Why unplugging your router every month is actually good for your Wi-Fi

Eero (Image credit: Eero)

It would be easy to assume that once you've set up your internet router and networking tech, you can forget about it. But it turns out, there are a few easy things that you can do to ensure that your internet connection is as fast and reliable as possible. One of those things is to turn your router off, wait a few seconds, and turn it back on again -- every could months.

That's even true if you aren't really experiencing any issues with your internet connectivity. Resetting your router can take care of a few issues under the hood that you might not even be aware of.

Here's why.

Your router is a tiny computer

You probably don't think of it like this, but your internet router is actually a tiny computer. There's a CPU, memory, and storage inside of it, just like a normal computer. And, like any other computer, it needs a bit of a refresh from time to time.

Rebooting the router could do any number of things that will benefit it. Sometimes, computers just freak out. Perhaps there's a bug that's causing the CPU to overheat. Or, perhaps the system is heavy trouble managing your router's memory. Whatever the issue, turning your router off and then back on again will likely fix it. And, the more advanced a router is, the more features it offers -- and the more features on offer, the more likely that something could go wrong.

Rebooting routers can rid them of malware

While most router-related issues are simply bugs, and can be easily fixed With a reset, some issues are more nefarious, and could happen in the background without your knowledge. For example, your router could have malware on it. This was found to be true in 2018, when it was discovered that as many as 500,000 routers were compromised with a malware named VPNFilter.

Now, the likelihood of this happening on a newer, smart router is lower, considering the fact that these routers often have smart security features that are updated as time goes on. Not only that, but a router like the Eero Pro 6 has access to Eero's security subscription service, Eero Secure+, which includes advanced security features that keep your router safe.

Smart routers can make rebooting easy

Traditional routers relatively easy to reboot -- simply turn the power off or unplug the router, then turn it back on or plug it back in after 10 seconds or so. But smart routers make this process even easier. For example, Eero routers can be reset by simply opening up the app and tapping on the Restart Network button in the settings. You don't even have to be near your router to do this.

When it's so easy to reboot your router, there's really no excuse not to.

Christian de Looper
  • I have my asus router, which actually only functions as a AP reboot once a week, automatically. It's an option in the UI
  • "every could months"? 🙄
  • Identical articles used to be written about Android phones ten years ago. The truth is, if you find yourself needing to reboot your router every month, you need a better router. Check Ubiquiti, Mikrotik,etc
  • Live in a place where the power kicks off every few months and you will not have to worry about it.
  • I reboot my router every week. And it definitely works.
  • This is horrendously bad advice. ISPs monitor the link health of a connection (with DSL lines for example, this is done automatically via a DLM) and frequent disconnections - which would happen when you turn your router off - are interpreted as a circuit fault. On a DLM managed link this would result in your bandwidth being slowly reduced until the fault went away. It could even trigger an engineer callout. Source: I'm a network engineer by trade and have spent 15 years working on this stuff.
  • Agree 100%. Actually, the flaw is this line in the original article: "And, like any other computer, it needs a bit of a refresh from time to time". That's just wrong and rubbish. A good operating system managed properly requires no reboots at all. We've been poorly conditioned by an entire generation of computer ”experts” who don't know any better into believing this fallacy. Certainly it appears to be true of many currently popular operating systems - Windows and Unix based like Android and iOS spring to mind. But there are lots of machines running other O/S for years without performance degradation. I know of one that had an uptime of over 10 years and it was still running perfectly. Rebooting any computer to make it run better is a band aid: out of sight is out of mind - until next week.