Your daily technology class with Professor Randy!!

Randy The Tech Professor

July 21, 2010 at 9:33 pm

Is Your Modem Overheating?

Hello everyone,

The other day I got a call from a Real Estate agent in town and he told me that he could not connect to (access) his GoToMyPC host computer. He told me that his My Computers page was showing his host computer as offline. He was in a panic as he used this program everyday and it was vital to his business.

I went to his office and began to check out his computer:

1) The DSL Internet connection was live but functioning very slowly.
2) The GoToMyPC system tray icon was showing that the host PC was Offline.
3) The GoToMyPC host PC software was running fine but the Host Preferences Option window would not appear (as if it didn’t exist).
4) I noticed that certain websites weren’t displaying properly (as if content was being blocked).
5) I tried to download something from FileHippo but the part of the page (right side) where you click to download the file was not visible (I tried this on two different browsers).
6) The computer was running the latest version of Adobe Flash (on all browsers).
7) I turned off the Firewall and Antivirus but the GoToMyPC icon still showed as Offline.
8) I ran a virus/spyware scan and everything came up clean.
9) The Real Estate agent mentioned that all of the computers on the network had been running slow lately.
10) I asked him to show me the DSL modem (Frontier Communications).


The DSL modem was sitting on top of a Linksys router in a stuffy, poorly ventilated closet and was incredibly hot! I separated the modem from the router, let it cool down, and pulled the power cord from the back of the modem. I left it unplugged for about 45 seconds before reconnecting the power to the modem. I waited until all of the modem lights came back on.

I went back to the computer and the Internet was coming in like crazy! My clients GoToMyPC was now showing as ‘Online’ and he was able to access the host computer perfectly!

Professor Randy says: When dealing with Internet connectivity problems, consider an overheated modem or one in need of “power cycling”.

Tags: ,
  • vcs3
    2:37 pm on September 2nd, 2010 1

    I had the exact same experience — one summer I had to do a lot of telecommuting (kid off from school…), and I’d lose connections to computers at work regularly — and my modem was in fact sitting on top of the router. One time, one green light on the modem started flickering and turning yellow — I touched the modem, it felt hot — so I actually blew on it to cool it off, and the light went from yellow to green! It was clearly overheating. My solution was to simply separate the modem from the router, no longer have one sitting on top of the other — and I’ve had no problems since.

  • OjaiGrl
    7:25 am on June 28th, 2012 2

    Hi I’m having an issue with my newer Cisco modem being hot to the touch and also causes my daughter and my laptop becoming very hot when online. This has only started recently and am wondering what the causes could be. They all get so hot,sometimes you can barely touch them. It started happening around same time which is why I think it has to do with modem. Thanks

  • Randy Knowles
    2:49 pm on July 8th, 2012 3

    Thanks for the comment OjaiGrl,

    Laptops are notorious for overheating because there isn’t much airflow to all of the working parts. I suggest that you buy a laptop cooler to put under each laptop and you should be able to notice the difference in temperature. An overheating laptop is not caused by a hot modem/router.

    Like this one:

    If your modem/router is overheating I suggest that you put some kind of legs underneath it so that it is elevated a couple of inches off of the flat surface. Since Cisco bought Linksys their routers have been very bad.

    Take a look at this article:

    Of all of the routers out their, the one that is a great bargain is this one:

    It’s just a basic router but does the job unless you want to do special things with your router.

    Let me know how things work out. Thanks for visiting my blog.

  • Anonymous
    10:40 am on April 23rd, 2017 4

    Thanks for the post, Professor! I too saw a sudden drop in my broadband (wired network) speed coinciding with a sharp increase in temperature with the onset of summer, and the modem too has started heating up very soon. Speed came back to near normal after letting the modem cool down. That said, I do not understand why modem overheating affects internet speed. Some other posts on the Web say that modem heating may cause connection drop, but will not affect the speed


RSS feed for comments on this post | TrackBack URI