WHY do wireless routers need periodic reboots?

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TN_Boy
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Re: WHY do wireless routers need periodic reboots?

Post by TN_Boy » Fri Feb 02, 2018 1:59 pm

AlwaysBeClimbing wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2018 4:40 pm
TN_Boy wrote:
Wed Jan 31, 2018 6:08 pm
AlwaysBeClimbing wrote:
Tue Jan 30, 2018 9:00 pm
TN_Boy wrote:
Tue Jan 30, 2018 4:11 pm
AlwaysBeClimbing wrote:
Tue Jan 30, 2018 3:59 pm
I've been running DD-WRT on cheap Linksys WRT series routers(pretty easy to find them for five or ten bucks at thrift stores). They are simply rock solid and go for months with zero reboots required. There are a couple of models in that line to avoid, but that is generally only if you need more advanced features.
I have no opinion or special expertise on the reliability of different routers, but I am unable to resist pointing out that different users may put very different loads on their routers. One person might find that router X never, ever has an issue/requires a reboot/etc. Another person, running the exact same router and software version, might be plagued by issues. Because the two users have different environments. More complex environments (more computers, more connections, maybe higher speeds) can trigger different issues.

I had problems several years ago with my Linksys router, leading to its replacement. The replacement has been pretty solid. I don't especially like using older routers; they are more likely to have security issues and may not be getting regular firmware updates.
No question that there are a lot of different profiles out there, although for a typical home configuration I doubt there are that many variables to contend with. Most home users know diddly about their routers, to them it's just a "black box" that the ISP has provided. A quality router running quality firmware, properly configured should be able to fulfill pretty much any home network situation.

A number of people had problems with Linksys routers( and more than a few other brands as well), which is one reason you can find them readily available and cheap. Put good firmware on them (DD-WRT or Tomato for example), configure them properly and they are excellent(easy to do a search on this) low budget units. Your comment on lack of firmware updates indicates to me you were using the factory issue which would likely explain your issues.
Hmm, I wonder what percent of home users put open-source firmware on their routers ...... honestly, I didn't realize that was a thing now :-). Thanks for pointing that out.

But I can't see why I would do that rather than just relying upon a fairly new router with up to date firmware from the people that sell the hardware. I like open source as well as the next guy or gal, but it's not obvious to me that putting something like DD-WRT on my router would make my life better. I did read a couple of write-ups on DD-WRT and the other solutions and it might be interesting to play with sometime. Though, for a non-techie (or a techie for that matter) user annoyed because they have to reboot every once in a while, that seems like overkill. I'd have to want some of the extra features.
Probably a very low percentage of home users put open-source on their routers for the obvious reason that most likely don't even understand the function of a router. My point was that the average home user's network can be serviced effectively, securely and robustly by a cheap, "old", and readily available box with open-source firmware installed and properly configured. How they come about that is a completely different matter. I've set a number of these up for friends and family, so likewise if the average non-technical user has access to a tech knowledgeable sort to assist them...
As for buying new, that's fine as far as it goes, but it hardly assures you of a superior outcome. The same companies that churned out the routers with crappy firmware that have caused innumerable users difficulty of one sort or another are still doing so. Good luck.
Well, my luck has been fine so far. I don't actually remember the last time I had to reboot my router. If I had an older router that wasn't working well, I'd buy a newer one, ensure it has the latest firmware and try that. It's not like routers are that expensive. And if I couldn't get that to work, or I wanted some of the features in DD-WRT I might try that (some of the VPN features look pretty cool).

bloom2708
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Re: WHY do wireless routers need periodic reboots?

Post by bloom2708 » Fri Feb 02, 2018 2:44 pm

Since switching to a 3 unit Google Wi-Fi system last spring, I have only rebooted the router once. I think the problem was the cable modem, but I restarted the cable modem and the router to be certain.

My previous router needed a reboot about 1 time per week. It was blazing fast and had a good range but it was buggy. It was highly recommended with great reviews from Amazon and was under $100.
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Phineas J. Whoopee
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Re: WHY do wireless routers need periodic reboots?

Post by Phineas J. Whoopee » Fri Feb 02, 2018 4:23 pm

jebmke wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2018 9:18 am
...
This is one of the reasons why I worry a bit about about all the self-driving and automated features in cars.
Worrying a bit about them is entirely appropriate, as is worrying a bit about the somewhat more mature collision avoidance systems and airbags, the latter of which are really a problem due to design flaws, if I understand correctly.

It may well be the case that soon the system-wide risks to life from automated driving are less than those of manually doing it, but every time a safety feature is added so are more failure modes.

One standard example is adding ejection seats for the crew of an airplane. On the one hand, they enable survival when the machine is obviously going to hit water or ground or whatever, as long as somebody activates them soon enough. On the other hand they introduce new risks, and just using the standard examples, what if the explosive fasteners that blow the top off the airplane fail to fire shortly before the rocket under the seat does? What if the rocket under the seat fires under conditions it's not supposed to? If there were no rocket it couldn't fail.

And if there were no rocket it couldn't reduce the payload capacity of the airplane, nor its speed, range, nor maneuverability.

It's very important when adding features to fully assess whether they are likely to make things better or worse.

Self-driving vehicles included.

Or, to put it another way, as Alan Bean, the fourth person to set foot on Earth's satellite quipped: Don't come to the moon without a hammer.

PJW

lightheir
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Re: WHY do wireless routers need periodic reboots?

Post by lightheir » Fri Feb 02, 2018 4:31 pm

This thread needs to end.

If you're dissatisfied with your router because of reboots, etc., just get a Google wifi, orbi, or other "mesh" router.

/endthread.



And yes, I've owned quite a few routers that needed rebooting, including hi-end ones prior to the Google wifi. This thread would never even exist if everyone just got that one.

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Epsilon Delta
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Re: WHY do wireless routers need periodic reboots?

Post by Epsilon Delta » Fri Feb 02, 2018 5:17 pm

lightheir wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 4:31 pm
This thread needs to end.

If you're dissatisfied with your router because of reboots, etc., just get a Google wifi, orbi, or other "mesh" router.

/endthread.



And yes, I've owned quite a few routers that needed rebooting, including hi-end ones prior to the Google wifi. This thread would never even exist if everyone just got that one.
The first Google router is barely a year old. Wait for some wear and tear and another couple of iterations of the Wi-Fi standards before claiming it is robust. Although Google may try the old MS trick of claiming they are the standard and 802.11xx is wrong.

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DaftInvestor
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Re: WHY do wireless routers need periodic reboots?

Post by DaftInvestor » Fri Feb 02, 2018 5:19 pm

I've got an Asus router. I shut it down a couple of years ago when I went on a long vacation (forgot last time) but other than that and an occasional power outage - it just keeps running. I have NEVER had to reboot it.

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Ged
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Re: WHY do wireless routers need periodic reboots?

Post by Ged » Fri Feb 02, 2018 5:48 pm

DaftInvestor wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 5:19 pm
I've got an Asus router. I shut it down a couple of years ago when I went on a long vacation (forgot last time) but other than that and an occasional power outage - it just keeps running. I have NEVER had to reboot it.
My Asus gets rebooted when I upgrade the firmware. Otherwise never.

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Re: WHY do wireless routers need periodic reboots?

Post by flybynite » Fri Feb 02, 2018 8:19 pm

Epsilon Delta wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 5:17 pm
lightheir wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 4:31 pm
This thread needs to end.

If you're dissatisfied with your router because of reboots, etc., just get a Google wifi, orbi, or other "mesh" router.

/endthread.



And yes, I've owned quite a few routers that needed rebooting, including hi-end ones prior to the Google wifi. This thread would never even exist if everyone just got that one.
The first Google router is barely a year old. Wait for some wear and tear and another couple of iterations of the Wi-Fi standards before claiming it is robust. Although Google may try the old MS trick of claiming they are the standard and 802.11xx is wrong.
I'm not sure what to say about this post, from a technical standpoint it doesn't make much sense. New WiFI standards don't have much weight on how the current router performs with the current standards, are you saying their next routers may have a problem... sure that's certainly possible I guess.

BBQ Nut
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Re: WHY do wireless routers need periodic reboots?

Post by BBQ Nut » Fri Feb 02, 2018 9:28 pm

Is there some sort of trophy or points awards for those who *never* have to reboot their router?

I don't get it.

As a retired engineer with data centers, we always had a 'best practice' procedure of rebooting servers after about 4 weeks of 'up time'.

Kinda like rinsing your mouth each night.

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bottlecap
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Re: WHY do wireless routers need periodic reboots?

Post by bottlecap » Fri Feb 02, 2018 9:50 pm

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.
I dispute this. I’ve had a number, all with good professional and lay person reviews. They still need to be rebooted.

Perhaps I just get all the ones with fake reviews.

JT

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Epsilon Delta
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Re: WHY do wireless routers need periodic reboots?

Post by Epsilon Delta » Fri Feb 02, 2018 9:55 pm

flybynite wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 8:19 pm
Epsilon Delta wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 5:17 pm
lightheir wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 4:31 pm
This thread needs to end.

If you're dissatisfied with your router because of reboots, etc., just get a Google wifi, orbi, or other "mesh" router.

/endthread.



And yes, I've owned quite a few routers that needed rebooting, including hi-end ones prior to the Google wifi. This thread would never even exist if everyone just got that one.
The first Google router is barely a year old. Wait for some wear and tear and another couple of iterations of the Wi-Fi standards before claiming it is robust. Although Google may try the old MS trick of claiming they are the standard and 802.11xx is wrong.
I'm not sure what to say about this post, from a technical standpoint it doesn't make much sense. New WiFI standards don't have much weight on how the current router performs with the current standards, are you saying their next routers may have a problem... sure that's certainly possible I guess.
New routers work better than old ones, and all Google routers are fairly new.

I've found issues when different generations of Wi-Fi are sharing the same air space. Newer equipment is quicker to grab dead air and can shutout older, slower, less sensitive equipment. I've also had issues with more modern equipment being able to continuously transmit at the theoretical data rate. This can hose older equipment that needs delays between packets to handle the data. Some of it is just better implementation in newer equipment, but some of these are baked into different versions of standards. With spread spectrum the best spreading code and error correction wins.

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whodidntante
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Re: WHY do wireless routers need periodic reboots?

Post by whodidntante » Fri Feb 02, 2018 9:58 pm

bottlecap wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 9:50 pm
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.
I dispute this. I’ve had a number, all with good professional and lay person reviews. They still need to be rebooted.

Perhaps I just get all the ones with fake reviews.

JT
I posted that just to mess with you. :happy

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bottlecap
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Re: WHY do wireless routers need periodic reboots?

Post by bottlecap » Fri Feb 02, 2018 10:31 pm

whodidntante wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 9:58 pm
bottlecap wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 9:50 pm
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.
I dispute this. I’ve had a number, all with good professional and lay person reviews. They still need to be rebooted.

Perhaps I just get all the ones with fake reviews.

JT
I posted that just to mess with you. :happy
:oops: Why do things like that always happen to me!

Shikoku
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Re: WHY do wireless routers need periodic reboots?

Post by Shikoku » Fri Feb 02, 2018 11:33 pm

Many people have already suggested that memory leaks can be the cause. Memory errors which are often overlooked can be another contributing factor. A 2009 research article from the University of Toronto and Google concluded that on average a single memory module encounters 3,751 correctable errors in one year (i.e., over 10 errors/day). Since a typical wireless router does not use memory that can correct errors, any memory error can have negative impacts on how the router functions. Ultimately to put the router back on track, a rebooting is necessary.

DRAM Errors in the Wild: A Large-Scale Field Study
https://static.googleusercontent.com/me ... /35162.pdf
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flybynite
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Re: WHY do wireless routers need periodic reboots?

Post by flybynite » Sat Feb 03, 2018 2:55 am

Epsilon Delta wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 9:55 pm
flybynite wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 8:19 pm
Epsilon Delta wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 5:17 pm

The first Google router is barely a year old. Wait for some wear and tear and another couple of iterations of the Wi-Fi standards before claiming it is robust. Although Google may try the old MS trick of claiming they are the standard and 802.11xx is wrong.
I'm not sure what to say about this post, from a technical standpoint it doesn't make much sense. New WiFI standards don't have much weight on how the current router performs with the current standards, are you saying their next routers may have a problem... sure that's certainly possible I guess.
New routers work better than old ones, and all Google routers are fairly new.

I've found issues when different generations of Wi-Fi are sharing the same air space. Newer equipment is quicker to grab dead air and can shutout older, slower, less sensitive equipment. I've also had issues with more modern equipment being able to continuously transmit at the theoretical data rate. This can hose older equipment that needs delays between packets to handle the data. Some of it is just better implementation in newer equipment, but some of these are baked into different versions of standards. With spread spectrum the best spreading code and error correction wins.
OK - all of this is certainly possible. I suspect the people who are enjoying their experience with this and other similar mesh routers are enjoying not just that don't need regular reboot (the Apple router I had before did not) but that the coverage is way better than the other routers they have owned due to the dispersed number of transmitters. For the Google product line, people are not talking about just any of the released Google routers, they are talking about the mesh routers, of which there is only one kind that exists. These routers automatically change channels and bands (2.4G and 5G) based on other routers interference and what the clients are capable of. I have no way of knowing for sure, but I suspect this will continue to work to avoid newer standards interference as well. All the problems I've had with previous routers didn't get worse over time.. they had roughly similar behavior throughout (although the routers I've had that were unstable generally were more so when we were using VoIP).
Last edited by flybynite on Sat Feb 03, 2018 10:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

AntsOnTheMarch
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Re: WHY do wireless routers need periodic reboots?

Post by AntsOnTheMarch » Sat Feb 03, 2018 6:28 am

BBQ Nut wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 9:28 pm
Is there some sort of trophy or points awards for those who *never* have to reboot their router?

I don't get it.

As a retired engineer with data centers, we always had a 'best practice' procedure of rebooting servers after about 4 weeks of 'up time'.

Kinda like rinsing your mouth each night.
As a working layman I say, if ain’t broke don’t fix it. Does data center server best practices = home Wi-Fi router best practices? I’m not being snarky, just asking? If you can give me some good practical reason (not theoretical) why I should reboot my Apple router if nothing has changed or degraded, I will consider rebooting—otherwise I will leave well enough alone. FYI, I run Speedtest from time to time to check performance (mostly to see the status of my internet connection and to check to see that my provider isn’t throttling).

Edit: grammar
Last edited by AntsOnTheMarch on Sat Feb 03, 2018 10:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

Angelus359
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Re: WHY do wireless routers need periodic reboots?

Post by Angelus359 » Sat Feb 03, 2018 8:39 am

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.
I second the ubiquiti option

I have an edgerouter x, and it's amazing.

Zero reboots ever, except for firmware upgrades
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Angelus359
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Re: WHY do wireless routers need periodic reboots?

Post by Angelus359 » Sat Feb 03, 2018 8:42 am

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.
Layer 2 mode is also known has bridgemode.

It just means router functions turned off.
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