Unreliable Routers and WIFI access Points

Over the years I’ve dealt with unreliable WIFI access points and less frequently ADSL routers… and I’ve adopted a simple solution.

There seem to be many WIFI access points out there that are unreliable – that is they works for weeks on end and then at random stop working. It might be months, it might be days.

I’ve recently been piecing this together and one thought is resetting. No matter where you are but more likely in rural areas, you get mains spikes, dips or downright failures. Mains failures don’t usually cause a problem as anything over a second or two gives the reset circuitry in modern equipment time to discharge ready to run again – but quick spikes or dips, i.e. glitches, can leave microprocessors in a mess.

This is almost always down to rubbish reset circuits as I found out many years ago when designing PIC-based products full time. It is possible there’s a generation of designers still who aren’t aware of this and while some processors will have improved, others which CLAIM to have internal reset may well not have this down to a perfect art.

This certainly WOULD explain why some electronic kit which is left on 24-7 seems to fail on the odd occasion.

How many times have you heard someone say “I just turned it off and on again and it was fine”.  See my point?

Ok the simple solution is a timer – not the DIRT cheap kind with the rotary dial that work in 15 minute intervals and are HOPELESS as they lose time when the power is turned off… no, the slightly more expensive ones with an LCD display that KEEP the time.

Set them to reset the gadget at a time you won’t be worried about – say, on at 4am – and off at 3.58am… so they are on all day and turn off for 2 minutes near 4am. Of course if you work then you might want to pick a different time.

I’ve used this plan on several occasions and while not ideal, it’s a cheap, inexpensive and simple way to ensure your 24-7 kit remains working for 24-7, 365 days a year.   It’s a lot cheaper than a new router!