This just literally happened to me now while using a Wi-Fi extender in a hotel, so I thought I’d write about it! It can be annoying when you’re working/browsing online and the power goes out suddenly, and it’s more complicated when your connection is through a Wi-Fi extender and not direct to the router.
With just a router, the connection sometimes restores quite quickly when the power comes back on, but when using an extender, it can take a bit longer and need some action on your part.
Let’s cover some quick tips and troubleshooting steps if you can’t get a Wi-Fi extender to work after a power outage.
Here’s a quick key for the best sections to go to:
- Internet/router fine after the outage, just extender not working – see tips #1-3
- Internet/router not working full stop, even after waiting – see tips #4-5 first
Tip #1 – Wait 5-10 Minutes For Everything To Come Back Online
This is the most foundational tip and all I needed to do when it just happened to me – be patient waiting for everything to reset and reconnect.
You may have to wait 5-10 minutes or even more for everything to come back online and fully reconnect, before you can start using the extender again.
That’s how long I had to wait when it just happened, but that’s all I had to do. I kept trying to reconnect both direct to the router and the extender, but it didn’t work for a while, and I kept getting this weird error screen in a foreign language, which I think was telling me the internet service was still down and not reconnected yet.
It came back on eventually, but it can take some time as your router reconnects with the wider internet/ISP, re-initializes, and then your extender has to reconnect with your router (see the next section for help with this).
Once you can at least connect directly to your router, you know that it shouldn’t be too long before the extender connects back up to the router, and you can then reconnect to the extender.
Usually, it’s just a matter of waiting. Wi-Fi extenders save their settings and configuration even when cut off by power outages, so you should not have to re-configure them. They should pair back up with the router if you give them enough time.
Tip #2 – Move Your Extender Closer To Your Router
Sometimes, if the power has been out for quite a while, it can help if you move the extender and plug it back in closer to your router, to allow a refreshing and strengthening of the signal:
- Move your extender back closer to the router (as close as possible)
- Leave it there for a few minutes (you’re looking for a solid green light to indicate a good connection)
- Move it back to where it was if you like, once the connection has been restored.
Tip #3 – Reconnect The Extender To Your Router
Honestly, you shouldn’t have to do this in most cases, as your extender and router should both remember their connection and their settings even after a power outage. However, in some rare cases, the devices might be de-coupled and the connection lost, and you need to pair them up again.
There’s actually a couple of ways to do this – let’s quickly cover the quickest WPS method and the longer browser method:
Quick method – WPS connect:
- Press the WPS button on your router until it blinks/flashes
- Press and hold the WPS/Pair button on your repeater within 2 minutes.
- Wait up to two minutes for them to connect
- Your extender will clone your router’s SSID/password.
- A solid green light indicates they are connected.
- You can now connect to the extender as an extra access point
Extender WPS Setup video
Manual method – browser setup:
Preliminary step – Push a pin into the reset hole on the extender when it’s plugged in to factory reset it to default settings, and wait a minute or two for it to re-initialize. If you’re fine using the existing custom admin username/password you’ve set for it, you don’t need to do this step.
- Plug the extender in near the router for initial setup
- Note down login details on your extender on the label and plug it in.
- Find the extender’s default open network (eg. “TP-Link-Repeater”) on your device and connect
- Open any web browser on your phone/tablet and type in the access URL (on the label) into the address bar
- Enter the default admin username/password on the label.
- Set up a new admin username/password if desired.
- Find and connect to your router’s Wi-Fi network on the list and enter it’s wireless password.
- Either copy or modify your router’s credentials for the repeater (you can name your repeater’s SSID whatever you want).
- Save settings and connect the devices to the extender’s new network, which will have the same password as your main router.
- A solid green light indicates the repeater is connected and working.
- Then move the extender round to where you need it, still making sure it is within range of the router’s signal.
See our article on setting up a Wi-Fi extender using a device browser, for more detailed steps
Tip #4 – Checking Your Internet Service After A Power Cut
Sometimes, the extender won’t be working because your internet service isn’t working full stop, so it’s important to rule this possibility out.
- Use the Downdetector tool to check the status of your ISP/service once the power comes back on
- Also check your ISP’s social media (Twitter etc) for updates on service status.
- Check whether other devices and also neighbors can get back online.
- Also check cell data internet to see if that’s working.
There might be broader outages due to storms etc. that can take a while to be fixed.
Tip #5 – Check Your Router Is Working After A Power Outage
Sometimes, your extender is working fine, but it’s your router that has a problem and this is what’s preventing the extender from connecting to the internet.
In general, an orange or red light on your router, even after you’ve waited a while for the service to come back on, indicates a problem.
Here are some quick troubleshooting steps in this case:
Solution #1 – Run through the initial setup steps for your modem/router. Sometimes, after a prolonged power cut, the service might not always restore by itself, without you doing some basic configuration on the router like when it was first installed and used.
Here are some links for this for different ISPs:
- America – Comcast/Xfinity, Verizon, AT&T and Spectrum
- UK – BT, Virgin Media, Sky, TalkTalk and Plusnet
- Canada – Bell, Shaw and Rogers
- Australia – Telstra, TPG, Optus and iiNet
Solution #2 – Update router firmware – sometimes, bugs and errors might need clearing out with a firmware update.
Solution #3 – Resets – First try a quick/fast reboot of your router and if that doesn’t work, try a full factory reset by pushing a pin into the reset hole, holding it for 10 seconds, and waiting up to 10 minutes for everything to re-initialize (do the same with your extender as well if it has a persistent orange/red light that won’t go away).
Solution #4 – Contact ISP – If you’ve still no luck in getting your router/service back online after trying all these steps, contact your ISP for further assistance.