How Often Should You Reboot Your Router?

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Taking a break and giving your router some downtime can yield more benefits than just speeding up your Internet connection. The Internet has become an indispensable part of our lives, serving various purposes such as online bill payment, streaming entertainment, and social media interaction. A strong and reliable Internet connection has become a fundamental necessity in most households. Similar to how shutting down your computer periodically can enhance its performance, rebooting your router can also optimize your connection.

According to Rob Rohrman, head of IT at CompTIA, there is no definitive or scientific answer to the frequency of router reboots. However, he suggests that rebooting the main Internet router every couple of months is generally a good idea. Rebooting your router can resolve certain connectivity issues, ranging from complete loss of Internet connection to slow wireless connections. In a home or consumer environment, restarting the router should be one of the initial troubleshooting steps. Moreover, rebooting the router periodically is considered a good security practice.

The advantages of regularly rebooting your router are twofold. Firstly, if you desire a faster connection, it is recommended to power your router on and off at regular intervals. Consumer Reports explains that your Internet service provider assigns a temporary IP address to each of your devices, and this address can change unpredictably. If your router fails to adapt to these changes, it can result in a sluggish connection. Similarly, having an excessive number of devices connected to your router can also degrade its performance.

Nick Merrill, founder of cybersecurity consultancy Broad Daylight, emphasizes that restarting your router from a performance standpoint can help maintain the reliability of your home network. He suggests rebooting your router once every one or two months. However, the benefits of restarting your router extend beyond a mere speed boost for your online activities. Rebooting also serves as a preventive measure against hacking attempts. In response to a global incident where foreign hackers compromised thousands of networks using a malware called VPNFilter, the FBI recommended rebooting routers in all homes and small businesses. This action temporarily disrupted the malware, which collected information, exploited devices, and blocked network traffic. Merrill further advises keeping your router’s firmware updated to mitigate security threats and restarting the router after every update. Additionally, being aware of the signs indicating a potential hacking attempt can guide you on when it is necessary to reboot your router’s settings.

Nick Merrill highlights that among the various strategies for fostering a healthy relationship with technology, rebooting or resetting the router is not usually the first thing that comes to mind. However, for those who are particularly security-conscious, patching the firmware and performing a factory reset on the router can provide an added layer of protection. Employing adware and malware blockers on both your computers and network gateway can significantly reduce the likelihood of requiring a router reset.

While experts agree that rebooting your router is not an exact science, it remains a simple and effective step to take when confronted with Internet connectivity issues or security concerns. Enhance your digital defenses further by familiarizing yourself with lesser-known cybersecurity secrets that hackers try to conceal.

By being proactive in maintaining your router’s settings and following these recommendations, you can optimize your Internet experience while safeguarding your network from potential threats.

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