Why Does My Internet Keep Going Out At Night?

Why Does My Internet Keep Going Out At Night

You arrive home from work anticipating a relaxing evening streaming your favorite shows or doing a little gaming, but your internet always seems to fail you.

Why does my internet keep going out at night?” becomes a burning question. 

In this article, we’ll try to cover all the reasons why you might struggle with internet connections during the evenings, and more importantly, what you can do about it. 

To sum up, the chances are good that your issue is caused by network congestion. Top fixes could include phasing household bandwidth demands, changing ISPs, or using a wired connection.

Power interference can also be an issue. See if you can track down where it’s coming from.

Finally, you may just have router issues, but that’s rather unlikely if your connectivity problem only occurs at certain times. Still, restarting or resetting your router might just work for you. 

Read on if you’d like more info on how to overcome nighttime internet outages.

Congestion On Your Home Network

Slow Internet

Congestion may be caused by the people in your own household all choosing to use a lot of bandwidth at the same time.

It can also occur because everyone in your neighborhood is logging in to enjoy online entertainments at the same time that you do. 

1. Too Many Devices?

Start troubleshooting in your own home. Most routers support a limited number of devices.

Check how many it can serve, and then look to see how many devices are trying to connect. It may just be a matter of taking devices that are connected, but idle, off your network.

2. Too Much Bandwidth Demand

If just about everyone in your family downloads big files or streams videos or games at once, that could be the cause of your network congestion.

Once again, you can try taking a few devices offline to see if that makes a difference, or use a network monitoring tool to run some diagnostics. 

However, if you know for a fact that everyone is trying to do bandwidth-intensive tasks like video streaming, you might even get results by asking some family members to stop for a while so that you can assess whether bandwidth demand is the problem. 

3. Prioritize Traffic Using QoS

If you have a Quality of Service (QoS) feature built into your system, or by using your network monitoring tool, you can prioritize traffic based on the IP addresses of devices, the type of service being used, or the interface.

If you’d like to try a simpler solution. Set some house rules. For example, downloads can be done during the day instead of during peak time. 

However, the QoS feature isn’t that hard to use. Simply log in to your router’s dashboard and look for QoS under the Wireless section.

Using the Add Rule or Set Up option, you can specify which devices should receive priority.  

4. Switch to Wired Connections or 5G

Finally, you can relieve congestion on your home network by switching your most bandwidth heavy devices to wired connections so that you don’t have all the demand centered on your WiFi network.

And if you have a dual band router, switching 5G enabled devices to 5G can help to reduce demand.

Just remember that although 5G connections are faster, they don’t have as much range, so devices using it may need to be closer to the router.

Neighborhood Congestion

If you’re running the same frequency or are using the same channel as your neighbors, you’ll be competing with them for connectivity.

Since you can’t dictate how they should use their internet, try switching your system to another frequency or channel.

You can also try rebooting your router. When you restart it, your network connection is refreshed.

Reboot or Power Cycle Your Router

This one is something of an outside chance since your router shouldn’t require rebooting at the same time every single day. All the same, you might be in luck if the issue is being caused by some kind of recurring glitch.

If rebooting solves your issue, but it recurs the very next day, it’s one more symptom to discuss with your ISP.

You’ve Been Throttled

Unless you’ve chosen an unlimited access plan from your ISP, there’s a chance that you’re simply trying to use more than your fair share of bandwidth and your connection is being throttled.

You should receive a notification if this occurs. However, even if you do have unlimited access, throttling can occur when your provider needs to reduce congestion.

One of the sneaky ways to fix this is to use a VPN. If you aren’t sure whether you’re being throttled, and haven’t received any notifications, you can run a speed test to see if your connection is delivering the speeds you’re expecting.

And, of course, you could ask your service provider about your nighttime internet failure issues. 


You, and even your neighbors, could be inadvertently interfering with your internet signal. And, since we’re creatures of habit, or may have devices set to automatically switch on at specific times, the interference may occur at around the same time every evening. 

Microwave ovens are a top culprit for interfering with wireless signals and even baby monitors and smart home features can mess with your connectivity.

In high-density housing, your neighbors’ devices could even be causing the issue. If you suspect this, you can try moving your router to another location in your home to see if that makes any difference. 

DHCP Issues

The Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) may cause regular outages that happen every 24 hours at exactly the same time. That’s because it could be giving you a default lease time that resets every 24 hours.

You may be able to solve the issue by renewing your IP address. You can do this using a Windows computer by following these steps. 

Press the Windows key and the letter X simultaneously. Choose the option for “Terminal” from the list. 

Look for “ipconfig / release.” Execute the command to release your old IP address. Then, go to “ipconfig / renew” to get a new IP address. 

Alternatively, you can look to see whether your router’s interface has an option for renewing IP addresses. On some Netgear routers, you’ll find this under the “Advanced” tab under “Connection Status.” 

Your lease renewal time should display here, helping you to confirm whether it’s the cause of your internet problems – and you can release and renew your IP address here too. 

Switch WiFi Channels

Several routers could be using the same WiFi channels, and during peak demand times, that’s a very good reason why congestion may occur. Switching your router to a different WiFi channel may help to resolve the issue. 

  • Access your router’s admin dashboard via your browser and log in. 
  • Select “Wireless Settings”
  • Go to “WiFi Channels”
  • Select a different WiFi channel from the one you’ve been using.

Talk to Your ISP

If you feel uneasy about changing settings or want to get help with tracking down the cause of your problem, talking to your ISP is likely to be first prize.

Technical support operatives can talk you through some fixes, or they may be able to tell you whether what you really need is a different package. 

The Bottom Line: Nighttime Congestion is the Most Common Issue Here

Although there may be other issues for your poor connectivity such as faulty devices or even malware attacks, congestion is the likeliest cause.

If things speed up when you’re on a wired connection, you can be pretty sure of this. 

Since your internet is a service that you’re paying for, you, as a client are entitled to expect your internet to perform in line with the package you bought. It’s your ISP’s duty, therefore, to help you to solve the problem. 

Of course, it could be that you’ve underestimated your bandwidth needs and need to upgrade.

However,  upgrading only to find that you still have the same issues is right out, so don’t just do it without a promise from your service provider that it will resolve your problem. 

If they can’t resolve your issue, you’ll be entitled to switch to another provider if they are able to promise you uncongested networks.

However, before taking the plunge, you might want to get help from a technician who is able to visit your house and troubleshoot your network – just in case!

Daniele Besana

Daniele Besana

Daniele is a freelancer consultant with 15 years of experience in network security, customer support, Linux and Salsa. He worked for Juniper Networks in Netherlands, providing support and consultancy on security projects across Europe and Middle-East.

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