Turning off Modem and Router

Discussion in 'hardware' started by WilliamP, Sep 19, 2013.

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  1. WilliamP

    WilliamP Registered Member

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    Here is the situation. I am on ATT DSL with an Actiontec ADSL+ Modem and a Netgear Wndr 3700 v2 router. Normally I turn my computer off at night before bed. But I leave the modem and router on. I noticed that the internet was getting slow, so I turned everything off. After powering up the modem ,then the router ,then the computer the download speed tripled. So how often should I re-boot the modem and router?
     
  2. guest

    guest Guest

    Is there any particular reason to let your modem and router to stay on? I personally just turn it off when I'm done.
     
  3. Robin A.

    Robin A. Registered Member

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    I have found that "rebooting" the modem/router frequently solves problems with the internet connection. Recently I had the same experience. Download speed was about 1/10 the nominal value. It returned to normal after I disconnected/connected the modem. This modem is on 24/7.
     
  4. innerpeace

    innerpeace Registered Member

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    Sometimes if your ISP does a speed upgrade you won't see it until your modem is power cycled. This is probably what happened in your case.

    I always leave my modem and router powered on. The only time I power cycle them is if I'm having problems which is rare. I also unplug everything if there is a storm approaching.
     
  5. dogbite

    dogbite Registered Member

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    I unplug all every night, no reason to waste electricity.
     
  6. imdb

    imdb Registered Member

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    :thumb:

    no point in leaving them on, unless of course you host a server.
     
  7. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    I am afraid I have to disagree. There are many reasons to leave the network devices on 24/7.

    (1) Power consumption is minimal - at least compared to all the other devices in the house that have "stand-by" modes like cable and DVR boxes, VCRs, TVs, stereo/home theater receivers, computer monitors, computer speakers. Even cell phone chargers, tablet chargers, notebook chargers, home phone power supplies and wireless phone chargers consume a fair amount of power.

    (2) Modems and routers are designed to be left on 24/7 and for that reason, many don't even have power buttons. And those that do often use the cheapest buttons the makers can find. You would be pushing that cheap button well over a 1000 times in less than 2 years. That's a lot of unnecessary wear and tear. And if no switch, you will wear out the plug connection prematurely.

    (3) Turning these devices off and back on resets them. That's great if you want to reset your network, but that can also mean many, if not all of your IP assignments to your connected devices may be reset too. This means, for example, the next time you want to access your networked printer or networked storage device, the connection may fail because the printer received a new IP.

    (4) Unless you unplug your computer (or set the master power switch on the back of the PSU to off), the computer (and the NIC and its settings) remains in standby mode. See #3 above.

    (5) Having to power on the modem, wait for lights to settle down, power on the router, wait for lights to settle down, then power on the computer takes too long. Okay, that's just me being impatient, but when I am ready to use my computer, I am ready to use it NOW.

    (6) If other users in the house... ...then what? They will need to know and go through your network boot process before they use their computers too. That may be fine if you want to control your kid's access, but, if Momma ain't happy... .
     
  8. SweX

    SweX Registered Member

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    I agree on all of this :thumb: :thumb: Well (5) I guess I could wait if I had too :D
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2013
  9. FreddyFreeloader

    FreddyFreeloader Registered Member

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    I watch my Roku streamer shows while in bed. Also, have a VoIP phone system - modem/router off, no phone service.
     
  10. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    Oh, yeah! I forgot about streaming audio and video and VoIP phone service. Excellent point! I note many security alarm/camera systems, remote (via cell phone) garage door openers/closers, panic (Help! I've fallen and can't get up!) buttons and other "smart home" devices require network and Internet access.

    We live in a "connected" world now - whether we like it or not. And sadly, if we choose to disconnect, we may be looked upon with suspicion as potential terrorists or something. :(
     
  11. J_L

    J_L Registered Member

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    Doesn't (3) depend on the device? I had to hard reset using the back button after forgetting the password. All the IP's stayed after unplugging it.
     
  12. Noob

    Noob Registered Member

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    I have never ever turned off my router or modem. No issues after years.
    I usually only power them off to reset them when theres a power outage. (Which is quite common here)
     
  13. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    24/7 everything.
    Mrk
     
  14. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    It depends on lots of things, that's why I said they "may" be reset.

    First, there are two types of resets. I am not talking about the reset that takes the device back to the out-of-the-box factory state. Unplugging will not normally do that - at least not on newer routers.

    The length of time the unit is disconnected can be a (and is likely the greatest) factor. Some ISPs reassign a new IP if the modem is disconnected for X number of hours. I believe mine does it after 24 hours - although this does not directly affect the local network (everything on our side of the router).

    Some DHCP settings will release IPs after so much time - depending on the router. There is no industry standard - each router maker can set their own timings.

    Another problem (not sure "problem" is the right word) with many routers is IPs are assigned based on the sequence the devices are connected. So, for example, say yesterday (Friday) you connected 2 PCs, a notebook and then you attach a new networked printer and the devices were assigned IPs of 192.168.1.2, .3, .4, and .5 in that order. Then Friday night, you unplug everything and go away for the weekend.

    Monday, you connect your network, then boot PC1 and the printer. Suddenly the printer (print server actually) now has the IP of the second PC, the other computers shift down one address and no one can print until they configure their printer setup to print to the new IP.

    This used to happen to me every time there was a power outage (and I live in Tornado Alley so that is not uncommon). While all my computers and network gear are protected by a good UPS, my laser printer is not (laser printers draw too much power when first firing up and should not go on a UPS). And it invariable would pick up a different IP when power was restored and I turned it on again. I fixed it by assigning a "static" IP of 192.168.1.37 to the MAC address of the laser's print server, but it was frustrating I had to do that when everything else in the house uses dynamic (DHCP) assignments.

    How do you know? You really would have no reason to look unless you had a networked printer or NAS that suddenly you could not access. And if they were not reset, or lost full power (so not even in standby) they may have kept their assignments and "requested" the same assignment when your router came back.

    Again, your example is how it is supposed to work, I am just saying it does not always work that way.
     
  15. J_L

    J_L Registered Member

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    I believe you forgot to add "may". I noticed when checking ipconfig, definitely remembers too long for my patience. Thanks for taking your time explaining!
     
  16. NGRhodes

    NGRhodes Registered Member

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    FYI for DHCP: http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc2131.txt

    "A client MAY choose to renew or extend its lease prior to T1. The
    server may choose not to extend the lease (as a policy decision by
    the network administrator), but should return a DHCPACK message
    regardless."

    Cheers, Nick.
     
  17. WilliamP

    WilliamP Registered Member

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    Thank you all for your input. I have decided to re-boot once a week.
     
  18. twl845

    twl845 Registered Member

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    My set up is plugged into a APC battery unit under my desk. I'm not crawling under there every night to unplug my modem so I can save a dollar on my bi-monthly electric bill. :D
     
  19. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    No I didn't.
    Good find, Nick - though not sure if meant to validate or invalidate my comment. For sure, on big corporate networks, the network admin sets the parameters. But on home networks, much of the administration functions have been preset by the router maker, based on what they think is best. That said, I should have been more specific by specifying inexpensive SOHO routers as commonly found in homes.

    I still don't think regular rebooting is necessary. I would do this only if you notice a persistent slow down in network performance.

    You might run Speedtest a few times and see what your times are to establish a baseline. Then run it again every couple weeks (at roughly the same time of day, and same day of the week) to see if performance has changed significantly (expect some variations).

    I think the last time I intentionally shutdown my whole network was when I replaced my DOCSIS 2 modem with a new DOCSIS 3 modem, and that's been a couple years.
     
  20. NGRhodes

    NGRhodes Registered Member

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    Bill,
    It does agree with what you have stated.

    DNS would save a lot of hassle so machines can be accessed by name instead of IP.

    Cheers, Nick.
     
  21. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    Good. We are on the same page. :)

    Yeah. With my old system, I had my hosts file configured so I only needed to enter the word, "router" in the address bar to open the router's admin menu. You just reminded me I have not done that in this new W8 machine. :)
     
  22. BoerenkoolMetWorst

    BoerenkoolMetWorst Registered Member

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    What's your reasoning for turning them on one by one? Turning modem, router and computer on at the same time works fine here.
     
  23. theharlequin

    theharlequin Registered Member

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    Thought about turning off the router each night however I either end up forgetting or more than likely I am too lazy. I must forget because of all the passwords I must remember since I don't use a password manager app...
     
  24. Keatah

    Keatah Registered Member

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    I generally turn everything off for the night or when I'm away. turning it back on is as simple as a power bar switch. Lowers the electric bill too.
     
  25. dogbite

    dogbite Registered Member

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