Remotely rebooting devices (without physical intervention) - share your tips!

atomicboyatomicboy Member, Beta Tester Posts: 50 ✭✭
I've seen a number of threads on remotely rebooting devices (without physical intervention). 
Just thought I'd start up a thread so others can post their tips. 

Here's how I achieve this on my network. 

I use an IP Smart Switch that controls the power to one of my Router/Modems and the power to the associated Outdoor Wireless Unit. I can do a manual power cycle of either or both power outlets by hitting “reset all” and the unit constantly pings 5 IP addresses to determine if they can be reached. If they cannot be reached then the unit will do a power cycle on it’s own. There is lots of functionality to set up different criteria on the switch.

Sometimes I do a manual power cycle when performance has degraded and this sometimes can result in an immediate improvement. I have a dual Wan bonded system so if I do the power cycle the traffic switches to my other Wan (I have 2 Fixed Wireless to the Home systems) with no noticeable impact.

For a while I did try scheduled nightly power cycles but that really did not achieve anything. 
The Smart IP Switch is not cheap but it sure can make life easier. 

You can use a variety of methods to communicate with the Smart IP Switch external to your LAN system if you choose.



  • VioletChepilVioletChepil London, UKMember Posts: 2,474 admin
    Anyone have any other tips to add in here? Would be great to have a good resource reference page for other members! 
    @idroy @Stratt3000 @domenico @GlenBo84 @kltaylor @Marc @tx_hermit @Hronos 

    Community Manager at Fing

  • domenicodomenico Administrator Posts: 3 admin
    I would stay clear of scheduled daily reboots - in the long run powering on/off an an electronic device can bring serious damage to it (I unfortunately have first hand experience of this - I had to throw away a few pieces of expensive gear because of too frequent powercycling). IP controllable power outlets are getting more popular and some can be found at a decent price range. Even the cheap wifi ones you cand find on amazon tend to do the job nowadays. You can find a list of the most popular ones (both commercial grade and consumer grade here . The list is compiled for different purposes (they are the ones we support in domotz (network monitoring software for MSPs) in response to customer requests but it should be a good resource to understand what options are out there. 
  • VioletChepilVioletChepil London, UKMember Posts: 2,474 admin
    Thanks @domenico for sharing. That resource is very helpful too :)

    Community Manager at Fing

  • adamadam Member, Beta Tester Posts: 58 ✭✭✭

    As an extension to this I would like to remind people that for low powered devices they may have such as a fing box or another iot hub that doesn't support POE, you can power it via POE on your powered switch with something like this nifty device....

    This can allow you to bring loads of other devices under the management of your poe managed switch!

  • VioletChepilVioletChepil London, UKMember Posts: 2,474 admin
    Thanks for sharing @adam!

    Community Manager at Fing

  • atomicboyatomicboy Member, Beta Tester Posts: 50 ✭✭
    My own router router runs on a UPS with a automatic emergency generator as a back up.  
    I run one of my internet providers router/modems and the outdoor unit on the Smart IP Switch. My other internet providers router/modem is on the UPS as well along with my Firewall Appliance and all 3 of my Fingboxes. This keeps me up and running even during power outages.
  • MirekmalMirekmal Member, Beta Tester Posts: 55 ✭✭✭
    I use LAN Relay Switch for this. It allows to control on board relay with commands send through IP. It can be done either from command line (SSH) or I have it also configured as switch in homeassistant. On relay side I have one of these hardwired to reset switch of  my always on computer and one that can interrupt power supply (over USB) to appliance. This way it is possible to hard restart these devices whenever any other method fails.
  • SKULLYARDSKULLYARD Member, Beta Tester Posts: 4

    When does a light bulb pop? When you turn it on. AKA when it heats up. It’s the constant heating up and cooling off cycle that kills electronic devices. I do have all of my APs auto reboot at midnight. Those are the only devices I schedule.

  • OldDesertLizardOldDesertLizard Member, Beta Tester Posts: 1
    I have Insteon switches (light switches on the wall... not the network kind of switch) throughout my home.  I have a couple of the Insteon Remote Control On/Off units that I've used for holiday lighting, etc., and after having some IP cameras upstairs that just "lose their mind" every now and then, I moved one of the remove control on/off switches downstream of the power strip they're plugged into.  So now I can turn them off and on from any of the Insteon control points.  Maybe a little more expensive than some folks want, but it works well if you already have an Insteon system.  I'm sure other home automation/control systems have similar devices.

  • atomicboyatomicboy Member, Beta Tester Posts: 50 ✭✭
    I use Many Insteon devices throughout my house with an ISY99 controller. I really like the system. 
  • SKULLYARDSKULLYARD Member, Beta Tester Posts: 4

    I just call Hillary up and tell her to “push and hold”. She’s great with servers.

  • SimoneSpinozziSimoneSpinozzi Member, Beta Tester Posts: 77 ✭✭✭
    hmmm.... between the stuff i have in my house alone and the stuff i have to control via radio bridges... having to remotely reset stuff never came up. If i see seomthing is on the fritz i just walk there or to the neighboring buildings and turn it off and on again. I mean, don't get me wrong. Doing it from my bed would be nice (i'm disabled) buuut some extra excuse for movement was never unwelcome.

    Especially if dude number 456 needs his A0 prints the year before the last and the printer stops responding making me do a round of half a kilometer to turn it off and on again... because they are scared of turning it off and on again... god bless country life.

    But from the standpoint of people who would have to monitor stuff that cannot be down too much (like medical equipment) and cannot be accessed personally.... i would prefer 2 options.

    Either a cabled remote switchboard where you can basically remove power on the specific equipment to force and restart it (needs special cabling and equipment designed to take this kind of abuse, which honestly you can rarely buy if not on specialized stores)

    or special plugs that can be controlled via signals in the power cables, a sort of "dumber" version of the already considered "insteon power switches" (will still need equipment designed to take abuse, because removing power to restart equipment is usually a NO as big as an house)

    Why the "dumb version"? Simple, because you can only transmit a signal on the power cable in your same floor or a couple floors above and below yours. therefore if you have control of the house they cannot be hacked without physically getting to your house.

    In general though, if your equipment gets stuck often. ... you know... maybe it's time to consider other brands and stuff that does not hang on you that often that you need to devise a system to reboot them remotely.
  • atomicboyatomicboy Member, Beta Tester Posts: 50 ✭✭
    I am doing a lot of real world testing of leading edge equipment for my provider. I have 2 iterations of their equipment both running on my network together via WAN Bonding. I have found that the performance on the newer equipment will drop off over about 12 to 24 hours. When I detect this, I tell my IP Smart Switch to do power cycle. When I do this, almost every time the performance of this equipment immediately improves. It is their equipment which they partially subsidize. The equipment does not thermal cycle because it is running during the power cycle and the Outdoor Unit (ODU) has a built in Switch for power cycling. Their  router/modem only allows plugging and unplugging. 
    Accessing this IP Smart Switch external to your Network is easy and as an added bonus it monitors via ping to 5 sites if the router/modem is working and if not it does a power cycle on it’s own. No manual intervention.

    in the graph below you can see where I have done power cycling which seems to be keeping the daily averages speeds up. The Fingbox does not capture every power cycle. The left side shows performance without power cycling.

  • atomicboyatomicboy Member, Beta Tester Posts: 50 ✭✭
    edited December 2
    Follows are some graphically represented use cases. 
    I have a fairly extensive Smart Home System and this is a step up from using a smart switch as it integrates with and monitors the router/modem.
    I doubt I would ever run this on my own router as it is >$2,000.00 and I can operate it via a cloud program anywhere.
    Having options is always good!

  • KiethSKiethS Member, Beta Tester Posts: 8

    I've not yet had the privilege of working with a "IP Smart Switch".

    I have worked with USB relays, controlled first via Windows batch files triggered through task scheduler, and later via Raspberry Pi using cron events scheduled to ping for target device latency / check temperatures every X minutes, then toggle the power relays for Y seconds to power cycle target devices accordingly. Though both versatile and low cost (a relay can be under $10 via a popular auction site), it does take a little basic coding (this solution is quite doable as a DIY project, and is relatively low power).

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