Every now and then your router will hiccup and need a little push to get it working again. We all know the feeling of having to power down our routers, but with the help of a smart plug, you can make the process a piece of cake.
Why Routers Need to Reboot
It’s an annoying problem that most of us have to deal with, but it’s one of those things that we never think about because it’s not second nature, until now!
CONNECTED:Why rebooting your router fixes so many problems (and why you have to wait 10 seconds)
We explained before why routers need to reboot from time to time, but here’s the gist:
Maybe a bug is causing a memory leak, maybe the CPU is overheating, or maybe a full blown kernel panic has wiped out the entire system.
What is the easiest fix for these kinds of computer problems? Turning it on and off again.
Your router is nothing more than a simple computer, so when it starts to take on issues, a reboot usually fixes the problem. And as for the «wait 30 seconds before uploading it back» thing, that’s because routers have capacitors, which are like tiny batteries that can keep powering critical components longer, usually anywhere from 10-30 seconds. So, by waiting at least 30 seconds before the backup router boots up, you are ensuring that it is completely turned off and all pre-existing memory is wiped.
How to reboot a router from Couch
Now that we have that piece of knowledge out of the way, our goal now is to be able to reboot our router at any time from anywhere, because the last thing we want to do is get off the couch and squabble with the router.
This is where a tried and tested smart plugin can come in very handy. Normally you would use them to control lights, fans and other small appliances, but for this we are going to use one to turn our router into a kind of «smart» router where you can turn it off. and from your phone or using your voice if you have a voice setup assistant.
However, not just any smart plugin will do. Specifically, it requires a Bluetooth smart jack (like this one from GE) rather than the more-common Wi-Fi variant. This is because once you turn off your router, the normal smart Wi-Fi adapter will turn off, which means you won’t be able to turn your router back on using the smart jack. With the smart Bluetooth dongle, it is completely separated from the Wi-Fi router, so that it will continue to work whether or not the router is powered up.
RELATED:Which Smart Plug Should You Buy?
All you have to do is plug the smart plug into a free outlet and install it to use it with your phone. Then plug your router into the smart jack and you’re up to the races. Take note, however, that your router must have a physical on/off toggle switch for this to work, if your router just has a button (like the power buttons on computers) and doesn’t turn on automatically, then it won’t work, unfortunately.
If you’re used to pulling on the power cord on your router to reset it, or if you know your router automatically turns on after a power failure, you’ll be fine.
More expensive but Smarter Option
If you’re on the market for a brand new router anyway, you can opt for a mesh Wi-Fi system that comes with all kinds of smarts, including the ability to reboot the system from your phone at any time.
RELATED:What are Mesh Wi-Fi systems and how do they work?
Mesh Wi-Fi systems are simply a collection of routers that you distribute throughout your home, and they communicate with each other to cover your entire home with a constant Wi-Fi signal. They are easy to install and great for those who don’t want to mess around with advanced router settings.
We’ve discussed Eero and Google Wi-Fi before, both of which are great options and they both support remote reboot. But you can also easily see which devices are online, how much data they’re using, and even set parental controls to restrict certain devices.