Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

So let me start with the problem. Quite often the wireless network in my house stops working and I'm forced to unplug and plug it back in (power cycle) -- I'm going to estimate this happens 10-25 times per week. Essentially I realize it when the wireless internet in my apartment goes out -- and it appears the whole network dies, I have a Drobo hooked up and I'm no longer able to access that from my computer when this happens. A simple power cycle fixes the issue 100% of the time. Sometimes I am good again for a day or two, sometimes it breaks again in 10 minutes.

I'm completely stumped as to what is causing the router to "break" -- high usage, low usage, and everything in between. Seems completely intermittent. I talked to my parents and sisters a couple weeks ago and they have been experiencing the same thing -- note that they have the same ISP as me but live on the other side of the city and have a different router made by a different company. One of my sisters has a boyfriend who figured out that power cycling fixes things which is why I didn't get a frantic call from them sooner.

I've tried calling my ISP but all they want to do is plug their ears and yell "we don't support third party routers" -- the router they do provide is complete garbage, I tried it for about a week but it seemed to have a three device maximum and was bouncing devices when I tried to connect more than that, since I have multiple computers, a table, a cell phone and occasional guests their router isn't even an option.

My original theory was that whenever my ISP detected I had torrents running they would somehow do something that would cause my router to get confused/freeze up/etc and cause me to have to power cycle. I have absolutely no proof of this and even with torrents disabled this issue happens so I may just be getting too conspiracy-minded.

I have no idea what to do at this point but living the rest of my life having to constantly power cycle my router is a gigantic problem and I'm hoping either there's something I can buy or something I can do to stop this problem.

share|improve this question
Routers have a useful life and and after they age a bit, they often start to fail. From what you are experiencing - it sounds like that is what you are having. Some routers keep logs that may give you some accurate information - but my bet will be that it is failing (that or power spikes). – nerdwaller Feb 4 '13 at 5:39
@nerdwaller - I suppose that's possible, the Router I have is at most 11-13 months old (don't remember exactly when I bought it) -- seems a bit young to me but I don't really know anything about networking, any thoughts? Power spikes is interesting, I do have a lot of powerbars in and around the router area -- I will try giving it it's own outlet. Assuming all that fails do you have any recommendations on which companies tend to make more durable routers? I tend to just walk into BestBuy and buy the first one within reach. – Andrew G. Johnson Feb 4 '13 at 5:44
When the router starts to drop connections and requires power cycling, check if it's getting heated up. – Karan Feb 4 '13 at 5:52
Try looking through the logs to see if it gives you any data that is helpful. Generally I have seen power-spikes affect modems - but I could see a sensitive or latently defective router suffering. In my limited experience, of a lower-end router I expect 11 - 18 months. While buying recommendations are off-topic on Super User the Linksys WRT54G is known to be die hard. Also, @Karan is right - could be overheating and you could try a fan on it for a week to try it out. – nerdwaller Feb 4 '13 at 5:55
Sounds like the tables are filling up. What sort of connection do you have? – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Feb 4 '13 at 6:07

Torrent clients can max out a router real quick because the programs open lots and lots of internet connections all at once. You may have an option in the torrent client to limit the number of connections it opens. Try cutting that number down a bit from where it's at now and see if your connectivity improves.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.