One of the first things to do when your internet connection goes down is to turn off your router, wait a moment, and turn it back on again (something that works for a surprising number of computer issues).

But you know what’s even easier than manually rebooting your router? Getting it to restart automatically whenever your connection to the internet is lost.

Enter this automatic router re-starter, created from about $3 in parts by maker Mike Diamond.

In a nutshell, the system consists of an ESP2866 board and an ESP8266 ESP-01 relay board. With a little bit of programming and a power supply, the board can:

  • Periodically ping Google through a cable modem.
  • If it detects a response, then nothing happens.
  • If it doesn’t get a response, then it shuts off power to the router for about 30 seconds, and then allows it to reboot before pinging Google again.

Theoretically if Google’s servers are down, the router would go into an infinite loop… but Google doesn’t go down very often. And you could always program the router rebooter to attempt to connect to a different server instead.

Ultimately this isn’t going to fix a router that has serious problems affecting the hardware or firmware. But if you just need to reboot your router a few times a month, this sort of simple hack could prolong the life of your existing hardware while saving you the trouble of doing a manual reboot or buying a new router.

You can find more details about the hardware and software used for this $3 route rebooter at

via Pluralistic and BoingBoing

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6 replies on “Build an automatic router rebooter with $3 in parts”

  1. I think you have bought the wrong router if you have to reboot it manually all the time. Haven’t rebooted my router in ages except for updates. (Mikrotik)

    1. I also use mikrotik. It needs a lot of knowledge to configure right. As a router it’s amazing, but as a wifi AP it’s not so good. The best combo is a mikrotik router and a unifi switch & AP combo, but that’s not that cheap.

    1. Not always an option. Sure I could match the convenience using use a script that my router runs, or with a phone widget runs a script that SSHs into it and reboots it, but you can’t always do that to whatever hardware your isp provides.

  2. I use a less intelligent solution. Just a lamp timer that restarts the modem everyday at 2.00am.

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