Ask Lifehacker: Rebooting Your Router Remotely

Dear Lifehacker, For some reason the router at my place seems to need resetting on a regular basis. Is there any way that instead of walking downstairs to physically press the reset button on the side of the router I can cause it to reset via the software? I don't have admin access to it either, if that makes a difference. Thanks, Scoon

Picture by nrkbeta

Dear Scoon, First things first: if you don't have administrator access to the router, unfortunately there's very little you can do in terms of fixing it. I don't personally know of any software that can perform this kind of task, but I'm pretty confident any such package would need you to be able to log into the router to get it working. (If a reader knows any different, please tell us in the comments.)

In any event, the first thing I would advise with this kind of problem (assuming you can get administrator access) is updating the firmware on the router. Router firmware routinely gets upgraded, and making sure you're running the latest version can often fix problems. You can even change the firmware entirely to create a super-router, but a sensible first step is simply getting the latest version from your manufacturer's web site and following the instructions there.

The other thing to check is whether it's actually the router that's causing the problem. If your router also acts as an ADSL modem and you're frequently needing to reboot it, that could suggest a problem either with the cabling within your house or with the exchange providing your service. Unfortunately, that probably means quite a bit of back-and-forth phone support with your ISP. Good luck!

Cheers Lifehacker


    I once had a router in the attic that was very flakey. I split the extension cord leading to the router, and put a lamp switch on it. That way, when it lost connection, just switch off, and back on again.

    You can usually reset the router remotely in a simple web browser. Simply enter the local IP address of the router (usually or similar)into the URL bar in any web browser. You should be given a box asking for the router's administration username and password. By default it is usually (on netgear routers)
    Username: admin
    Password: password.

    Once logged in there's a good chance of finding a maintenance/diagnostics page where you can reboot the router.

    Good luck ^_^,

    Find out the router make/model and look in google search/whirlpool forum for default user/password. Most cases, it might work.

    If not, and router is yours and you have ISP Login details in case of ADSL modem, try hard reset to reset the password backup to default.

    If not, buy a very long extension cord that is long enough to power the router from your room and reboot the power from your room !.

    You can use something like this:
    or this:

    I have one at home and becuase it uses RF it will work through walls, etc. I have a server running in a closet down stairs and whenever it crashes I can reset the power using the rf remote !! For $16 this is as good as you will get.

    If you have physical access to the router and a paperclip, then you really do have admin access to the router...

    I suggest you get a new modem. I'm guessing you're modem/router is crashing because you're probably downloading torrents. If this is the case (in which most cases it usually is) it has more to do with how many multiple connections your router can take. If its a cheap netgear/belkin/netcomm router then these routers usually crash/hang because the limit of multiple connections is reached and your modem can't handle it. The only way to fix this is to keep on resetting your modem or to go buy one that can handle more multiple connections. Like Lifehacker said, either get better non-standard firmware or buy a good router/modem. I use Draytek Vigor routers and they're amazing!

    Forgotten your router's password?

    The internet provides for all:

    Enjoy ;)

    When my router is down, I can't even access it.
    So this tip is not really helpful!

    Have to agree with 100% with David Leong. Even though most ISP's can track how many sync attempts you've made in a day, no router needs to make any resets at all. It just isn't necessary. By the best router you can afford.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now