An internet connection that is working too slowly, sporadically or not at all can put a serious dent in both work productivity and entertainment. The age of high-speed internet connectivity has been a great boon in many ways, allowing users the ability to accomplish more than ever, or less than ever if so desired, but it has also led to more complex network setups.
Troubleshooting an internet connection on a modern network setup can seem an overwhelming task. In the old days, connection problems could typically be traced to someone interrupting your phone line or an overarching problem with your internet service provider.
The good news is that there are a number of simple troubleshooting tips which, when learned, will give you the ability to identify and fix most common connection problems.
It Starts With the Router
- Routers are wonderful pieces of machinery, allowing you to spread a wireless, high-speed connection through your home or business with relative ease. That is, when your router is working properly. Though the basic idea of a router’s function is simple, the tasks involved in the equipment doing its job are complex, and can lead to all manner of connection issues.
- When installing a new router, you will sometimes run into a frustrating problem. You have set the device up according to instruction, but you cannot browse the internet on any of your connected devices. This can occur because your router and modem are having trouble communicating, as your modem still holds information from your old router. To fix this problem, unplug all cables from your router and modem, leave them off for 30 seconds, and then reconnect everything. This should flush out any lingering data from your old router, allowing your new device and modem to work in harmony. If this doesn’t address the issue, perhaps you need to contact your internet service providers for more information.
- IP conflicts are another common router- and network-related issue, arising when more than one device connects to the network with the same IP address. This is why you will sometimes lose your connection when you are browsing on, say, your laptop, then open a page on your tablet as well. A unplug and reset will often manage to solve this problem, as well.
Check Your Cables
- Network cables are another common area from which connection issues arise. This can be an ethernet cable, connecting your modem to your router or device, or a coaxial cable connecting your modem to the internet. Ethernet cables can be particularly troublesome in this regard, leading to lost or weakened connections when compromised. It is always a good idea to have an extra ethernet cable on hand, in order to troubleshoot, test and fix potential problems.
- If you have a cable internet connection, drop-outs, weak connections or total lack of connection can be caused by a number of coaxial cable issues. If your coaxial cables are not in good working order, or are split too many times from the original source, your connection can be compromised. Splitters can also cause trouble in this regard. Most cable internet connections require a certain quality of splitter to work optimally. Check the manufacturer’s requirements on your modem, or from your cable company, and be sure to replace any substandard splitters.
- Many internet connection issues can be traced back to software on your computer, either relating to the network or to the computer itself. When installing new hardware, always make sure to download the latest device drivers offered on the company website. Sometimes, uninstalling and reinstalling software for a troublesome device can also remedy connection problems. A slow connection can also be the result of a slow computer, having little to do with your network. This can often be resolved by performing regular maintenance and clean-up activities, along with downloading the latest software updates from your computer’s manufacturer or operating system provider.
If all else fails and your troubleshooting efforts go for naught, it never hurts to contact your service provider. A repair person will know the ins and outs of almost any type of home or office network, and will be able to fix any problems that arise.
The steps listed above will fix many connection problems, but sometimes the issue will simply be out of the consumer’s reach.