all their memory leaks. It's supposed to be tested, debugged code.

a) Why should they need to be rebooted every few weeks? Is there any reason for this other than bad code?

b) If it does need to be rebooted every few weeks, and there's some good reason why it's unavailable, and this is regarded as acceptable... then why don't the come from the factory default-configured to automatically reboot themselves very Sunday at 3 a.m. (with a user option not to, or to use some other schedule?) Given the hundred-odd other settings you can make, why isn't that one of them?
Try a firmware update.

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Re: WHY do wireless routers need periodic reboots?

Post by mxs » Sun Jan 28, 2018 3:29 pm

jebmke wrote:
Sun Jan 28, 2018 9:39 am
I can't remember the last time I had to reboot our router.
Same

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Re: WHY do wireless routers need periodic reboots?

Post by cutehumor » Sun Jan 28, 2018 3:45 pm

This is why I don't go cheap on wireless routers. My home relies on the internet way too much for work at home, slingtv/netflix streaming, and multiple phones/tablets/laptops. I spent $200 on Asus RT-68-u wireless router three or four years ago. I have never had to reboot it by itself. The only time is when my cable modem from comcast went down. I rebooted both to reset everything.

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Re: WHY do wireless routers need periodic reboots?

Post by Phineas J. Whoopee » Sun Jan 28, 2018 3:53 pm

'cause they don't work, but there's an operational way to reduce the damage, which is what you asked about.

Does anybody expect a mechanical device to work flawlessly forever without intervention? How about an analog computer?

A digital computer is really an analog computer simulating a digital computer.

PJW

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Re: WHY do wireless routers need periodic reboots?

Post by ilisira » Sun Jan 28, 2018 3:54 pm

Afty wrote:
Sun Jan 28, 2018 1:58 pm
The dirty little secret of the electronics industry is that companies that make hardware are generally terrible at software. Writing good software is hard, and software isn't where their expertise lies. Also, there isn't much incentive for them to invest in software quality. People buy things like routers based on specs, not on software quality.

FWIW, my Google WiFi devices have been rock solid. No reboots needed the entire 6 months I've owned them. They even auto update like Chromebooks.
As a former software test engineer, who spent 10 years testing large scale router software, and an owner of a Google WiFi mesh setup, I could not have written better. This is a matter of software quality, and lack of good QA, and might not be dangerous by itself, it shows corners were cut.

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Re: WHY do wireless routers need periodic reboots?

Post by Doom&Gloom » Sun Jan 28, 2018 3:56 pm

cutehumor wrote:
Sun Jan 28, 2018 3:45 pm
This is why I don't go cheap on wireless routers. My home relies on the internet way too much for work at home, slingtv/netflix streaming, and multiple phones/tablets/laptops. I spent $200 on Asus RT-68-u wireless router three or four years ago. I have never had to reboot it by itself. The only time is when my cable modem from comcast went down. I rebooted both to reset everything.
I had an Asus N66U as my router for several years. I can't recall it ever rebooting by itself or requiring me to reboot it to restore functionality. I recently replaced it with an Asus AC86 and transitioned the N66 to wireless access point duty. No spontaneous reboots from either.

On the other hand I probably have to manually reboot my Comcast cable modem at least once a month to convince them that I have been a good boy and should be allowed to access the internet again. &@^#*!

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Re: WHY do wireless routers need periodic reboots?

Post by TheDDC » Sun Jan 28, 2018 3:59 pm

amd2135 wrote:
Sun Jan 28, 2018 11:54 am
MindBogler wrote:
Sun Jan 28, 2018 11:46 am
Most consumer grade routers are just poorly designed. This is common behavior and suggestions to load open source alternatives such as DD-WRT or Tomato won't fix the underlying hardware. I've been down this road.

If you have even a modest technical background, I suggest buying one of these instead:
https://www.ubnt.com/edgemax/edgerouter-lite/

...
I second this. I've had nothing but bad luck with consumer grade routers. DD-WRT, in my experience, lowers WiFi throughput and isn't any more stable.

My Ubiquiti ER-X-SFP + UAP-AC-LITE combo has been serving me very well. I love the CLI, VLAN support and customization options. Unfortunately such gear is aimed at customers with networking experience.

Ubiquiti has an easier to use Amplifi system for home users, but I've never used it and therefore can't comment on its stability.
+1 for Ubiquiti. I run their UniFi wireless (2 APs) line of products in my home with a CloudKey. Their equipment has lots of features you would expect to find in products 3 times the price. I'm also a network engineer so I sort of demand that kind of baseline performance from IT gear I invest in. It is "prosumer" so you have top notch accessible developers writing the code, but the hardware is low cost. As a company their support is more accessible than most in the price range.

Good network gear should not need to be rebooted except in rare cases. I have managed enterprise network gear that stays up for years without a reboot. And only then for mandatory code updates.

I would recommend their EdgeRouter + EdgeSwitch + UniFi line to cover any current gaps in wireless coverage.

-TheDDC

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Re: WHY do wireless routers need periodic reboots?

Post by ilisira » Sun Jan 28, 2018 4:01 pm

Doom&Gloom wrote:
Sun Jan 28, 2018 3:56 pm
cutehumor wrote:
Sun Jan 28, 2018 3:45 pm
This is why I don't go cheap on wireless routers. My home relies on the internet way too much for work at home, slingtv/netflix streaming, and multiple phones/tablets/laptops. I spent $200 on Asus RT-68-u wireless router three or four years ago. I have never had to reboot it by itself. The only time is when my cable modem from comcast went down. I rebooted both to reset everything.
I had an Asus N66U as my router for several years. I can't recall it ever rebooting by itself or requiring me to reboot it to restore functionality. I recently replaced it with an Asus AC86 and transitioned the N66 to wireless access point duty. No spontaneous reboots from either.

On the other hand I probably have to manually reboot my Comcast cable modem at least once a month to convince them that I have been a good boy and should be allowed to access the internet again. &@^#*!
Is your Comcast modem strictly in layer2 mode? I have been on my third Comcast modem in this house, and did not have to reboot except for one problem. Lately I have been buying/using Moto/Arris Surfboards. Last one is a gigE one supporting Docsis 3.1, and using for about a month with no problems.

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pondering
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Re: WHY do wireless routers need periodic reboots?

Post by pondering » Sun Jan 28, 2018 4:19 pm

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Yooper
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Re: WHY do wireless routers need periodic reboots?

Post by Yooper » Sun Jan 28, 2018 4:51 pm

Add me to the rarely reboot club. Picked up the cheapest one I could find at Walmart years ago. The only time it's been rebooted is when there's been a power outage (perhaps once a year), and it works like a champ. It gets heavy usage (when everyone's home in the evening we're talking 5 or so devices) and no problem with throughput. Having read the above responses all I can assume is I got lucky.

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Doom&Gloom
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Re: WHY do wireless routers need periodic reboots?

Post by Doom&Gloom » Sun Jan 28, 2018 4:54 pm

ilisira wrote:
Sun Jan 28, 2018 4:01 pm
Doom&Gloom wrote:
Sun Jan 28, 2018 3:56 pm
cutehumor wrote:
Sun Jan 28, 2018 3:45 pm
This is why I don't go cheap on wireless routers. My home relies on the internet way too much for work at home, slingtv/netflix streaming, and multiple phones/tablets/laptops. I spent $200 on Asus RT-68-u wireless router three or four years ago. I have never had to reboot it by itself. The only time is when my cable modem from comcast went down. I rebooted both to reset everything.
I had an Asus N66U as my router for several years. I can't recall it ever rebooting by itself or requiring me to reboot it to restore functionality. I recently replaced it with an Asus AC86 and transitioned the N66 to wireless access point duty. No spontaneous reboots from either.

On the other hand I probably have to manually reboot my Comcast cable modem at least once a month to convince them that I have been a good boy and should be allowed to access the internet again. &@^#*!
Is your Comcast modem strictly in layer2 mode? I have been on my third Comcast modem in this house, and did not have to reboot except for one problem. Lately I have been buying/using Moto/Arris Surfboards. Last one is a gigE one supporting Docsis 3.1, and using for about a month with no problems.
I'm not sure what "layer 2 mode" is, but if that means with the router functions disabled, then yes. It is an Arris of some description.

At times I have suspected that the AC cord connection somehow works loose enough to lose internet function but maintains enough contact to keep the lights on the modem lit so that the modem appears to be functioning properly. It may be a simple electrical connection problem rather than something in the bowels. I think maybe the next time it happens, I will see if I have another connection cord I can swap out.

jebmke
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Re: WHY do wireless routers need periodic reboots?

Post by jebmke » Sun Jan 28, 2018 4:56 pm

I buy quite a few routers over time to support 10 TaxAide sites plus my own. I try to avoid V1 or V2 hardware release of a model since the hardware is changing and they have tweaked the manufacturing process by then (as well as the firmware). I've been pretty lucky with this strategy.

I had a Buffalo G router that I plugged in in 2003 when I moved into a house and it ran non-stop until we moved out in 2006. Still runs but it is pretty obsolete now - probably no firmware updates for a while.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

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Hyperborea
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Re: WHY do wireless routers need periodic reboots?

Post by Hyperborea » Sun Jan 28, 2018 6:07 pm

Doom&Gloom wrote:
Sun Jan 28, 2018 4:54 pm
At times I have suspected that the AC cord connection somehow works loose enough to lose internet function but maintains enough contact to keep the lights on the modem lit so that the modem appears to be functioning properly. It may be a simple electrical connection problem rather than something in the bowels. I think maybe the next time it happens, I will see if I have another connection cord I can swap out.
It could very well be the power brick. My last network problem was exactly that. The power brick for the cable modem went bad and wasn't supplying enough juice - enough to make it look alive but not enough to function correctly. Swapped for a different brick with the same plug connection, the same voltage, and the same or better amperage and all was well.
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chuckb84
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Re: WHY do wireless routers need periodic reboots?

Post by chuckb84 » Sun Jan 28, 2018 8:05 pm

adamthesmythe wrote:
Sun Jan 28, 2018 3:06 pm
It's because the electrons get tired and run slower and slower. When you reboot you put in new, more energetic electrons.

Seriously: it's what we get for cheap hardware and software with many many features. There are ways to design hardware and software to be rock-solid. It's what they do for airplanes and other critical applications. But airplanes don't surf the web and load Facebook.

So good advice for any computing problem

"Reboot twice and call me in the morning."
There is only one electron :).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One-electron_universe

ilisira
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Re: WHY do wireless routers need periodic reboots?

Post by ilisira » Sun Jan 28, 2018 8:16 pm

Doom&Gloom wrote:
Sun Jan 28, 2018 4:54 pm
ilisira wrote:
Sun Jan 28, 2018 4:01 pm
Doom&Gloom wrote:
Sun Jan 28, 2018 3:56 pm
cutehumor wrote:
Sun Jan 28, 2018 3:45 pm
This is why I don't go cheap on wireless routers. My home relies on the internet way too much for work at home, slingtv/netflix streaming, and multiple phones/tablets/laptops. I spent $200 on Asus RT-68-u wireless router three or four years ago. I have never had to reboot it by itself. The only time is when my cable modem from comcast went down. I rebooted both to reset everything.
I had an Asus N66U as my router for several years. I can't recall it ever rebooting by itself or requiring me to reboot it to restore functionality. I recently replaced it with an Asus AC86 and transitioned the N66 to wireless access point duty. No spontaneous reboots from either.

On the other hand I probably have to manually reboot my Comcast cable modem at least once a month to convince them that I have been a good boy and should be allowed to access the internet again. &@^#*!
Is your Comcast modem strictly in layer2 mode? I have been on my third Comcast modem in this house, and did not have to reboot except for one problem. Lately I have been buying/using Moto/Arris Surfboards. Last one is a gigE one supporting Docsis 3.1, and using for about a month with no problems.
I'm not sure what "layer 2 mode" is, but if that means with the router functions disabled, then yes. It is an Arris of some description.

At times I have suspected that the AC cord connection somehow works loose enough to lose internet function but maintains enough contact to keep the lights on the modem lit so that the modem appears to be functioning properly. It may be a simple electrical connection problem rather than something in the bowels. I think maybe the next time it happens, I will see if I have another connection cord I can swap out.
Yes, I was referring to disabling router functions, and running the device as a modem only. If this is a modem that you own (not Comcast branded), the problem might as well be the power as you suggested. I believe they are using 12V, 1A power supplies, it should be a quick test. If Comcast branded, I'd just ask them to replace, they are pretty good in doing this with no cost to the subscriber.

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nisiprius
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Re: WHY do wireless routers need periodic reboots?

Post by nisiprius » Sun Jan 28, 2018 8:32 pm

Image

Thanks to all who replied, especially Hyperborea for the XKCD panel. I've been very close to adopting the right-hand solution, I think maybe now I'll go ahead and do it.

The suggestions of form "you have a low quality router." "How do I tell what is a high-quality router?" "Buy one and see if you need to reboot it. If you don't, it is high quality; if you do, it is another low quality router" don't quite do it for me.
Last edited by nisiprius on Sun Jan 28, 2018 8:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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jalbert
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Re: WHY do wireless routers need periodic reboots?

Post by jalbert » Sun Jan 28, 2018 8:36 pm

What brand router? I’ve never had to reboot a netgear router to enable connections.
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Doom&Gloom
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Re: WHY do wireless routers need periodic reboots?

Post by Doom&Gloom » Sun Jan 28, 2018 8:40 pm

ilisira wrote:
Sun Jan 28, 2018 8:16 pm
Doom&Gloom wrote:
Sun Jan 28, 2018 4:54 pm
ilisira wrote:
Sun Jan 28, 2018 4:01 pm
Doom&Gloom wrote:
Sun Jan 28, 2018 3:56 pm
cutehumor wrote:
Sun Jan 28, 2018 3:45 pm
This is why I don't go cheap on wireless routers. My home relies on the internet way too much for work at home, slingtv/netflix streaming, and multiple phones/tablets/laptops. I spent $200 on Asus RT-68-u wireless router three or four years ago. I have never had to reboot it by itself. The only time is when my cable modem from comcast went down. I rebooted both to reset everything.
I had an Asus N66U as my router for several years. I can't recall it ever rebooting by itself or requiring me to reboot it to restore functionality. I recently replaced it with an Asus AC86 and transitioned the N66 to wireless access point duty. No spontaneous reboots from either.

On the other hand I probably have to manually reboot my Comcast cable modem at least once a month to convince them that I have been a good boy and should be allowed to access the internet again. &@^#*!
Is your Comcast modem strictly in layer2 mode? I have been on my third Comcast modem in this house, and did not have to reboot except for one problem. Lately I have been buying/using Moto/Arris Surfboards. Last one is a gigE one supporting Docsis 3.1, and using for about a month with no problems.
I'm not sure what "layer 2 mode" is, but if that means with the router functions disabled, then yes. It is an Arris of some description.

At times I have suspected that the AC cord connection somehow works loose enough to lose internet function but maintains enough contact to keep the lights on the modem lit so that the modem appears to be functioning properly. It may be a simple electrical connection problem rather than something in the bowels. I think maybe the next time it happens, I will see if I have another connection cord I can swap out.
Yes, I was referring to disabling router functions, and running the device as a modem only. If this is a modem that you own (not Comcast branded), the problem might as well be the power as you suggested. I believe they are using 12V, 1A power supplies, it should be a quick test. If Comcast branded, I'd just ask them to replace, they are pretty good in doing this with no cost to the subscriber.
Thanks! Comcast owns it. I have refrained from buying one of my own because of how frequently I have to swap out their equipment. I have begun referring to them as Swapcast. I'll look in my electronics bin and see if I have an extra power supply from them. I have a ton of Comcast equipment from swapping their equipment so often--I wish there were a market for it.
Hyperborea wrote:
Sun Jan 28, 2018 6:07 pm
Doom&Gloom wrote:
Sun Jan 28, 2018 4:54 pm
At times I have suspected that the AC cord connection somehow works loose enough to lose internet function but maintains enough contact to keep the lights on the modem lit so that the modem appears to be functioning properly. It may be a simple electrical connection problem rather than something in the bowels. I think maybe the next time it happens, I will see if I have another connection cord I can swap out.
It could very well be the power brick. My last network problem was exactly that. The power brick for the cable modem went bad and wasn't supplying enough juice - enough to make it look alive but not enough to function correctly. Swapped for a different brick with the same plug connection, the same voltage, and the same or better amperage and all was well.
Thanks! I'll dig around and try to have one at the ready to swap the next time my modem hiccups.

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Re: WHY do wireless routers need periodic reboots?

Post by FlyingMoose » Sun Jan 28, 2018 8:46 pm

The state of software engineering is currently similar to the state of engineering 100 years ago when boilers would explode, bridges would collapse, etc.

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