• Sign in to Neowin Faster!

    Create an account on Neowin to contribute and support the site.

  • 0
Sign in to follow this  

Is my router starting to fail?

Question

DaDude    51

I've had my Netgear router for a little over four years and has been rock solid ever since until now. A few weeks ago, I started noticing that the Wi-Fi was slow in loading websites. So, I turned off the router and then turned it back on and the Wi-Fi internet went back to normal. At the time, it was a one time problem that was easily resolved, so I didn't think much of it. Then last week, I turned on my router when I got home to use the internet and when my router loaded up, the indicator light was showing me that my internet was down. My internet rarely goes down, so I called my cable company and they weren't showing any problems in my area. So, I was perplexed why my internet was down and my cable company couldn't help. So I decided to turn off my router and then turn it back on. And after it rebooted, lo and behold, my internet was back up and running. Now yesterday, I turn on my router to watch Netflix videos. Well, Netflix was loading videos very very slowly throughout the night. I rebooted my Smart TV and it didn't help; it was still extremely slow loading videos. So again, I decided to reboot my router and see if that will solve it. After my router got rebooted, Netflix videos were now loading instantaneously.

 

Maybe turning off my router is causing it to glitch and perhaps I should leave it turned on 24/7, but I've never started having these glitches with my router until recently. Do you think my router is starting to fail?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

21 answers to this question

Recommended Posts

  • 0
sc302    1,791

All of these soho routers, especially the low end, seem to have the reboot issue you describe.  I understand that you have just started to experience it, but this seems to be what happens to them.  I have had several out of the box like that.  

 

It could be that they released faulty firmware, may want to check on the forums in regards to that specific firmware version you are on.  Perhaps going down to a more stable release would resolve your issue, it sometimes does.  Alternatively, you could go with a third party firmware if they support your device.  DD-WRT and Tomato come to mind here.  You actually have to search the DD-WRT download section manually and not rely on the compatibility list on their main page, I am not sure if they maintain that list at all.

 

My suggestion if you are tech savvy and like features is to go with a prosumer brand like ubiquiti.  But it may have more features than you will ever use at a price point that may not be suitable for you (ie you aren't getting one for 20 or 50 bux).  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
+BudMan    3,694
1 hour ago, DaDude said:

I turn on my router to watch Netflix videos

Why are turning it off in the first place?  You understand it prob uses about $5 of electric for the whole year..  So you turning on and off all the time might save you want a couple of bucks for a year.. How does that make sense??

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
DaDude    51
2 hours ago, BudMan said:

Why are turning it off in the first place?  You understand it prob uses about $5 of electric for the whole year..  So you turning on and off all the time might save you want a couple of bucks for a year.. How does that make sense??

For security reasons. That way, no one hacks into my internet while I'm away. 

 

If you can ensure me that it's safe to leave on, then I will do so. But in today's world, you gotta be careful. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
sc302    1,791

wow, fearful much?

 

If so I would get something where you can keep tabs of stuff.  This way even if you are home and have it on you can monitor.  Hell, you can even only allow devices that you approve to be on your network.  You can also add devices that you see to a block list so that they can’t auth on your network.  You would have a complete history of any device that authenticated.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
+BudMan    3,694

Use a secure PSK.. Mine are like 20 random characters... And your fine..

 

But any real router would show you a list of any device that auths... I have list of all auth request attempts to the network.

 

Who exactly do you think would be hacking your wifi to be honest?  The kid nextdoor?  Someone war driving?  WPA2 with unique ssid and secure psk is more than secure enough... But using default linksys ssid and Passw0rd! as your psk is not a good idea.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
DaDude    51
44 minutes ago, BudMan said:

Use a secure PSK.. Mine are like 20 random characters... And your fine..

 

But any real router would show you a list of any device that auths... I have list of all auth request attempts to the network.

 

Who exactly do you think would be hacking your wifi to be honest?  The kid nextdoor?  Someone war driving?  WPA2 with unique ssid and secure psk is more than secure enough... But using default linksys ssid and Passw0rd! as your psk is not a good idea.

 

I live in an apartment, so anyone next door can try to access my internet if they can figure out my password. I don't expect them to, but you never know.

 

Aside from safety, is it ok to leave your router on 24/7? Shouldn't devices be turned off to allow a resting period? I don't even leave my computer on all the time either.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
Mindovermaster    3,204
16 minutes ago, DaDude said:

 

I live in an apartment, so anyone next door can try to access my internet if they can figure out my password. I don't expect them to, but you never know.

 

Aside from safety, is it ok to leave your router on 24/7? Shouldn't devices be turned off to allow a resting period? I don't even leave my computer on all the time either.

As long as your password isn't a dictionary word, with UPPER and lowercase letters, numbers, special characters (~&#%$^!), it will take a good hacker a LONG time to guess it.

 

There, I foubd it...

 

password_time_and_length.jpg

Numbers and special charactersa are even harder to hack.

 

And routers are meant to be left on 24/7. Same goes for Roters, Modems, Switches, and Servers. (or whatever else you use) They are breed to be on for a long periods of time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
+warwagon    13,751

I've Got a new wifi password for ya

 

I:?$Uqg,i5J]:U;6Lkpo3`a}ITe

  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
sc302    1,791
23 minutes ago, Mindovermaster said:

As long as your password isn't a dictionary word, with UPPER and lowercase letters, numbers, special characters (~&#%$^!), it will take a good hacker a LONG time to guess it.

 

There, I foubd it...

 

password_time_and_length.jpg

Numbers and special charactersa are even harder to hack.

 

And routers are meant to be left on 24/7. Same goes for Roters, Modems, Switches, and Servers. (or whatever else you use) They are breed to be on for a long periods of time.

This is a bit more interesting.  

https://www.grc.com/haystack.htm

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
+warwagon    13,751
31 minutes ago, Mindovermaster said:

As long as your password isn't a dictionary word, with UPPER and lowercase letters, numbers, special characters (~&#%$^!), it will take a good hacker a LONG time to guess it.

 

There, I foubd it...

 

password_time_and_length.jpg

Numbers and special charactersa are even harder to hack.

 

And routers are meant to be left on 24/7. Same goes for Roters, Modems, Switches, and Servers. (or whatever else you use) They are breed to be on for a long periods of time.

Actually all of those passwords would be the first things they would try lol. But yes, I get overall point :D. I would argue those are horrible examples as people might think those are safe to use.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
Mindovermaster    3,204
7 minutes ago, sc302 said:

This is a bit more interesting.  

https://www.grc.com/haystack.htm

 

There are several generators online available. Some you can include any amount of characters you want. With those, though, you will never get the same sequence.

 

Edit: Should of edited that "foiubd", but w/e.... LOL

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
Mindovermaster    3,204
4 minutes ago, warwagon said:

Actually all of those passwords would be the first things they would try lol. But yes, I get overall point :D. I would argue those are horrible examples as people might think those are safe to use.

Was just an example, bro, not really a good practice. ;) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
sc302    1,791
3 minutes ago, Mindovermaster said:

There are several generators online available. Some you can include any amount of characters you want. With those, though, you will never get the same sequence.

Don't ever say never.  The possibility of getting the same password exponentially decreases with the amount of characters increasing.  Just like the lottery, it only takes 1 ticket to win...pick 3 the same numbers come up....pick 6 it takes a bit more time for the same number to come up...powerball and mega millions I am not sure if the same exact number sequence has come up yet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
DaDude    51

Ok, so it seems like the answers I'm getting is to not buy a new router and just leave my current one ON 24/7.

 

So are you guys saying that there is nothing wrong with my router?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
Mindovermaster    3,204
9 minutes ago, sc302 said:

Don't ever say never.  The possibility of getting the same password exponentially decreases with the amount of characters increasing.  Just like the lottery, it only takes 1 ticket to win...pick 3 the same numbers come up....pick 6 it takes a bit more time for the same number to come up...powerball and mega millions I am not sure if the same exact number sequence has come up yet.

It is plausable, yes, but it's likliness in 1/1trillion...

 

The more the characters, the longer it takes to crack.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
Mindovermaster    3,204
2 minutes ago, DaDude said:

Ok, so it seems like the answers I'm getting is to not buy a new router and just leave my current one ON 24/7.

 

So are you guys saying that there is nothing wrong with my router?

Leave it on, see what happens. If it is still fooking up after let on for 24/7, we'll look at other options.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
sc302    1,791
7 minutes ago, DaDude said:

Ok, so it seems like the answers I'm getting is to not buy a new router and just leave my current one ON 24/7.

 

So are you guys saying that there is nothing wrong with my router?

LOL...no.  

 

1.  Check for known firmware issues, revert/change the firmware to one that doesn't have issues (free, costs you time to research)

2.  If there are no known issues, try a 3rd party firmware and see if that fixes your problem (free, costs you time to research and implement)

3.  If neither of those options work, buy new equipment.  (monetary cost and costs  you time to research and implement) 

 

Suggestion 1: There is no need to turn your router off.  (free, side conversation)

Suggestion 2: Get better equipment than what you have so you have more control to feed into your ability to manage the network better and to permanently kick devices.  (monetary cost, costs you time to research and implement)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
ThaCrip    722

I would not be surprised if you just need to replace the capacitors in it as the ones they put in those are likely generic crap as you can buy quality brands on Ebay etc if you need to for probably about $5 assuming you already have a soldering iron etc.

 

because I recently fixed my ASUS WL-520gU router by replacing the caps as it was struggling to keep more than about 1 day to maybe a week or so tops of uptime and the router was generally unstable to (even wireless was starting to act up). but after replacing the two 16v 470uF capacitors in it with some used ones I had laying around the house, I am pretty sure it fixed it as I currently have 4 days and 3+ hours of uptime without any issue and the router is not acting up like it used to. even my other router, Linksys WRT54GS v1.1 has uptime issues which I am pretty sure replacing the capacitors will fix that one to when I get around to it which I suspect ill do in the next couple of weeks.

 

I suggest you run DD-WRT or Tomato firmware on it if possible. I am using 'FreshTomato 2020.1' (freshtomato dot org) currently on my router and you ain't got to worry about it being hacked (use a decent password with symbols and don't make it too short and I doubt anyone is getting into your router). also, when you flash different firmware make sure you properly clear the NVRAM and configure it from scratch as if you fail to do that, it might be unstable etc. so basically... assuming DD-WRT/Tomato firmware work on your router, after you flash it, wait 5 minutes(to make sure it's good), clear the NVRAM(generally can be done through the interface or using telnet), reboot and then configure it from scratch. DO NOT ignore this step!

 

so I guess you could try using DD-WRT/Tomato first and see if that clears up your issues. if that fails, I would seriously consider replacing the capacitors especially since you said the router is 4+ years old and it was previous stable for years which makes me think it's got failing capacitors since that can cause router instability. I figure the capacitor thing is worth a shot since it's barely any $. but if that sounds like too much of a problem, then replacing your router may be the only option if the firmware change does not work.

Edited by ThaCrip

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
+warwagon    13,751

If you do want a new router, go on eBay and buy a cheap used functioning ..Linksys WRT AC1900 and put LEDE or OpenWRT on it. I got one for my GF's house for $75 on eBay. It's working great!

 

image.thumb.png.7abf98db0db1e30c084b4985326e5ac3.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
Brandon H    3,671
9 minutes ago, warwagon said:

If you do want a new router, go on eBay and buy a cheap used functioning ..Linksys WRT AC1900 and put LEDE or OpenWRT on it. I got one for my GF's house for $75 on eBay. It's working great!

 

image.thumb.png.7abf98db0db1e30c084b4985326e5ac3.png

yeah, that's the model I have and it's running OpenWRT (LEDE was absorbed back into OpenWRT just FYI) and it works great. Love being able to have a HDD attached with a download server running.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
+BudMan    3,694
5 hours ago, DaDude said:

Shouldn't devices be turned off to allow a resting period? I don't even leave my computer on all the time either.

Huh?  They are designed to be on 24/7..  The only time my computer is off, is when doing something with it hardware wise, its rebooting for some sort of patch.. Other than its on 24/7 - and I don't even put it into standby..

 

Unless you are running wep, or using wps (this should be off) hacking your psk if actually secure and not something like p@55w0rd! would be almost impossible to brute force by normal people..

 

If you are concerned, why not try and hack your own wifi..  hashcat comes to mind, but using wpa2 (aes) with unique ssid and "strong" psk is very secure.. It sure doesn't justify turning it off as a concern..   If your concerned, change it every so often.

 

Do your research.. But sure a dedicated hacking rig using GPU are very fast... Is the script kiddie in the apt next to you using a say a $5k hacking rig?  But still with even such a rig to run through the key space of 20 random would be in the 1000's of years.   But if your concerned, shut it off - keep in mind that once I have captured a handshake, I don't need your system on any more, and the next time its turned on I can auth... So you turn it on and off doesn't protect you really.

 

If your tinfoil hat is that tight, I suggest you change your password every time you turn it on, and then go through all the hassle of changing that on your device your running netflix on, and then next time your doing it - do it all over again.  Or be better to just run a wire to watch your netflix.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.