Modem RESET: Understanding when to use it

If your Internet connection isn't working or you've mucked around with your modem settings, you might be wondering if hitting the modem reset button will solve your problems. Maybe you're wondering what happens if you simply unplug your modem. Before you do anything, read on.

Where to find the reset button

The reset button is on the back of your modem. It's probably red and labeled RESET. Since it's not meant to be used often, it's recessed to prevent it from being accidentally pressed. You will need to use the tip of a pen or the end of a paperclip to reach it. You will likely feel a slight click when you press it.

What the reset button does

You use the reset button to restore your modem to its factory default settings (which also erases any customized settings you may have programmed into it).

How to use the reset button

IMPORTANT
BEFORE you use the reset button, keep these things in mind:

  • Any modem settings that have been configured or customized in the past will be changed back to the original factory default values. Custom settings include: static IP entries, DNS, customized admin password, customized wireless settings, port forwarding, routing and DHCP settings.
  • You may want to view and write down your modem settings before using the reset button to restore the defaults. Learn how to view your modem settings from a computer.
  • After resetting the modem, the power light will turn amber and you will need to run through the modem activation process as though you were installing a brand new modem.
  • Any devices previously connected will no longer be able to connect until you enter the most current network password (KEY/PASSPHRASE) into the device's wireless connection.

Read all these steps before attempting a reset. To perform a factory RESET:

  1. Press and hold the reset button.
  2. Release the reset button after the lights on the modem start flickering (10 to 15 seconds).
  3. Wait 3 to 5 minutes for the Internet light to turn green.
  4. Try connecting to the Internet.
  5. You may be asked for account related information to reprogram your modem.

Resetting your modem can fix gaming troubles, routing errors, "can't get on the Internet" problems, slow connection speeds, choppy VOIP, port issues, wireless issues and device conflicts.

Tip: If you're trying to connect a wireless device to your network, look for a sticker on the bottom or side of your modem. The sticker will have the modem's factory default settings. If you changed your credentials to something you were sure you'd remember later (but now are drawing a blank on), perform a factory RESET (as described above), and your network credentials will be reset to match what you see on the modem sticker.

How to power cycle your modem

To RESTART (reboot) your modem:

  1. Unplug the power cord from the back of the modem. Verify you have unplugged the correct cord by checking that all the lights on the modem are turned OFF.
  2. Wait 30 seconds, and plug the power cord back into the modem.
  3. Wait for the Internet light to turn green.
  4. Try connecting to the Internet.

Restarting your modem can fix Internet connection problems, improve slow moving connections and resolve wireless issues.

Note: "Power cycle" is just a fancy way of saying, "turn your modem ON/OFF." If you search the Internet, you'll see this term used frequently.

Unplug your modem from the wall outlet

If you run into other problems due to resetting your modem, take a quick look at these articles:


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