WiReboot is a Watchdog Device Rebooting Your Router if the WiFi Connection is Lost (Crowdfunding)

Routers are usually pretty stable devices, but sometimes they still hang, and I think I must reboot my router about 2 to 3 times a year as I lose (Ethernet) connectivity. I’m usually at home, so it’s not really an issue as I can just walk a few meters to manually reboot the router.  But if you are often on the go, and have a few WiFi devices such as smoker alarms, smart lights, and other home automation products that you may want to control over the Internet, if WiFi goes down nothing works. Luckily there’s a solution: WiReboot, a small device powered by ESP8266 that will check your WiFi and Internet connection, and automatically restart the router if it fails.WiReboot_InstallationKey features of WiReboot:

  • ESP8266 module for 802.11 b/g/n WiFi connection
  • USB – 1x USB input port to connect your router power supply, and 1x USB output to connect to the router.
  • Expansion – 6 through holes for
  • Input Voltage – 5V to 12V
  • Optional add-on modules – temperature, humidity, light, 433 transmitter.

The system also supports remote reboot. As with many ESP8266, you’ll be able to hack it, and run your own Arduino sketch, NodeMCU (Lua) program, and so on.

WiReboot_BoardThe project has well surpassed its $1,000 target on Kickstarter. WiReboot with USB-DC cables requires a $18 CAD pledge ($13.88 US), and other rewards with add-on boards are also available starting at $22 CAD (~$17.74 US). Shipping adds $5, and delivery is scheduled for September 2016. Note that the included USB DC may or may not be compatible with your router (due to different jack sizes), but adapters are usually inexpensive and easy to find.

Thanks to TLS for the tip.

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17 Replies to “WiReboot is a Watchdog Device Rebooting Your Router if the WiFi Connection is Lost (Crowdfunding)”

  1. It gives me a nice idea for a small project. With a ESP8266 small and cheap development board and a relay. Perhaps a Wemos D1 mini or similar.

  2. Oh this definitely makes it into my top 10 list of things that should have never been made.
    Stupid idea.

  3. Funny thing is that esp8266 itself is not too reliable, actually, an average router is likely more reliable than it.

  4. I’m sorry, those design choices are retarded. Maybe the idea is not too bad, but why on earth would you use USB connectors to carry 12V? What is wrong with a simple barrel jack? And how is it “elegant” to cascade multiple USB connectors to enable the various connector boards?

    That is a massive fail, in my book.

  5. @anon

    I think esp8266 is reliable enought to make a reboot. I made an electric bill counter based on esp8266, a thing that count pulse and open / close 5v relay,,,it’s working fine without humans intervention since two year ago (autoreboot of esp when wifi is lost more than x times, autoreboot if free memory was too low). In my opinion, this device is cheap, easy to program , chineese and reliable!

    edit : i remember there is an pic32 that survey esp8266, that can be reseted by pic32 if esp8266 seem to be dead…maybe you a re right

  6. @TLS
    Unreliable routers? Why? Either it’s insufficient/noisy power supply or crappy software. Using vendor supplied firmwares is dumb anyway (unless you love security nightmares, factory enabled backdoors and the like) and OpenWRT, DD-WRT and so on provide a cron daemon so in case the device still gets unstable after several months rebooting it automatically every month prevents situations where an ‘external watchdog’ would be necessary.

    If a forced reboot ‘solves’ the problem why waiting until it’s too late?

  7. Hmm..
    Some router have OTA support (or have OTA provided by ISP)
    The device/router is busy installing firmware… the wireboot reboots the system while upgrading (has not finished)
    Possible.. router brinking

  8. The problem is not always with the router, but sometimes the internet connection itself. Resetting cable modems, DSL routers, ONT boxes, etc to get a cable connection is required for those who want to maximize uptime. The implementation here may not be ideal, but the reboot-on-fail idea is sound, one i’ve used for years for residential grade internet connections. Keep innovating.

  9. The problem is not always with the router, sometimes it is other internet connection equipment. Resetting cable modems, DSL routers, ONT boxes, etc to resume the internet connection is required for those who want to maximize uptime. Some of these crummy devices are restarted in the middle of the night by default because they are simply unable to maintain the connection.

    The implementation here may not be ideal, but the reboot-on-fail idea to maintain an internet is sound, one i’ve used for years on residential grade internet connections. Keep innovating.

  10. @tkaiser

    Cron job check WiFi in not reliable.
    Sometimes, the WiFi stop working but the wired line (RJ-45) still works.
    The cron job still able to ping IP address, but WiFi dropped.

  11. WiReboot :
    Cron job check WiFi in not reliable

    So what? I never talked about something like this. If I know that my router becomes instable after an average amount of time (let’s call it n weeks) and if the issue can be ‘fixed’ by a reboot then I would simply setup a cron job that reboots the router every n / 3 weeks (after checking whether a firmware update is currently installing or users are connected and then delaying the reboot).

    Pretty simple with OpenWRT, DDR-WRT and the like (please don’t tell me anyone relies on crappy vendor router firmwares full of security holes, containing factory enabled backdoors and so on)

    Your ‘solution’ for the problem you face is a hard reboot (bad anyway, in case the device receives an update it will be bricked afterwards!) and your implementation relies on ‘waiting until it’s too late’. Why? If anyone wants to deal with unreliable hardware/software and reboots are the ‘solution’ then why waiting too long? Simply let cron prevent the fail state (or choose better equipment)

  12. @tkaiser
    I think 99% of people use the vendor firmware, and based on my travel experiences in many guest houses, a large portion of those leave the credentials as “admin/admin”. But then it’s quite possible those people would not care about their router losing connection from time to time.

  13. @cnxsoft
    That’s the use case according to the Kickstarter page: “Many of us rely on our Nest or Dropcam to watch our home… But with a dropped Wi-Fi connection and no one there to reboot it, we lose all connection and security”

    Makes perfectly sense to think about ‘security’ when the device in question providing access to all the gadgets is insecure as hell. But I think you’re right and it’s just like this. And I should stop talking about backdoors since routers with vendor provided firmwares could be considered as (open) frontdoors…

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