I have an internet connection that I'd like to be enabled only during the day. With multiple household internet devices, this would need to be something disabled at the level of the router.

I don't believe the router offers this sort of functionality, but I'm reasonably familiar with setting up web servers and the like, and I'm wondering if I can set up some sort of proxy server on the internet that the router must go through and have that proxy only active at certain times of day.

It's a bit vague I know, but is something like this even possible?

If not, are there other solutions to the problem?

  • 3
    Do you have access to the router's admin features? If you give us a make and model someone might be able to give you specifics.
    – CharlieRB
    Aug 29, 2012 at 13:26
  • The question title is in conflict with the actual question. "How to disable internet access at night"..."I have an internet connection that I'd like to be enabled only at night"
    – Moab
    Aug 29, 2012 at 13:58
  • I don’t know about your situation, but we have a cable-modem that has a standby button on top, so each night, I just hit it to turn off all Internet access, even to the router itself (it doesn’t really need to update its clock in the middle of the night). It’s not automatic, but it’s simple and effective.
    – Synetech
    Aug 29, 2012 at 14:33

7 Answers 7


There are low tech solutions also. You can use a light timer such as this. They also make digital ones that are more customizable.

  • 6
    Genius! I wonder though if the router or its power supply would fail sooner due to the power being toggled so often? Does anyone have experience with using solution?
    – Chris Nava
    Aug 29, 2012 at 15:43
  • 15
    There is another solution that this even more low tech. Get into the following routine: (1) Wake up. (2) Plug in the router. (3) Go about your day. (4) Unplug the router. (5) Go to sleep.
    – emory
    Aug 29, 2012 at 17:07
  • 4
    @ChrisNava - I just noticed your question. Yes, I came up with and used this solution before. Long, long ago I worked at a company where we provided dial in access to in internal network. The modem aggregator connected 16 modems to the LAN. I found it would lock up once a week. I called the manufacturer and was told it was an unfixable bug and the device would have to be reset if it occurred. Rather than waiting around for it to fail, I implemented a nightly "maintenance window" which was using the timer to turn the device off at 3AM for 15 minutes. Never had an issue again.
    – Keltari
    Sep 3, 2012 at 17:59
  • 4
    @emory Unless you are (purely hypothetically) disabling the internet to force yourself to go to sleep, in which case it must be automatic.
    – Mark
    Jan 7, 2017 at 15:02
  • 1
    @frank i updated a search link to Amazon.
    – Keltari
    Aug 24, 2018 at 1:15

If your router supports running DD-WRT, then you can quite happily disable certain features at certain times (or even restrict this to only include particular machines).

If your router doesn't support DD-WRT, then buy a router that does.

See the DD-WRT Website which has a compatibility list (Router Database).

  • Except for the "buy a new router" portion I recommend this solution. I received a second hand router that supported DD-WRT and promptly replaced my existing (arguably better quality) router that didn't support DD-WRT once I saw its features.
    – Chris Nava
    Aug 29, 2012 at 15:46

Some routers have telnet or SSH access. If yours does then you could create a script to log into the router and disable/enable the WAN connection (do a DHCP release/renew.) Run that on a schedule and you're all set. Restarting the router at night would re-enable the WAN in this case.

  • Run it from where? They have multiple Internet devices, so which one is supposed to be the “master” that administers the router?
    – Synetech
    Aug 29, 2012 at 14:31
  • Whichever one he wants...
    – Chris Nava
    Aug 29, 2012 at 14:39
  • 1
    You are reading too much into the question... He didn't ask for device independence or a solution that doesn't require a computer. This is just one possible way to accomplish the goal. I'm not saying it's the only way or even the best way. Chill out.
    – Chris Nava
    Aug 29, 2012 at 15:13
  • 2
    "If not, are there other solutions to the problem?" leaves it open to creativity IMHO.
    – Chris Nava
    Aug 29, 2012 at 15:14
  • 1
    No problem. For the record, I highly recommend the DD-WRT solution if it's available for your router. The light-timer solution is pure genius but I would avoid it on the principal that I'm a coder. ;-) It could also stress the hardware a bit more since these things are designed to be left ON all the time..
    – Chris Nava
    Aug 29, 2012 at 15:41

The OP has not responded to a request for his specific router's "make and model", so we don't know what features it has. However I have a 1 year old, high-end wireless router (dual band, guest network access, wireless on/off switch, USB port), and it does not have direct control of enabling/disabling the "internet access" or the WAN based on a timer.

However this wireless router can perform "content filtering" (aka "parental control") by blocking sites and/or services based on a schedule. The firewall is inspecting all packets traversing the WAN to LAN boundary, and is the natural place to install a simple "internet en/dis-able capability" (i.e. block all sites and services on a nightly schedule).

So the OP should be evaluating the firewall capabilities of his router (e.g. can rules be applied by a schedule), rather than looking for a "WAN disable" feature/capability.


It depends on why you want it off at night. Obviously to disable it completely, internet and network traffic you could just unplug it. That wouldn't work for me because the reason I want it off at night is to keep my teenage kids from staying up too late on their computers, and they could just plug the router back in. So I go into the settings on my router with the password and block all ports on a certain schedule. This would also depend though on if your router supports this feature.


The Apple Airport Extreme support that requirement. Using that functionnality since about 2 years. My teen was playing on the Internet rather than sleeping.

  • This should've been a comment. Try to gains some more reputation by asking your own questions or pursuing other activities that could gain you some reputation. As an answer it's lacking any information short of the product name. There is no information on how to configure it or how it works.
    – Seth
    Dec 28, 2016 at 12:28

For a different reason (health concerns over EMF from wifi), I was able to have my computer automatically turn off my wifi at night, and back on in the morning. This method requires a computer that is always on (desktop or server most likely).

I used Selenium to create a script which used the router's web admin interface to disable the wifi, and another script which enabled it. Then I created a scheduled job in Windows that invoked those scripts at the proper times each day. Selenium apparently works in Mac OS X and Linux as well.

  • Could use a script on the router itself, if it's supported. I believe dd-wrt supports cron scripts, among others. Or, if your router has a physical button, you could configure it to toggle the wifi on & off, like dd-wrt and the old WRT54 routers, among others. Why have the wifi on at all unless you're actually using it anyway?
    – Xen2050
    Mar 20, 2019 at 20:13

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