How to Remotely Reboot a Modem or Router When You’re Away

Netreset will remotely reboot a modem and routerIt happens to everyone.  You’re on vacation or simply not at home for an extended period and all of a sudden, your home security cameras aren’t accessible.  Turns out your modem or router needs to be restarted.  Problem is, you aren’t there, and won’t be for days or months.  So, that’s our topic for today.  How to remotely reboot a modem or router.

The Scenario

You’re a thousand miles away from home an want to check the action on your security cameras.  Open the Nest app, or the Arlo app.  It says camera is unavailable.  Well, if you followed some of our advice in our related article called How to Remotely Reboot a Nest Cam, Samsung SmartCam or Other Security Camera then you used the WeMo Switch Smart Plug with your camera.  Now get into your WeMo app and reboot that camera.

But what if WeMo isn’t connecting?  Or, worse yet, what if the problem is the internet?

First Call the ISP

If the internet isn’t accessible, call your ISP.  They can remotely send a reset signal to your modem to reboot it.  On the other hand, if the modem is in a disabled, they will tell you that they won’t be able to do that.  This is where it gets kind of maddening.  If your modem can’t be reached by your ISP, ask them to check if there are any problems in the area.  Hopefully they are aware but sometimes they aren’t.  A recent personal experience had me going nuts for days and then suddenly, like magic, the problems stopped.  All by itself.  According to the ISP, nothing was wrong on their end.  Sure.

And Now for the Modem and Router

You may reach the point where you have to remotely reboot a modem or router.  Hopefully you have someone close by that can go to your home or office and pull the plug for a few minutes and plug it back in.  If not, keep reading.

The device in the photo that accompanies shows the NetReset NR-1000US Automated Power Cycler for Network Devices in use.  Plug the modem into the designated port and the router into the other.  Set a time for a daily reboot.  When the time is reached, the modem and router are powered down.  First, the modem will be started.  A minute later, the router gets rebooted.  It’s important that you plug the devices into the proper designated ports because you want the modem to get rebooted first, then the router.  Works reliably.  So now, at 4AM daily, everything is power cycled.

Want to get more sophisticated than a fancy timer? Consider the MSNSwitch Internet Enabled IP Remote Power Switch. What makes this different is the embedded network logic.  Plug your modem and router into the adapters, but also plug an Ethernet cable into the device.  Periodic pings of a popular reliable site will take place.  No answer is indicative of an internet failure and a reboot sequence ensues.  Is it better than a fancy timer?  Maybe.

Want something less sophisticated than the synchronized timer to remotely reboot a modem or router?  We got you covered there too.  Get a Stanley TimerMax Digislim 1-Outlet Digital Bar Timer 2-Pack and just set the one with router to be five minutes later than the modem.  Use a one minute duration for the power off / on sequence for each device.

Contingency Planning

If uninterrupted access to your security cameras is important, and you plan to be away for an extended time, using one of these devices to remotely reboot a modem or router is a worthy consideration.  Going weeks between views of the premises can potentially be avoided with the addition of one of these accessories.

Always remember though, some internet service providers are notoriously unreliable and will give you the wrong information more often than not.  When they tell you nothing is wrong in the area, ask the neighbors if they are having a similar issue.  You might be surprised (or not) to hear that they are having similar issues.

All of these articles are written by someone (me) that figured out how to do this stuff the hard way.  I have owned and tested dozens of cameras.  Manufacturer support varies.  There are a few good companies that provide timely answers when you have questions.  There are several that sell you the camera and seem to have little interest in post sales support (which leads me to finding out stuff the hard way).