Smart Home Troubleshooting Tips
Is there a way for me to reboot my Wi-Fi network when I’m on vacation so I can reconnect to all of my smart home devices?
This question was answered on September 7, 2019. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.
The popularity of smart home devices has put a whole new emphasis on having a solid Internet connection at home.
Web cams, motion sensing lights and your perimeter monitoring devices can’t alert you if they lose their connection to your network.
Why Rebooting Fixes Problems
You know how rebooting your computer can solve lots of simple issues and the same holds true for your router and Internet modem because they’re essentially small computer systems.
Rebooting allows them to re-establish connections, flush out their working memory and free up resources that could have been consumed during the normal course of operations.
Remote Rebooting Options
If you are paying your Internet Service Provider (ISP) for a device that both connects you to the Internet and provides you with a Wi-Fi network, you can check with them to see if any options are available for them to reboot your modem/router device for you.
They may also have DIY options for restarting your devices through an app or special website, so the time to check with them is before you leave on a trip.
Your devices may also have the ability to reset themselves on a scheduled basis or you can simply get an old-school manual timer (https://amzn.to/2PNnXxP) that turns power off and back on again on a regular daily interval.
Some newer Wi-Fi hardware such as mesh networks often times will have built-in remote management tools or apps that provide their owners with complete control of the Wi-Fi network including the ability to reboot them remotely.
Another more comprehensive approach is to invest in remotely accessible power adapters that will allow you to send a command to cut off power to your Internet connected devices and restart them. Many of them can detect when the Internet connection has gone down and restart automatically as well.
Resetting everything via the electrical outlet mimics the process that your ISP often asks you to go through whenever you call them with a problem.
Before You Leave
If you know you’re going to be away for an extended period of time and want to ensure the best possibilities of being able to access your smart devices from the road, there are a number of things you can do.
The first is to evaluate your current equipment - if it’s really old and requires you to restart it on a regular basis already, consider replacing it.
If you haven’t performed a firmware upgrade on your router recently, make sure you check for any available updates before you leave on your trip.
If you have someone looking after your place while you’re gone, provide them with instructions for resetting your Internet devices so you can simply text them with the request when necessary.
In some cases, your ISP may need to gain access to your home while you are away, so having a neighbor or friend available should this become necessary is another great thing to setup before you leave.
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Posted by Ken of Data Doctors on September 7, 2019