How to Power Cycle Your Modem and Router

By Techwalla Contributor

You have lost your Internet connection, but you don't want to call up your cable company so they can put you on hold for twenty minutes or more. What can you do to reset the system yourself? Restart your modem or router. The cable companies call it power cycling, but you are really just restarting your equipment. If a brief connection interruption occurred or you have older equipment, usually that is all you need to do to get your Internet connection back.

Things You'll Need

  • your fingers
  • a watch or clock with a second hand

Step 1

Unplug both the modem and the router, if you have one. Most modems and routers do not include a power button, the easiest way to restart them is by unplugging the device.

Step 2

Wait for 30 seconds. This allows the short-term memory of the devices to clear completely. Plug the modem back in first.

Step 3

Wait another 10 to 20 seconds for the modem to connect before turning on the router. The "Internet" or "WAN" light on the modem should be green to indicate it is connected. Plug in the router's power cord.

Step 4

Wait for the router to connect to the modem. If you computer still doesn't can't connect, try restarting the computer.

Tips & Warnings

  • Sometimes I get lazy and just remove the cable from the router, followed by the modem. Then I wait thirty seconds and plug back in the modem and then the router. This is faster than powering down the computer, too, and it often works.