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Why Does My Router Keep Disconnecting? 9 Troubleshooting Tips + 13 Solutions

A Wi-Fi router with a person on a computer in the background (Why Does My Router Keep Disconnecting?)

You’re in the middle of an important video conference when suddenly, your internet connection drops. You ask yourself, “Why does my router keep disconnecting?” Sound familiar? We’ve all been there. It’s frustrating, disruptive, and can seriously impact your productivity or entertainment. But fear not, you’re not alone in this struggle.

At Hardware Fusion, we understand the frustration of dealing with a finicky router that seems to have a mind of its own. In this blog post, we’ll explore the common reasons why your router keeps disconnecting and provide practical solutions to help you get back online with a stable connection.

9 Reasons Your Router Might Be Disconnecting

Finding the root cause of your router’s disconnection issues can be a bit like solving a puzzle. There are many factors that can contribute to this issue, some more obvious than others. Here are nine possible reasons why your router might keep disconnecting:

1. You Need to Restart Your Modem and Router

It may sound cliché, but the age-old advice of turning it off and on again often works wonders. Sometimes, all your router needs is a quick reset to clear out any temporary glitches or conflicts.

2. Your Router is Too Old

Just like any other electronic device, routers have a lifespan. If you’ve had the same router for years, it might be time for an upgrade. Newer models often come with improved performance and better stability. In addition, wifi routers do have a shelf life. If you are worried about this, read our article about how long wifi routers last.

3. Slow Internet Plan

If you’re experiencing frequent disconnections, it could be because your internet plan isn’t providing enough bandwidth to support your activities. Consider upgrading to a faster plan to ensure a smoother online experience.

4. Your Networking Cables are Damaged or Loose

Loose or damaged cables can interfere with your internet connection, causing intermittent dropouts. Check all cables connected to your router and make sure they’re securely plugged in.

5. You’re Too Far From Your Router

Distance matters when it comes to Wi-Fi signals. If you’re too far away from your router, the signal strength may weaken, leading to disconnects. Try moving closer to your router or installing a Wi-Fi range extender.

Two people looking at a faulty wi-fi router and troubleshooting it

6. Radio Interference

Wireless routers operate on specific frequency bands, and they can be susceptible to interference from other electronic devices, such as cordless phones or microwave ovens. Keep your router away from such devices to minimize interference.

7. Outdated Software/Firmware

Just like your computer or smartphone, routers require regular software updates to stay secure and perform optimally. However, a whopping 86% of users have never updated the router’s firmware! You need to check for updates for your router and install them as needed. 

8. Internet Outage

Sometimes, the issue isn’t with your router but with your internet service provider (ISP). Check if there are any reported outages in your area and contact your ISP for assistance.

9. Insecure Network

If your Wi-Fi network isn’t properly secured, unauthorized users may be leeching off your bandwidth, causing disruptions. Enable WPA2 encryption and use a strong password to keep your network secure.

How to Fix a Router That Keeps Disconnecting: 13 Methods

A wi-fi router laying on a blue surface

If none of the above solutions work, it’s possible that your router may be faulty and in need of repair or replacement. Here are 13 methods to help you fix a faulty router connection:

1. Restart Your Router and Modem

As mentioned earlier, a simple reboot can often resolve connectivity issues. To effectively restart your router and modem, follow these steps:

  • Unplug both your router and modem from their power sources.
  • Wait for at least 30 seconds to ensure all residual power dissipates.
  • Plug in your modem first and wait for it to fully reboot, typically indicated by stable indicator lights.
  • Once the modem is fully online, plug in your router and allow it to boot up completely.

Test your internet connection to see if the issue has been resolved.

2. Increase Internet Speed

If you’re experiencing slow or unstable internet wifi connection speeds, consider upgrading to a faster plan from your ISP. You can do this by contacting your provider or checking their website for available plans in your area. Additionally, there are a few things you can do to optimize your internet speed that we will talk about a little further down the list.

If you are having a internet connection problem, be sure to check out our blog on why your wifi isn’t turning on.

3. Restart and/or Update Your Device

Sometimes, the problem lies with your computer or smartphone rather than the router. Restart your device and make sure it’s running the latest software updates. Checking for software updates in your device settings and installing any available updates will ensure that your device is running at its optimal performance.

4. Limit the Number of Devices on Your Network

Too many devices connected to your Wi-Fi network can overload it, leading to poor performance and disconnections. Disconnect devices you’re not actively using or consider upgrading to a router with better capacity.

5. Ensure Your Router Firmware is Up-to-Date

Check for firmware updates for your router regularly and install them to ensure optimal performance and security. To update your router’s firmware:

  • Access your router’s administration interface using a web browser.
  • Look for the firmware update option in the settings menu.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to download and install the latest firmware version.

6. Update Network Adapter Drivers on Your Computer

Outdated network adapter drivers can cause connectivity issues. Check for updates in your device manager and install any available updates. To update network adapter drivers:

  • Open the Device Manager on your computer.
  • Locate the network adapters section and expand it.
  • Right-click on your network adapter and select “Update driver.”
  • Follow the prompts to search for and install any available updates.
A person in a blue shirt troubleshooting a wi-fi router

7. Utilize the Built-In Network Troubleshooter on Your Device

Most operating systems have built-in network troubleshooters that can diagnose and fix common connectivity problems. Use these tools to identify and resolve issues. Follow the prompts to diagnose and resolve common connectivity problems automatically. Check out our article on what to do when your router is showing a blinking red light for more tips.

8. Reset Your Computer’s Network Configuration

Resetting your computer’s network settings to default can sometimes resolve connectivity issues. However, proceed with caution as this will erase any custom settings you’ve configured. To reset your network configuration:

  • Open the network settings or control panel on your device.
  • Locate the option to reset network settings to default.
  • Confirm the action and restart your computer.

9. Verify and Resolve Any ISP Modem Conflicts

Sometimes, there can be conflicts between your router and the modem provided by your ISP. Contact your ISP’s customer support and explain the issue you’re experiencing and then work with them to troubleshoot and resolve any compatibility issues between your router and their modem.

10. Assess and Change Wi-Fi Channels to Avoid Congestion

Wi-Fi routers operate on different channels, and switching to a less congested channel can improve signal strength and stability. To do this, you can use a Wi-Fi analyzer app to determine which channels are most congested in your area and then change your router’s channel accordingly.

11. Stop Your Device from Auto-Switching Between Wi-Fi Networks

Some devices have a feature that automatically switches between Wi-Fi networks, which can cause disruptions. Disable this feature to ensure a stable connection. You can do this by going into your device’s Wi-Fi settings and turning off the option to “auto-join” networks.

12. Refresh Your Antivirus Software

Malware or viruses on your computer can disrupt internet connectivity. Run a full system scan using your antivirus software and remove any threats found. It’s also a good idea to regularly update your antivirus software to ensure it can detect and protect against new threats.

13. Examine Your Router’s Log for Additional Insights

Routers often keep logs of events and errors, which can provide valuable insights into connectivity issues. Check your router’s log for any error messages and troubleshoot accordingly. To access your router’s log:

  • Log in to your router’s administration interface.
  • Look for the system log or event log section.
  • Review the log for any error messages or unusual activity and troubleshoot accordingly.

By following all of these steps, you can help improve your internet connectivity and ensure a smoother browsing experience.

Why Does My Router Keep Disconnecting? Final Thoughts

Dealing with a router that keeps disconnecting can be a frustrating experience, but with the right troubleshooting steps, you can regain a stable internet connection and minimize disruptions to your online activities. Whether it’s restarting your router, updating firmware, or optimizing your network settings, there are plenty of solutions to explore. Remember, a little patience and persistence can go a long way in resolving connectivity issues.

Frequently Asked Questions 

How often should I restart my router?

It’s a good idea to restart your router and modem periodically, especially if you notice any performance issues or connectivity problems. Over time, routers can accumulate temporary data or encounter minor glitches that can impact their performance.

By restarting your router and modem every few weeks, you give them a chance to clear out this data and start fresh. This simple maintenance task can help prevent issues like slow internet speeds or intermittent disconnections.

Can using a VPN cause internet disconnects?

While VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) are generally designed to enhance online privacy and security, they can occasionally cause connectivity issues. VPNs route your internet traffic through their servers, which can introduce latency or congestion, leading to slower speeds or intermittent disconnects.

Additionally, certain VPN configurations or server locations may not be compatible with your network setup or internet service provider (ISP). If you’re experiencing frequent disconnects while using a VPN, try connecting to a different server or temporarily disabling the VPN to see if the issue resolves. It’s also a good idea to ensure that your VPN client and network settings are properly configured to avoid conflicts with your computer’s network settings.

Why does my internet connection only drop at certain times of the day?

This could be due to a variety of factors, such as high network traffic during peak usage times or internet connectivity problems. It’s important to troubleshoot the issue by checking for any scheduled maintenance or internet outages in your area, as well as running speed tests to determine if there are any fluctuations in your internet speeds. If the issue persists, it may be worth contacting your ISP for further assistance.

Will upgrading my router improve internet connectivity?

In many cases, upgrading to a newer router can indeed improve your wireless connection and internet connectivity, especially if your current router is outdated or experiencing hardware issues. Newer routers often feature advanced technologies, such as improved signal range, faster Wi-Fi speeds, and better network management capabilities, which can lead to a more stable and reliable connection.  It is crucial that you get a good wifi router, which is why we put together this blog on the best wifi routers available.

How can I determine if my internet connectivity issues are caused by my router or my internet service provider?

Determining the root cause of internet connectivity issues can sometimes be challenging, especially when multiple factors are involved. To troubleshoot effectively, start by performing a few basic checks. First, try accessing the internet from multiple devices connected to your home network.

If all devices are experiencing the same connectivity problems, it’s likely an issue with your router or ISP. Next, check if other Wi-Fi networks in your area are also experiencing similar issues. If neighboring networks are unaffected, the problem may be isolated to your home network or ISP.

Additionally, try connecting a device directly to your modem via an Ethernet cable to bypass the router entirely. If the direct connection resolves the issue, it suggests a problem with your router. However, if you’re still experiencing connectivity issues, it’s more likely an ISP-related problem.

Finally, contact your ISP’s customer support for assistance and inquire about any reported outages or network maintenance activities in your area. By systematically troubleshooting and gathering information, you can pinpoint the source of the problem and take appropriate action to resolve it.

What is a wifi router?

A wifi router is a device that allows you to connect multiple devices wirelessly to the internet. It acts as a central hub for your home network, providing a wireless signal for your devices to connect to. This can include smartphones, laptops, tablets, and smart home devices. 

Amber Briggs

Amber Briggs

Amber Briggs has served 8 years in a corporate IT role. She assists users in troubleshooting hardware and software, implementing and maintaining network hardware and software, and writes process documentation for end-users and other company members. Amber has previously worked as a Junior Systems Admin for many companies, including Doctors Making Housecalls, Carillon Assisted Living, and Custom Communications Inc. She also has experience working as a Technical Support Agent at Citrix. She holds a degree in professional writing and is currently studying computer science and information studies at Houston Community College. Amber has many hobbies outside of work, including art and graphic design, surfing, gardening, gym, video games, going to the gym, and skateboarding.

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