How to Pause Wi-Fi

How to put your home internet access on pause

What to Know

  • Access the router as the admin, or open the dedicated app.
  • Look for a pause button next to the device.
  • Every router works differently, but they can all disable Wi-Fi.

This article explains how to pause Wi-Fi for a specific device on your network, or in some cases, freeze Wi-Fi for all the devices at once. This guide covers Google Wifi, Linksys, NETGEAR, TP-Link, and D-Link routers.

How Do I Temporarily Disable My Home Wi-Fi?

Pausing Wi-Fi is best done through the router's web interface, or with the app provided by your router manufacturer. Pausing is more appropriate than shutting off the whole router, but that is an option if your router doesn't support Wi-Fi pausing.

The specific steps necessary to freeze Wi-Fi is different between router brands and models:

Google Wifi

Use the Google Home app to pause Wi-Fi on a Google Wifi network.

  1. Select Wi-Fi from the first tab of the app.

  2. You can pause Wi-Fi for individual devices or a group of devices if you have Google's Family Wi-Fi set up.

    To pause a specific device, tap Devices at the top. To freeze Wi-Fi for a group of devices, tap the Family Wi-Fi heading halfway down the page.

  3. Press Pause to temporarily pause Wi-Fi for that device or group.

    Google Wifi pause link on Android

    Return to the same place, and use the Unpause link, to unfreeze Wi-Fi.

Linksys

Wi-Fi can be stopped temporarily on devices managed by the Linksys app, or you can log in through the router's IP address. Wi-Fi pausing is available through the Parental Controls feature.

  1. Select Parental Controls on the Dashboard screen. For iOS, the option is in the menu at the top, or you can try scrolling to the bottom of the screen.

  2. If parental controls haven't been set up yet, tap Control a Device.

  3. Choose the device whose Wi-Fi should be paused.

  4. Tap Pause Internet Access.

    Linksys app pause internet access option

    Linksys

    You can also schedule Wi-Fi pauses on Linksys routers. Just choose Schedule a Pause, instead, and then choose the days and times the internet should be blocked.

    To turn on Wi-Fi for that device again, select Resume Internet Access.

NETGEAR

Log in to your NETGEAR router and look for the parental controls section to pause the whole network at once or individual devices. The router is accessible through its IP address, the Router Login web page, or one of NETGEAR apps: Orbi, Nighthawk, or Circle.

  1. Tap Device Manager, or a user profile image if you're in the Circle app, from the primary screen if you want to pause a particular device's Wi-Fi.

    To freeze Wi-Fi for the whole network, select Parental Controls.

  2. Swipe right on the device you want to pause the internet for, or choose a profile (probably called Home) if you're freezing Wi-Fi for all your devices.

    On some versions of the app, you can tap the toggle next to the device to pause the internet.

  3. Tap the pause icon to immediately stop the device's access to Wi-Fi. The play icon will resume Wi-Fi.

TP-Link

Below are directions for pausing Wi-Fi from an Archer C7 V5. The process is similar for other TP-Link router models.

  1. Visit TP-Link's website and log in with your admin credentials. Some routers can be managed through the TP-Link Tether app.

  2. Go to Basic > Parental Controls, or Advanced > Parental Controls.

    TP-Link parental controls

    TP-Link

  3. Select Add, and then fill out the profile with information about the person that the parental controls should apply to.

  4. Select the plus sign from the Devices section, and choose all the devices that apply to that person. If it's just one device that you're pausing Wi-Fi for, just add that computer, phone, etc.

  5. Press Save, and then select Next. Follow any other on-screen directions to fully configure the profile.

  6. To pause the internet for that profile (i.e., all the devices you added to it earlier), open the profile and select the pause button from the Internet Access column.

    TP-Link pause internet access button

    TP-Link

D-Link

Some D-Link routers have a big pause button front and center. For example, on the DIR-1260, press Pause Internet Access, from the Home tab, to instantly pause Wi-Fi for all connected devices. It's called Pause Internet Access for clients on some devices, like the DIR-X1870.

D-Link DIR-1260 pause internet access link

D-Link

Most D-Link routers let you create profiles that contain specific devices. Once you've done that, pausing said devices is as simple as selecting the pause option in that profile.

If your router has D-Link defend enabled, and it's connected to Alexa, you can pause Wi-Fi through your smart speaker:

Alexa, ask D-Link defend to pause the internet for Lisa.

Can I Pause My Home Internet?

Technically, anyone, no matter what brand of router they use, can pause Wi-Fi by simply shutting off the router or disabling Wi-Fi from the device. However, depending on your reasons for freezing Wi-Fi, you might prefer a different approach, otherwise the internet will be disabled for everyone. If you come at it from a parental control angle, the person using the device won't be able to simply turn on Wi-Fi again, since it'll be blocked at the admin level.

Newer routers with parental control features can support features such as website blocking, content filtering, and on-demand or scheduled offline times. Most of those routers are paired with a mobile app to make using those features much easier to manage than they might sound. Look in your router's documentation, or visit the manufacturer's website, to learn how that works. You can start by reading up on some parental control setup directions.

If the directions above are irrelevant for your router—maybe you have a really old one—it probably still supports some sort of security feature to kick users off the network. MAC address filtering is one example, where you can add certain devices to a block list so that they can't use the internet. For this to work as "Wi-Fi pausing," you'd have to simply unblock the device when you want to unfreeze their access.

Another method, though not recommended because of how tedious it would be to reverse each time the device needs Wi-Fi again, is to simply change the Wi-Fi password. Anyone using the old password will effectively be locked out of Wi-Fi; it'll resume when you reinstate the original password. This technique isn't ideal if you want to pause Wi-Fi for specific devices only.

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