How to Power Cycle a Router and Modem

Power cycling is the process of “rebooting” the router and modem. When we power cycle a network, we generally will do all computers behind the router, as well. This gives those devices the opportunity to clear memory and refresh IP addresses. This is typically done when a noticeable slow-down has occurred or if you are having connectivity issues and cannot connect to the Internet. Your modem gets an IP address from your ISP, the router gets this IP from the modem and then the router gives out fake internal, IP addresses to computers behind it. This is called NAT translation. Renewing these IP addresses occasionally will help your network run faster, and this process only takes a few minutes.

power cycle your router and modem

Power Cycle Your Network

To begin the process of power cycling your router, modem and computers, begin by shutting down all of the computers in your house. Next, shut down the router by unplugging the AC power cord. You can leave all other cables attached.

Note: Many networks will have either a modem and router or a combined modem and router in one box. If you have a separate modem and router, you will want to shut them both down.

After that, shut off the modem and unplug it. Some newer systems, like Verizon FIOS, have a battery backup system that will begin to complain when you unplug it. Just take the battery out so we’re sure everything is completely shutdown. For most Internet Service Providers, you will only have to unplug the modem.

Once the modem is off for a few minutes, plug it back in and wait. The modem will usually have all green lights when it is up and running. Plug the router back in and wait for it to cycle up completely. You will see all green lights again. Some of the lights will be flashing, which is normal.

You can now boot up the computers. If the router is setup as a DHCP server, it will now provide the computer with a fresh IP address. You can confirm this happened by going back to the command prompt and typing ipconfig /all. You should now see that your computer has an address similar to

If you have more questions about power cycling your router, be sure to join our free computer forums and ask one of our members.

Category: Networking


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