Skip to Content

Can You Use a Generator for Wifi? (All You Need to Know)

During power outages happen due to natural causes, overload, or human error. There are a lot of people living around the coastal areas or the far-off edges of the state where outages are a common cause.

People nowadays work from home a lot and having a stable internet connection is a must. To make sure we have that we would need to invest in backup batteries or generators to power our homestead.

Here we get the question where we need to answer if a generator is used to back up a wifi router or not. Let go over the details of a generator and how they can behave to answer this.

Can you use a generator for wifi?

It is possible to use a generator for wifi and get a signal. All we have to do is make sure that the internet service provider we have is cable-based and connected to a UPS backup. Then when we connect that UPS to a generator, we will get a wifi signal even if there is no electricity available. 

We already understand the necessity of uninterrupted internet. These days it is not possible to work fluently without the constant need for the internet. Therefore, we have to make sure that this constant flow of the internet is kept undisturbed.

To do that we have to keep backup plans. One of these plans happens to have a generator to back up the whole homestead’s electronics.

However, the probability of our wifi to work or not is up for debate and depends on some particular circumstances. 

For example, a common case would be, if we have a power outage in our particular area but the ISP (internet service provider) we have still had their services up and running.

Then our cable connection will still have internet. Although to utilize that access to the internet we would need a working wi-fi router, so in this case, we can see why we can run wifi off a generator. Due to the cable connection wifi will still work with the generator.

This is an efficient and cost-effective way to power your wifi that has a cable connection for quick instances. However, as to why we should not use this method of providing power to the wifi is because our products like the tv and computer accessories are sensitive.

A generator has power spikes when it starts and especially a gas-powered generator can fluctuate a lot during low gas. This in turn might fry the sensitive electronics we might have in our homes.

Why does the internet go out when the power goes out?

Before we answer why the internet goes out when there is a power outage, we need to understand how it functions. Normally the basic connection of the internet is usually through the similar cable infrastructure of television that is in the form of broadband internet access.

Nowadays we might have satellite-powered internet but the majority of us still use cable-based internet connections. 

Along with that we also use a wifi router to allow multiple devices to simultaneously and wirelessly connect to that same network without using actual multiple cables for each of them.

These days we have everything connected to the internet through the wi-fi routers that are usually connected to the cable internet. Therefore, if we get a power outage then the wifi device loses power and turns off. As a result, we lose connection to the internet.

Will the internet work on a generator?

To have internet access we need to have an uninterrupted flow of electricity to power the servers. Even if there is a power outage, our ISP (internet service provider) company will have backup generators to power their services.

Therefore, making it possible to have working internet that runs on a generator. In our homes, we can also have generators that backup our whole house including our wifi routers that will give us access to the internet. This is possible even if there is a blackout.

Can you plug a router into a generator?

No, we can not and should not plug a router into a generator. A generator is unstable and when delivering power, it can be both aggressive as well as throw lowshots of power. Cheap generators can be detrimental to the sensitive electronics we might have in our homes.

Routers are no stranger to this case. They are sensitive electronic accessories. Therefore, it is not recommended to plug a router into a generator.

However, if we have access to heavy-duty filtering that can regulate the spikes of power and provide a steady flow of electricity to the router then we can plug the router in the UPS first and then plug the UPS into the generator.

How much electricity does a wifi router use?

Wifi routers are solid-state devices that do not function with the help of moving parts. This in turn makes it possible to have the power consumption be very low and efficient.

Usually, a wi-fi router is always left on for 24 hours every day. Estimation concludes that a router uses 2 to 20 watts, with an average of 6 watts. Therefore, people do not need to worry about an electric bill skyrocketing just because we use routers all day.

How to connect a router to a generator?

It is very easy to set up a router connected to a generator. However, the process is not as direct as it might sound. We need a few things beforehand and a few steps to follow with the procedure.

Let us go over the simple few steps we need to know for us to achieve internet connection during an outage or emergency case.

Check UPS connection availability:

We need to make sure we a have wifi router capable of connecting to a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply).

Splitter cable:

Connect the router to the output port using a splitter cable.

Power cable:

Connect the power adapter provided with the router to the input port of the UPS. Make sure to not use more than a 12 V adapter.

Plug the power adapter:

Finally, we plug the power adapter into the AC port of the generator. Make sure the UPS is fully powered before doing this process for the first time.

Final thoughts

Using a generator for wifi is not unheard of, although it might be just too much in most cases. People usually use a generator to power their homestead’s electronics as a backup during outages. However, we can also utilize that generator to power wifi easily and have uninterrupted internet.