Rerouted! But why?!?
July 21, 2010 8:43 AM   Subscribe

Why would my router reset itself to factory default?

So everything on my home network is working fine, except this morning I can't get my Blu-Ray player, which has WiFi, to connect. When I start poking around, I find my SSID being broadcast, but there is no security at all. The login and password have also been set to "admin." I haven't been messing around with the router at all. What could cause it to reset in this way. Since I'm the OCD poster child, I have horrific visions of being hacked in horrible ways, but I'm pretty sure my neighbors couldn't defeat the WPA2 key that was set up and working perfectly when I first installed the thing about a week ago.
posted by Crotalus to Computers & Internet (10 answers total)
What make and model do you have? Most routers I know of will reset after losing power for a short while.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:53 AM on July 21, 2010

Power surge?
posted by wongcorgi at 8:59 AM on July 21, 2010

The router is the ubiquitous Linksys WRT54GL
posted by Crotalus at 9:03 AM on July 21, 2010

WPA2 is breakable. However a much more likely explanation is loss of power (were your clocks flashing?), power surge, or some sort of error in the firmware. Most of these devices auto-recover from bad states by just resetting to factor defaults. If you have a wonky router, it'll probably do it again. If it does call your provider and ask for a replacement.
posted by jeffamaphone at 9:38 AM on July 21, 2010

Hrm, the security stuff is stored in the same place as your SSID. Assuming you changed the SSID from the default, then I can not explain it. It's not lack of power or a power surge, notably.
posted by cmiller at 10:03 AM on July 21, 2010

Does anyone else have access to the router? A landlord or neighbor with a set of keys? An acquaintance? The guy who built your house?

If you are for sure the only person with access there's really not much to be done beyond setting up a new SSID and password, and seeing if it happens again.
posted by 6550 at 12:10 PM on July 21, 2010

I'd bet power issues. Either there was a brief loss of power (maybe not even enough to set your clocks to 12:00, as computer hardware is fussy as hell), or a surge, or something.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:51 PM on July 21, 2010

The configuration data is stored in non-volatile memory. It will survive any power loss, as anyone who's ever tried to factory reset one will tell you. I've been using various versions of the Linksys routers for years and never had one mysteriously reset itself to the factory settings.

Maybe it got hacked?
posted by gus at 5:31 PM on July 21, 2010

I've spent literally years doing tech support for linksys routers, and I've been using them for years, specifically the wrt54gl. They do not reset with power outages, I don't care how long they are.
posted by empath at 7:05 PM on July 21, 2010

Are there teenagers with access to your house? Perhaps teenagers whose new iThings it's too much trouble to type your WPA passphrase into, and who know how to find reset buttons on routers?
posted by flabdablet at 1:44 AM on July 22, 2010 [1 favorite]

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