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Step-by-Step Guide: Fixing Network Connection Problems
Having trouble with your network connection? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Network connection problems can be frustrating, but with a systematic approach, you can troubleshoot and fix them. In this step-by-step guide, we’ll walk you through the process of fixing network connection problems so that you can get back online in no time.
Check Physical Connections
The first step in fixing network connection problems is to check your physical connections. Ensure that all cables are securely plugged in and that there are no loose or damaged cables. Start by checking the Ethernet cable connecting your computer or router to the modem. If it’s loose, simply reinsert it into the appropriate ports. If the cable is damaged, consider replacing it.
Next, examine the power cables for your modem and router. Make sure they are securely connected to power outlets and that there is power running to both devices. If necessary, try plugging them into different outlets or using a different power cable.
Once you’ve checked all physical connections, restart your modem and router by turning them off for about 30 seconds and then turning them back on. This simple step often resolves many network connection issues.
Troubleshoot Your Network Settings
If checking physical connections didn’t solve your network connection problem, it’s time to move on to troubleshooting your network settings.
Start by checking if your Wi-Fi is turned on if you’re using a wireless connection. Look for the Wi-Fi icon on your device’s taskbar or system tray and ensure it’s enabled. If not, click on it and select “Enable Wi-Fi.”
Next, check if you are connected to the correct network. Sometimes devices may automatically connect to other available networks without user intervention. Open your device’s Wi-Fi settings and choose the correct network from the list of available options.
If you’re still experiencing issues, try forgetting the network and reconnecting to it. In your device’s Wi-Fi settings, locate the network you’re having trouble with and select “Forget” or “Disconnect.” Then, reconnect by entering the network password if prompted.
If you’re using a wired Ethernet connection, check your network adapter settings. Open the Network and Sharing Center on your computer and click on “Change adapter settings.” Right-click on your Ethernet adapter and select “Properties.” Make sure that all necessary protocols are enabled and that there are no conflicting settings.
Update Network Drivers
Outdated or incompatible network drivers can also cause network connection problems. To ensure that this isn’t the case, it’s important to update your network drivers regularly.
Start by identifying the manufacturer and model of your network adapter. You can usually find this information in the Device Manager on Windows or in System Information on macOS.
Once you have this information, visit the manufacturer’s website to download the latest drivers for your specific model. Look for a support or downloads section on their website.
Download the appropriate driver package for your operating system version and install it following the provided instructions. After installation, restart your computer to apply the changes.
Contact Your Internet Service Provider (ISP)
If all else fails, it may be time to contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP) for assistance. They can help diagnose any issues with their network infrastructure or troubleshoot specific problems related to your account.
Before contacting them, gather as much information as possible about your issue. Note down any error messages you’ve encountered or any specific circumstances under which the problem occurs. This will help them diagnose and resolve the problem more efficiently.
Call their customer support hotline or use their online support channels to report the issue. Be patient during this process as they may need time to investigate and provide a solution.
In conclusion, fixing network connection problems may require checking physical connections, troubleshooting network settings, updating network drivers, or contacting your ISP. By following this step-by-step guide, you’ll be well-equipped to tackle any network connection problem that comes your way. Remember to stay calm and patient throughout the process, and soon enough, you’ll be back online and connected with the digital world.
This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.
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No Internet Connection? How to Troubleshoot Internet Issues
It’s incredibly frustrating when your internet isn’t working. Whether you’re hooked up to Wi-Fi but without internet access or you’re having trouble with a wired Ethernet connection, we’ll show you the quickest methods to identify the problem and get back online.
When it comes to internet troubleshooting, you can either methodically work your way through the troubleshooting steps or just start trying fixes until something works. While methodical troubleshooting is better for getting to the bottom of an issue once and for all, sometimes you just need to get back online ASAP. We’ll start with our top five internet quick fixes and then walk you through a more thorough troubleshooting process if you’re still having issues.
In the troubleshooting guide, we’ll first help you diagnose whether you have an internet signal issue or a problem with your Wi-Fi . Once you’ve discovered which type of problem you have, continue to either the internet signal troubleshooting section or the Wi-Fi troubleshooting section . If you’re still stumped, use our advanced troubleshooting section for particularly tricky circumstances.
Lastly, you can jump straight to our complete list of internet fixes and try each one until you’re back online.
- Is it your internet signal or your Wi-Fi?
- Connected to Wi-Fi but no internet access
Complete list of internet fixes
Top 5 quick fixes for internet issues
1. Restart your modem and router or internet gateway (modem/router combo) An equipment restart is the golden rule of internet troubleshooting. This should always be your first step; it’s simple, easy, and incredibly effective. See instructions.
2. Check your wires and cables Loose or damaged cables can cause a wide range of internet issues. Sometimes the fix is as simple as tightening a connection, other times you may need to replace a cable or require the help of a broadband technician. See instructions.
3. Move your router to a better spot If you’re using the internet over Wi-Fi, router placement is crucial. Sometimes moving your router just a few feet or changing the angle of the antennae can make a world of difference. See instructions.
4. Test a different website or online activity The problem may be with the app, service, or website you’re trying to access. If only one website or service is acting up, your connection is probably fine.
5. Check for an outage If the problem is on your internet provider’s end, you can’t do anything to fix it. Make sure to check for outages before getting too deep into your troubleshooting efforts. See instructions.
Is the problem with your internet signal or your Wi-Fi?
Internet signal issues have different fixes than Wi-Fi issues—so, it’s important to find out which you’re dealing with. Examples of internet signal issues include problems with the signal coming from your ISP, modem issues, and issues with the wiring in and around your home. Wi-Fi issues are problems with your router’s wireless signal, such as interference from obstructions, too much distance between the router and devices, or interference from other networks and electronics.
You can tell an internet signal issue from a Wi-Fi issue with a few key troubleshooting steps.
Check the lights on your equipment
Nearly all modems, routers, and internet gateways have LED status lights. Your equipment may also have just one led light, in which case, the light’s behavior or color is often used to signal different statuses. ISPs usually provide a guide to interpreting the behavior of their rental equipment. If you purchased your own equipment, consult the manual.
Either way, the LED status lights on your equipment are very helpful for quickly diagnosing network problems.
Check the internet signal light
The light for an internet connection is on your modem and is usually labeled WAN, Internet, or with a globe icon, and you can tell the internet is on if the light (usually white or green) is solid.
If the light is red or not on at all, you have an internet signal problem as your modem isn’t successfully connecting to the internet. If this is you, skip ahead to our internet signal troubleshooting section .
Check the Wi-Fi light
The WiFi light(s) will be on your router or somewhere below the internet connection light if you have a modem/router combo unit. Labels for Wi-Fi lights vary but usually will read “2.4G” and “5G,” “WLAN,” or “Wireless.” These lights should be on and are usually blinking. If the Wi-Fi light(s) are off or red, your router isn’t broadcasting a signal. Skip to the Wi-Fi troubleshooting section to begin troubleshooting.
If the equipment lights aren’t revealing your internet issue, read on for the next steps.
A lot of internet issues can be remedied quickly by simply restarting your modem and router. It’s an easy fix that’s always worth a shot.
To restart your modem and router, unplug the power cable for 10 seconds and plug it back in. The equipment will take a few minutes to reboot.
Try using an Ethernet cable to test your connection
If you’re on Wi-Fi, try plugging your computer directly into your router with an Ethernet cable. This is the tried and true way to differentiate signal issues from Wi-Fi issues. Connect the Ethernet cable to the port on your computer, and plug the other end into one of the LAN ports on your router (these are usually yellow). Connecting the computer directly to the single port on a modem bypasses essential security measures built into the router. You need to connect to a router or modem/router combo unit to remain protected online.
If your internet comes back when you use a wired Ethernet connection, then you have a Wi-Fi problem; continue to our Wi-Fi troubleshooting section . If you still don’t have internet, the problem is likely bigger than your Wi-Fi, but it might still just be your device. Try accessing the web on a different device. If you still can’t get online, move on to our internet signal troubleshooting section to solve the problem.
Check for an internet outage
It could be that you’re not the only one whose internet is down. You can find information about internet outages on the website Down Detector , or you can contact your internet service provider (ISP) to investigate.
The site or service you’re trying to access could also be down. Try a few different websites. If they load properly, the original website you went to could be down for all visitors. (You can confirm this by typing in the URL at downforeveryoneorjustme.com .)
If the internet is down in your area, you may be able to use your cell phone as a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot to get online. You can also go outside in search of a public Wi-Fi hotspot to connect to. Take a look at our Wi-Fi hotspot guide for more details.
Wi-Fi connected but no internet?
If you’re connected to your Wi-Fi but still don’t have internet access, there’s probably something wrong with your internet signal. The same is true if you’re unable to access the internet using a wired connection. Try these fixes first.
Restart your modem, router, and device
Restarting your modem and router should be the first thing you do when encountering an internet signal issue. Don’t skip this step! This is almost always what tech support will ask you to try first, as it often solves the problem.
To restart your equipment, unplug the power cable for 60 seconds and plug it back in. The equipment will take a few minutes to reboot. It’s also a good idea to restart the device you’re using.
Check your cables and wires
Wires and cables often become loose or damaged from repeated stress. The cable feeding the internet to your modem is either a coaxial cable (the same used for cable TV), an Ethernet cable, or a phone cable. The best way to troubleshoot cables is to swap them all out, if you have extras.
Otherwise, make sure to connect these cables to both the modem and your wall outlet. Ethernet and phone cables should click when they are fully inserted into a socket. Coaxial cables should be screwed on snugly.
Also, check for damage. See if the cable looks torn or perhaps chewed by a pet. Ethernet and phone cables are especially prone to damage, as the copper wires inside are very thin.
Ethernet cables aren’t all the same, and it’s important to get the right type of Ethernet cable for the job. See our Ethernet cable article to make sure you have the right one.
When should you contact your provider?
It’s a good idea to try some basic troubleshooting before contacting your provider. Restarting your modem and checking wires will likely be the first things tech support asks you to do anyway. But if you can’t solve the problem on your own, it’s time to contact your provider for a little help.
If your ISP isn’t experiencing an outage, it can run a diagnostic on your modem to see if it’s properly communicating with the network. They may discover many possible issues, including a low signal level, device registration issues, obsolete equipment (even if you rent it from the ISP), or a glitch in the system. You may have just forgotten to pay your internet bill.
Most large ISPs also have online/chat support options through their websites and apps, if you’d rather not sit on the phone.
If you’re still having issues after trying these common fixes, move on to our advanced troubleshooting section further down the page.
Fed up with internet problems? Check out your other options.
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You’ve figured out something’s wrong with your Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi gets tricky. It’s radio waves being broadcast by your router and a number of things can interfere with those waves. Try these common fixes first.
Restart your router
This fix works so often that it’s always worth trying first. The process is the same as restarting a modem: unplug the router or gateway, wait 60 seconds, and plug it back in. It will take several minutes to reboot.
Switch Wi-Fi bands (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz)
Your router likely transmits Wi-Fi over two frequency bands: 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. Try switching from the frequency band you’re on to the other. This helps you avoid temporary interference while also resetting the connection between your device and router. It’s a common convention for the 5 GHz network to have a “5G” label following the network name (i.e., “Jane’s Wi-Fi [5G]). The 2.4 GHz band is commonly labeled with your network name (i.e. “Jane’s Wi-Fi) without a frequency label.
Each frequency band has its strengths and weaknesses. Basically, 5 GHz Wi-Fi is faster but doesn’t travel as far. 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi travels farther but is slower than 5 GHz and more susceptible to radio interference. So, if you’re far from the router try the 2.4 GHz, and if you need more speed and are within range, give the 5 GHz a try.
Test your Wi-Fi on different devices
If you’re on your laptop, use your phone or tablet to see if you can get online over the same Wi-Fi connection. If it connects on one device but not the other, then you know that your internet Wi-Fi is fine and it’s the disconnected device that’s having the problem.
Try a different Ethernet cable
If you have a spare Ethernet cable, swap it out with the one currently plugged into your modem and router and see if it makes a difference. Cables don’t last forever, and it could be that your current Ethernet cable has kicked the bucket and needs to be replaced.
Need a recommendation on a good replacement cable? This Cat-6 Ethernet cable is fast, sturdy, and affordable. You could also check out our article on the best Ethernet cables to learn more.
Amazon.com Price (as of 10/21/2021 10:15 MST). See full disclaimer .
Improve the position of your device and/or router
For router placement, the key factors to consider are distance, elevation, and obstructions. So, when picking a spot for your router, choose somewhere central and elevated relative to your devices. Furthermore, do your best to avoid placing the router near any electronic devices (especially microwaves) or any disruptive surfaces.
Wi-Fi radio waves get weaker the farther they travel. You want to have your device well within your router’s broadcast range. The Wi-Fi signal meter on your device helps you judge the strength of the current Wi-Fi signal.
It’s also important to place the router as high as possible. The router’s signal broadcast isn’t a straight line to your device. The signal shines out like light from a bulb, creating a dome of Wi-Fi. A higher router means a wider broadcast and better coverage of your home.
Certain obstructions and devices can also interfere with Wi-Fi signals. Wi-Fi can easily pass through wood and drywall, but tile, metal, concrete, and especially water are known to interfere with Wi-Fi signals. Microwaves, baby monitors, and cordless phones are also Wi-Fi killers when they’re running.
See our article on where to place your router to learn more about finding that perfect spot for your Wi-Fi machine.
If none of those quick fixes did the trick, there’s still plenty of things to try. Keep in mind that your problem may have more than one cause. That’s why we recommend going through the above steps first, as they are the most common fixes for internet issues.
Below are some of the rarer internet issues. These can be tough to diagnose, so it’s best to just try each one out until something works.
Run the internet troubleshooter (for Windows)
If you’re on Windows, run the built-in troubleshooter program to see if your computer can fix the issue for you. For Windows 10, click to Start > Settings > Update & Security > Troubleshoot, and then select the troubleshooter for Internet Connections.
Run Apple Diagnostics or Apple Hardware Test (for macOS)
Most Mac computers have a built-in diagnostic program that will scan your computer for issues, including problems with Wi-Fi. It’s called Apple Diagnostics on models from 2013 and later and Apple Hardware Test on models from 2012 with at least OS X 10.8.4.
To run Apple Diagnostics, disconnect any Ethernet cables and external drives, hit restart, and hold down the D key as the computer reboots. Pick a language, and then the diagnostic will launch automatically.
You can launch the Apple Hardware Test in a similar way. The only difference is that you should press Return or the right arrow button when the screen for the test appears as your computer is restarting and you’re given the prompt to choose a language.
Clear your DNS cache
The DNS cache is a digital log your browser uses as a shortcut to quickly load web pages you’ve visited before. But your cache can create technical issues if there’s a glitch or online malware has inserted uninvited URLs into your cache.
Here’s how to clear your cache on different devices:
Go to the Command Prompt by doing one of these things:
Option 1: Type “cmd” into the search bar
Option 2: Find the Command Prompt shortcut in the Windows System folder
Option 3: Type “cmd” into the Run window.
Once you’re in the Command Prompt, type in “ipconfig /flushdns.” Hit Enter to flush the cache.
Run the Terminal app. You can find it one of these ways:
Option 1: Open Terminal in the Utilities folder.
Option 2: Search “Terminal” using the Spotlight function.
In the Terminal app, enter the command to flush your cache. The command you’ll type can be slightly different depending on your Mac operating system (OS):
Yosemite and after: sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder
Yosemite 10.10–10.10.3: sudo discoveryutil mdnsflushcache
Mavericks, Mountain Lion, Lion: sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder
Snow Leopard: sudo dscacheutil -flushcache
You’ll be prompted to enter in the administrator password for your account. Then your cache is flushed—and hopefully any glitches with it.
On an iPhone or Apple device, there are two easy ways to clear your DNS cache:
Option 1: Switch on and then switch off Airplane Mode.
Option 2: Restart your device.
For Android devices, here’s how you clear your DNS cache:
Step 1: Type “chrome://net-internals/#dns” into the URL bar in Chrome.
Step 2: Tap the DNS menu.
Step 3: Click Clear Host Cache.
After you’ve cleared your cache, test your connection to see if it’s back online.
Is your connection as fast as you need?
You can always download our speed test app to see if your internet speeds match those offered on your monthly internet plan.
You can always take our speed test to see if your internet speeds match those offered on your monthly internet plan.
Scan for viruses and malware
Run a scan to see if malware or a virus is on your computer. Malicious programs can use up a lot of your bandwidth or block your internet connection entirely. McAfee , Norton , and Bitdefender all make quality antivirus software.
Switch off your antivirus software
We definitely recommend keeping antivirus software activated on your computer. However, misconfigured antivirus protections can sometimes interfere with your internet connection, so try turning off your antivirus software or firewall to see if the internet comes back.
Use a different Wi-Fi channel
This is especially important for those living in apartments and other living situations where there are multiple routers in the same area. Routers automatically select a frequency channel on which to broadcast your Wi-Fi. If there are other devices and routers nearby, these channels can become overcrowded.
To assess the best channel for your home, you’ll need to use a Wi-Fi channel analyzer. There are many free Android apps (iOS doesn’t allow it, unfortunately) that can do this. The channel analyzer will tell you what channels are being heavily used. Once you find a relatively open channel, change the channel in your router’s settings. See our article on how to log in to your router if you need some help with this.
See what’s on your Wi-Fi network
There may be a device on your Wi-Fi network that’s hogging the bandwidth or creating other connectivity problems. Your router might also limit how many devices can be connected at once, and it could be kicking devices off the network as a result.
To find out what’s on your network, log in to your router’s interface (use your cell phone if you can’t get Wi-Fi on your computer or connect via Ethernet) and look for a list labeled with a term like “DHCP clients,” “connected devices,” or “attached devices.” Usually, the name of the devices being used are included on the list (example: “Peter’s iPhone,” “Rebecca’s Macbook,” or “Computer 1”).
You can then figure out who’s using the Wi-Fi and ask everyone in your household if they’re doing anything that’s taking up too much internet speed.
Many routers let you kick devices off the Wi-Fi, so go ahead and give a user the boot if you don’t know them or they’re causing problems. You can also change the Wi-Fi password so they can’t get back on.
Internet running slow?
If you’re experiencing repeated slowdowns and outages, you may have an internet plan that’s too slow. Take our “How much speed do I need?” test to see if you’re paying for enough internet bandwidth to deliver the goods.
Make sure you have a working IP address
There’s a chance your computer is having trouble configuring a valid IP address. Your computer needs a unique IP to get on the internet, but you won’t be able to get online if multiple devices are assigned the same IP or if something has prevented your computer from assigning one. It’s not a particularly common issue, but it can happen—especially if you have multiple routers on the same home network.
To ensure you have a valid IP address, use the instructions in our article on how to find your IP address .
Force open the network’s login page (for public Wi-Fi)
Hotels, airports, and cafes often provide free internet—usually, all you have to do is open your browser and sign on to the public Wi-Fi network through a login screen. But what if that login page refuses to load?
You can force open the login page by typing one of these codes into your browser’s address bar:
Get fiber internet
Fiber internet is by far the fastest and most reliable internet you can get. So if you can get a fiber internet package for your home, we highly recommend you go for it, since it will vastly reduce the chance of annoying slowdowns and service outages that are more common on other internet connection types.
You can get speeds of anywhere from 100 Mbps to 1,000 Mbps on a fiber connection, giving you ample bandwidth to cover a range of activities and tasks while also supporting many other users on your Wi-Fi. Prices range from $35 per month to $100 per month.
Fiber isn’t available everywhere, unfortunately. But if you frequently have problems with your connection, it could be worth looking into some kind of upgrade or switching providers.
Enter your zip code to see what other internet options are in your area. It may be worth switching internet providers if you experience frequent technical glitches.
Upgrade your equipment
You may experience connection issues if you have outdated equipment that doesn’t match the latest wireless standards: 802.11ac (Wi-Fi 5) or 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6). You’ll also want to ensure that your modem supports DOCSIS 3.0 protocol or newer (for cable internet).
You may have issues with an older router, computer, or other Wi-Fi device that doesn’t adhere to recent wireless standards. In that case, you may want to invest in a new router. Or your computer may need a new wireless adapter (a device that lets you connect to a Wi-Fi network).
Here’s how to check the wireless standard of your computer:
Step 1: Hold down Option while clicking on the Apple menu in the top left of the screen, then select System Information.
Step 2: Scroll down to Network, click Wi-Fi in the drop-down menu, and look for the readout for Supported PHY Modes. This will tell you what wireless standard your computer is outfitted for.
Step 1: Right-click on the Start menu button and then click the command for Device Manager. (Or type “Device Manager” into the search bar in the Start menu—either way works.)
Step 2: Once you’re in Device Manager, click on the menu titled Network adapters and look for the listing of your wireless adapter and the wireless standard it’s set to.
Reset your equipment to factory settings
If you’ve tried everything else to no avail, it may be time to reset your router or gateway to its factory settings. This is a pretty big step because it will restore the router/gateway to the way it was when you first pulled it out of the box, wiping the slate clean.
Resetting your router will erase your password and issue a default one (which you will then want to change for security reasons). It will also erase any memory of custom features or guest networks you’ve set up through the router, and it will kick off all the devices that were signed onto the network.
Getting everything back up and running again will take a chunk of time out of your day, so this is worth trying only if you have no other options.
Anyway, here’s how you do it. Use a safety pin or paperclip to push the button hidden in the tiny hole at the back of the router. Hold it down for a few moments until the status lights go out and begin to reset.
Even if your internet is working fine, there are always ways to make your Wi-Fi connection even better. Take a look at our tips on how to improve your Wi-Fi bandwidth .
Reset your computer’s network settings (a.k.a. the nuclear option)
If all else fails, it’s time to reset your computer’s network entirely. This changes everything back to default settings. It’s not the most convenient option, but it could be the fix you need to start from scratch and erase the Wi-Fi bugs once and for all.
Keep in mind that this isn’t like turning off the computer and turning it back on. In the same way that resetting your router restores that equipment to factory settings, restoring your network totally wipes out your computer’s Wi-Fi settings, bringing it back to how it was when you were just setting it up for the first time.
Your computer will forget your network settings, including your Wi-Fi network’s name, passwords, and VPN settings. Do this only as a last resort. Make sure you save your passwords and other necessary info before doing the reset.
OK, then. Ready? Alright, here’s how to do it:
How to reset your Wi-Fi network on Mac
Step 1: Click Apple menu > System Preferences > Network.
Step 2: Click on Wi-Fi in the drop-down menu on the left of the screen
Step 3: Hit the minus (-) button to remove it. Then add it again by clicking the plus button (+) and selecting Wi-Fi in the Interface options.
Step 4: Hit Apply and close out of the Network settings.
How to reset your Wi-Fi network on Windows
Step 1: Click to Windows Settings > Network & Internet > Status.
Step 2: Hit the Network reset button.
Step 3: Hit Reset now to confirm.
Step 4: Hit Yes to confirm once again. (This is just for Windows 10. For previous Windows operating systems, see Microsoft’s Support page .)
Step 5: Restart your computer and follow the prompts for Windows to guide you through setting up your new home network. Good luck!
Complete list of fixes if your internet is not working
If you’d rather skip the troubleshooting and just start trying things, have at it. Here are all our internet fixes in a simple list.
1. Restart your equipment
To restart your modem and router or gateway, unplug the power cable and wait 60 seconds before plugging it back in. It will take a few minutes to reboot. Restart your device as well.
2. Connect with an Ethernet cable
Connecting via Ethernet will rule out issues with your Wi-Fi network. If you can get online via Ethernet, there’s something interfering with your Wi-Fi. This fix gets you back online right away, and then you can use our Wi-Fi troubleshooting section to fix the issue.
3. Check for an internet outage
The internet may be down in your area. You can use a site like downdetector.com to see if anyone else is having connection issues in your area. Many ISPs also have outage alerts via their websites and apps. Of course, you could always just call your ISP to find out if there’s an outage.
4. Try using a different device
See if you can get a connection on a different device. The device you’re using might not be connected properly to your router.
5. Check your wires and cables
Your cables and wires could be loose or damaged. Coaxial cables should be screwed on snugly and phone and Ethernet cables should be fully inserted into the sockets. While you’re at it, look for signs of damage in the form of kinks, hard twisting, excessive tension, even chew marks from pets.
You could also try just swapping out cables if you have extras. Start with the Ethernet cable that connects your modem to your router. The copper lines inside the cable or in the connectors could have become severed without any obvious visible signs of damage. The springy clip on the connector could also have worn out, in which case the slightest nudge of the cable could cause your internet to go in and out.
6. Run your computer’s internet troubleshooter
Something may be amiss within your computer’s operating system. Both Mac and PC computers have troubleshooters built into their OS that can solve the problem for you. If you need help, see our instructions on using your computer’s troubleshooter .
7. Reposition your router/gateway
Your router’s placement can make or break your home’s Wi-Fi coverage. The key things to remember when choosing a location are elevation, distance, and obstructions. Elevate your router to provide a wider coverage area. Choose a central location to cover your home as completely as possible. Lastly, be mindful of obstructions like metal, tile, concrete, and water that can hamper Wi-Fi signals.
Alternatively, you could try moving your device closer to your router—somewhere with a clear line of sight to avoid obstructions. See our article on router placement for more information.
8. Update everything
Obviously, you’ll need internet access to update your OS, system firmware, and network software. To do so, you may need to use your mobile phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot, seek out a public Wi-Fi hotspot, or hop on a friend or family member’s internet connection.
It’s important to keep the OS and applications on your devices updated. Be especially mindful of OS updates, firmware updates (particularly network and wireless adapter updates), and antivirus application updates.
9. Ensure your equipment isn’t obsolete
You may be using an obsolete modem, router, or gateway—even if you rent your equipment from your ISP. The provider will usually notify you if you’re renting obsolete equipment, but it’s easy to overlook this alert.
Ensure your modem supports the DOCSIS 3.0 protocol or newer (for cable internet). Your router and device should support the Wi-Fi 5 wireless standard or newer.
The firmware on your equipment is usually updated automatically by the ISP.
10. Check your modem’s signal level
The signal from your ISP to your modem needs to be above a certain strength threshold to function properly. Low signal to the modem could easily result in a slow or completely dead internet connection.
It used to be that only a broadband technician with an expensive meter could tell your signal strength, but now, many routers and even some ISP apps will give you a signal reading. You can also call your ISP to run a diagnostic on your modem. If you have low signal strength to your modem, you probably need a technician to come out and repair the problem.
11. Contact your ISP
Your ISP can help you diagnose connection problems by running a diagnostic on your equipment. Customer service can find and solve all kinds of problems over the phone or through chat support. It’s certainly worth a try. If your issue can’t be solved over the phone, you can set up an appointment with a technician just in case you can’t fix the issue yourself.
12. Turn off your antivirus software
This isn’t something we recommend lightly, but it could do the trick. Turning off your antivirus software makes your system more vulnerable to malicious software and cyber attacks. Still, your antivirus software is a major link between your device and the internet. The possibility of an issue here is often worth exploring after exhausting the likely causes.
If you are able to get online after deactivating your antivirus software, we recommend you either turn it back on and get in touch with your antivirus software’s technical support team or replace the software immediately before browsing the web unprotected.
13. Reset your equipment to factory settings
Resetting your modem and router or gateway reverts all settings to the factory defaults. The most important thing to remember here is that your passwords and networks will all be erased. You’ll have to reset your network name and password and reconnect all your devices.
Additionally, the login credentials used to access and change your equipment’s settings will also switch back to the default username and password (usually printed on a sticker attached to the equipment). This is different from your Wi-Fi name and password. If you don’t know your equipment’s default login credentials, you should call your equipment’s manufacturer or ISP (for rented equipment) before attempting this step. You could end up completely locked out otherwise.
See our instructions above to learn how to reset your equipment.
14. Make sure you have a working IP address
There’s a chance that your computer is having trouble configuring a valid IP address. Your computer needs a unique IP to get on the internet, but you won’t be able to get online if multiple devices are assigned the same IP or if something has prevented your computer from assigning one. It’s not a particularly common issue, but it can happen—especially if you have multiple routers on the same home network.
See our instructions above to learn how to check for a valid IP address on Windows and Mac.
15. Reset your computer’s network settings
Resetting your network settings is similar to resetting your equipment. Your computer’s network settings will revert to their factory defaults, and you’ll need to re-enter your network information again.
See our instructions above to learn how to reset your computer’s network settings.
Still can’t get good Wi-Fi? It may be time to switch internet providers. Type in your zip code to see if you can find a more reliable ISP in your area.
Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. HighSpeedInternet.com utilizes paid Amazon links.
CERTAIN CONTENT THAT APPEARS ON THIS SITE COMES FROM AMAZON. THIS CONTENT IS PROVIDED ‘AS IS’ AND IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE OR REMOVAL AT ANY TIME.
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Author - Austin Aguirre
Austin worked as a broadband technician installing and troubleshooting countless home internet networks for some of the largest ISPs in the U.S. He became a freelance writer in 2020 specializing in software guides. After graduating with a BS in technical communication from Arizona State University, he joined the team at HighSpeedInternet.com where he focuses on home network improvement and troubleshooting.
Editor - Rebecca Lee Armstrong
Rebecca Lee Armstrong has more than six years of experience writing about tech and the internet, with a specialty in hands-on testing. She started writing tech product and service reviews while finishing her BFA in creative writing at the University of Evansville and has found her niche writing about home networking, routers, and internet access at HighSpeedInternet.com. Her work has also been featured on Top Ten Reviews, MacSources, Windows Central, Android Central, Best Company, TechnoFAQ, and iMore.
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How to Fix Your Internet Connection: Troubleshoot Common Issues
Methods for improving and repairing your connection
Last Updated: September 27, 2023 Fact Checked
Slow or Inconsistent Wi-Fi Connections
Simple fixes for connection issues, advanced fixes for connection issues.
This article was co-authored by wikiHow staff writer, Kyle Smith . Kyle Smith is a wikiHow Technology Writer, learning and sharing information about the latest technology. He has presented his research at multiple engineering conferences and is the writer and editor of hundreds of online electronics repair guides. Kyle received a BS in Industrial Engineering from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 808,686 times. Learn more...
While some network issues can only be addressed from your Internet Service Provider's (ISP's) side, there are plenty of simple steps that you can take to resolve minor to moderate network issues at home! From repositioning your router to resetting the network, there are a few things you can try to get things working. This wikiHow will show you how to fix your internet connection, from handling slow Wi-Fi networks to troubleshooting problems on your PC or Mac.
Things You Should Know
- For slow internet, move your router so there are as few obstacles as possible between it and your device.
- Restart your router and modem to resolve common internet connection issues.
- If your problem persists, try updating your router firmware by navigating to its router login page.
- If you’re having connection issues on a different floor of your home, try different antenna angles for better coverage.
- The best way to ensure a consistent Internet connection is by minimizing the number of obstacles between your Internet device and the router.
- Make sure to check what speed your router is rated for. This is typically labeled AC####, where the four numbers represent the speed in megabits per second (mbps). Get a router that matches or exceeds your internet plan’s mbps.
- If your computer is able to connect to the Internet while connected directly to the router, your computer's wireless reception is most likely the problem.
- If your computer is able to connect to the Internet while connected directly to the modem, then the issue is likely cause by your router.
- If you cannot connect to the internet while connected directly to your modem, there is something wrong with the modem or with your internet service in general. You'll need to get in touch with your internet service provider's technical support line to fix modem-related issues.
- To stay relatively up-to-date, consider clearing your browser's cache once per month.
- Internet Explorer
- Restarting your computer will often also turn back on your Internet adapter if it was off.
- You may have to hold the Fn button in order to be able to press the Wi-Fi button.
- The Wi-Fi button usually looks like three curved lines increasing in size.
- Skip this step on a desktop computer.
- Many modems can also be soft-reset in this manner.
- In some cases, you can soft-reset your network by opening your router's page and clicking a Reset button in the "Advanced" or "Power" options.
- In most cases, the "reset" button is a recessed button on the back of the modem and router, meaning that you'll need to use a pen or a paperclip (or similar tool) to press the button.
- Clearing the DNS cache will resolve issues such as websites failing to load, especially if you can view the website in one browser but not another.
- To clear the DNS cache on a mobile item such as a smartphone or a tablet, simply restart the item.
- Windows - Press ⊞ Win + R > type in ncpa.cpl > click OK > right-click your network adapter > click Diagnose > follow any on-screen prompts.
- Add a second router to extend the range .
- Increase your computer's Wi-Fi reception .
- Make your own directional "cantenna" for your wireless adapter .
- Remember to be as calm and polite as possible, and do not take out your frustration on the company.
- Most ISPs will perform network diagnoses and fixes for free if you're renting a modem/router from them. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 1
- Resetting your network should be a last-ditch attempt to fix the network. While it will fix most of your potential network problems, it's very inconvenient to have to set back up all of your Internet-connected items. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 5
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- ↑ http://osxdaily.com/2016/09/22/fix-wi-fi-problems-macos-sierra/
About This Article
1. Restart your computer. 2. Make sure your wireless adapter is enabled. 3. Restart your modem and router. 4. Try a hard network reset. 5. Move closer to the router. 6. Try using Ethernet. Did this summary help you? Yes No
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Top 5 Ways to Troubleshoot Your Broadband Internet Connection
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There are few things in life as frustrating as an "Address Not Found" message in your Web browser. Timed-out connections, a little red X in your network connection icon, or an "Internet Explorer cannot display the Web page" error screen all add up to the same dismal problem -- something's wrong with your Internet connection.
Finding and fixing the problem is never easy, mainly because there are so many places where something can go wrong. We're going to walk you through five relatively easy steps that will solve the majority of broadband Internet connection problems, no matter what kind of Internet service you use. We'll have you up and running, reading celebrity gossip and updating your Facebook status in no time.
- Check the Wires
- Power Cycling
- Weathering Storms with Satellite Internet Connections
- Wireless Router Outages
- More Cable and Configuration Problems
5: Check the Wires
It may seem obvious, but one of the easiest troubleshooting steps you can take yourself is to check all the cables and connections involved in your Internet connection. This is true no matter what kind of connection you have. Even if you're sure nothing has changed, it only takes a minute to make sure.
Start where your Internet service enters your house. This might be your cable company's line drop, a satellite dish antenna or a phone line. Make sure the cable is connected securely, and any cabling that runs outside the house hasn't been damaged by weather or chewed on by birds, bugs or squirrels. Just be careful if there are any electrical lines around -- and if you see damaged lines of any kind, don't touch them, just call the cable or phone company.
Next, follow the cables through your house, checking connections at every appropriate point. If you use a router, check those connections, too, and make sure the correct cable is going to the correct place. If your router feeds several different computers or gaming systems, it can get confusing to keep track of which cable goes where.
If the cabling and connections seem OK, the next step is to power cycle your modem.
4: Power Cycling
Power cycling might sound exciting, but it just means turning your modem off, waiting a few seconds, then turning it on again. This works regardless of your connection type, whether you get your Internet via cable, DSL or satellite. The easiest way to turn it off is to disconnect the power cord where it plugs into the modem itself (they don't always have on/off switches, but if yours does, that should work, too). Wait about 30 seconds, and then plug it in again. Sometimes, that's all it takes. Once the modem has cycled through its usual boot-up sequence, you may find your connection works again.
If this doesn't do the trick, a more elaborate power cycling sequence might. You'll have to turn off every device on your network, then power them on again in a particular order.
First, shut off your computer, then unplug the power cords from your modem, router, access point and hub.When you turn things on again, follow the signal from the modem toward the computer. In other words, power up the modem first, then power up your router or hub, then turn on your computer last. As you turn on each device, wait for it go through its boot-up sequence before powering up the next device in line. You can determine the status by watching the lights on the device itself.
Still no connection? If you use a satellite Internet service, we'll troubleshoot your unique problems in the next section.
3: Weathering Storms with Satellite Internet Connections
If you access the Internet with a satellite service, you have your own set of issues to deal with. The first potential issue is line of sight. Satellite Internet connections use a special two-way dish, and the dish has to be pointed directly at the satellite at a very particular angle. The problems start when anything gets between your antenna and the satellite.
Overgrown greenery, snow and ice or leaves and other debris could be blocking your dish, so you'll have to get to the dish to clear it off. This can be especially difficult if it's mounted on the roof.
Odd as it may seem, weather hundreds of miles away can also affect your satellite connection. Because the satellite is over the equator, your dish points south (that is, if you're in the Northern Hemisphere). The farther you are from the equator, the less direct the line of sight is. Your dish has to send and receive signals through a long stretch of atmosphere to the south, so southerly storms many miles away can still cause interference.
If there's nothing in the way, and the weather is clear from your roof all the way to Guatemala, your dish might be misaligned. If it isn't pointing in the proper direction, your connection will fail. Satellite dish antennas require much more precise adjustment than TV dish antennas do - it's probably a good idea to call your Internet service provider for help, rather than trying to adjust it yourself.
And on top of that, the problem might be beyond everyone's control. Sunspots are massive flares on the surface of the sun that send intense blasts of energy at the Earth. That energy can severely disrupt satellite communications.
Next, we'll diagnose some common wireless problems.
2: Wireless Router Outages
If you use a wireless access point or wireless router to access the Internet with a laptop, then the wireless connection might be the cause of your problem. You may have to use a wired connection to your network until the wireless problem is solved. You'll also want to have a copy of your wireless access point or router's user manual nearby.
There are two main potential issues with wireless connections: configuration problems and security problems. Consult the user manual to see how to access the wireless device -- this is usually done by typing the device's IP address into a Web browser. From there, you'll need to check the manual to find the proper settings. You'll probably have to call your Internet service provider (ISP) for assistance, because the necessary configuration will vary tremendously depending on the type of network you have and the type of connection provided by your ISP.
The wireless device's security settings could also be causing problems. You can access these settings the same way you accessed the configuration. If you have a wireless security protocol enabled, you won't be able to access the wireless device without using the proper password. You can set and reset the password the same way you can change the other settings.
If none of these steps have solved your connection problem, there are still a few last-ditch efforts you can attempt.
1: More Cable and Configuration Problems
Chances are, part of your home network involves cat5 or cat5e Ethernet cables. If you're using the wrong kind of cable, it could defeat your Internet connection efforts. Crossover cable should only be used to connect two computers directly. If you're connecting devices with a hub or router, straight-through cables should be used. How can you tell the difference? Sometimes crossover cables are labeled by the manufacturer. If not, it's a bit technical to figure out (it involves checking the pairs of wires at the connectors). If possible, just try a different cable to see if that helps.
The problem might be with the computer you're trying to connect to the Internet. Network configuration troubleshooting depends on operating system, connection type and other factors. If your computer has a network icon, it might displays a red X or other error message if there's a problem. If there's no error message and your connection still won't work, some operating systems have the ability to self-diagnose to determine if there's another issue.
If everything else seems to be working OK, then the problem might be with your ISP. Contact its technical support line and ask. If the ISP isn't suffering an outage (they do, from time to time), technical support representatives might walk you through some of the steps you already went though, and they may even be able to test your connection or reset your modem.
For more information on broadband connections and related topics, make a connection to the next page.
Lots More Information
- 5 Tips to Improve Your Wireless Connection
- How Ethernet Works
- How Cable Modems Work
- How WiFi Works
- How DSL Works
- How does satellite Internet operate?
- How Satellite Internet Receivers Work
- Which is better to use for a cable modem -- a USB connection or an Ethernet card?
- Microsoft. "How to troubleshoot possible causes of Internet connection problems in Windows XP." (April 13, 2009)http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314095
- Microsoft. "Troubleshooting network connection problems." (April 14, 2009) http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/networking/maintain/troubleshoot.mspx
- AT&T. "Troubleshooting your High Speed Internet connection problems." (April 12, 2009)http://helpme.att.net/viewlets/dsl/connectivity/index.shtml
Please copy/paste the following text to properly cite this HowStuffWorks.com article:
Can’t Connect to Internet? How to Troubleshoot
An internet connection failure can be catastrophic for any professional business, exposing it to reduced productivity, lost revenue, and customer complaints. The cost of internet downtime can be extremely expensive, up to $5,600 per minute in some cases. A few minutes of wifi or internet connectivity issues can significantly impact your company’s bottom line.
Due to these potential consequences, you need to equip yourself with the right skills to troubleshoot and tackle the problem head-on.
Can’t connect to the internet? Follow these network troubleshooting tips to get your internet up and running if it’s not working.
Can’t Connect to Internet? Here’s 9 Ways to Troubleshoot
1. check for physical connectivity issues.
Sometimes internet connection may fail due to simple things like a loose or unplugged network cable, modem, or router. If you’re on a wireless network, your computer’s wireless network interface card might be turned off. First, check your Wi-Fi settings by clicking Settings > Network & Internet > Wi-Fi and then switch Wi-Fi to the “On” position. When browsing from your phone or tablet, check the settings that turn Wi-Fi on and off and make sure it’s turned on.
For wired connections, check the Ethernet cables that connect to your router. If you suspect that any cable is the culprit, try swapping it out with a new one or changing ports.
2. Restart the Router
Restarting the router can sometimes help fix internet connectivity issues. If your router has been off for quite some time, a quick restart could just get it back to working condition.
The hardware and software components of a router or modem are prone to causing issues from time to time due to a variety of reasons. The same way your computer needs to be restarted every now and then in order to refresh running processes and clear cache.
Rebooting your router can work wonders, but if it comes to a point where you are forced to do it every day or multiple times a week to address connectivity issues, you may just need a new modem or router. In such a case, a call to your local ISP might be needed.
3. Evaluate Software Problems
Strict firewall rules or security policies could be the source of your connectivity issues. For example, many new generation antivirus solutions like Norton and Malwarebytes actually include network intrusion protection that acts as a software firewall in filtering and blocking malicious traffic.
When you install two software firewalls on the same computer, such as Windows Firewall and a private, third-party firewall, the contention between the two can incorrectly block traffic. If you recently installed or upgraded a firewall on your computer, consider disabling it temporarily to determine if it’s the cause of the connection issue.
4. Check If You’re Outside the Wireless Signal Range
If you’re on a Wi-Fi network, you should know that the connection performance depends on the distance between your wireless access point and your device. The further away you move from the Wi-Fi router or a wireless access point, the more sluggish the internet connection will be, and any further drift will result in a total breakdown. Signal interference in your location can also limit the effective range of the Wi-Fi connection.
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5. Check Service Isn’t Being Blocked
Sometimes, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) can decide to block access from your account due to non-payment or violation of the provider’s Terms of Service. If you’re using paid hotspots that charge hourly or daily, it’s easy to forget to keep your subscription updated.
Other times, your ISP might block your account when you’re exceeding bandwidth caps, downloading illegal or inappropriate content, or sending spam emails. Most internet providers will notify you by default while you are trying to visit a webpage if your account has been suspended, it is always good practice to contact your ISP promptly if you suspect your account has been suspended .
6. Open Windows Network Diagnostics and Check Your DNS settings
Windows features a tool known as Windows Network Diagnostics, which lets users troubleshoot internet connection issues. Simply go to Windows Settings > Network & Internet > Status. Next, view under Network Settings and click Network Troubleshooter.
The Windows Network Diagnostics tool will then run a couple of tests to determine what’s possibly causing your internet connection issues. If any issue is discovered, windows will give you a list of possible actions to take to restore your connection.
Many SoHo (Small office/Home office) routers use themselves as DNS servers by default, the issue is a lot of cheaper devices are not designed for the CPU stress the DNS service can apply to the device, it’s good practice to replace the primary and secondary DNS servers in your NIC (Network Interface Card) configuration manually with Google DNS (18.104.22.168 and 22.214.171.124).
7. Reboot the Computer
Failures in the operating system software controlling the adapter can frequently occur. This is why it is always a good idea to restart your computer, by doing so, you can clean the cache and ensure the settings are not following old configurations.
We see this happen frequently. Sometimes after applying all the correct changes, we expect the solution to work, but for some reason it does not. It is only after restarting the computer that the fixes are actually applied.
8. Contact Your Internet Service Provider
If you’re using satellite internet service, you may notice that the connection is not as reliable during periods of extreme weather. Sometimes, internet service providers or cellular internet carriers in densely populated urban areas are unable to support network traffic peaks that cause sporadic downtimes for some users. If you can’t seem to figure out why you can’t connect to the internet, your ISP probably can offer informed advice.
9. Reach Out to IT Professionals
Ultimately, if you’ve tried everything and your internet connection still fails to restore, it is best to reach out to a professional IT support team to troubleshoot your issue and restore your connection before the downtime impacts your operations further. Although it may entail a service fee of some sort, it’s worthwhile in the end considering the imminent loss of business and man-hours.
When your company partners with Electric , our team of IT experts can diagnose your connectivity issue and troubleshoot it for you.
Dmitriy Sadlovskiy is an accomplished network and systems engineer with 20 years of experience in troubleshooting, managing and securing network & server infrastructure.
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Internet Down Again? Here Are 5 Possible Causes and How to Fix Them
There are a lot of things that might be taking your internet out. Try these quick fixes for getting back online.
Losing your internet connection can disrupt your whole day. Here's how to figure out what's going on and fix it.
There's hardly a good time for your internet to go out, but it always seems to happen at the worst possible time. Maybe you're streaming the finale of your favorite TV show, closing in on a rare victory online or taking an important work call from home and, sure enough, there goes the internet. Even the best Wi-Fi connections can go out from time to time and may require a bit of troubleshooting to get back online.
Resolving the occasional service disruption is usually fairly quick and simple. Here are the most common reasons why your internet might go out and how to fix the problem, if possible. Spoiler alert: It's not always the fault of your internet service provider .
(For more Wi-Fi tips, check out why your router may be in the wrong place and how to find free Wi-Fi anywhere in the world .)
Locating local internet providers
Common causes of home internet outages
Here are some of the top causes your internet may have dropped -- we'll dive into solutions for each below.
1. Modem/router malfunctions
2. Inadequate speeds or equipment
3. Hacking or network issues
4. Bad weather
5. ISP service outages and network congestion
Narrowing down the exact issue can take a bit of investigating and troubleshooting. Start by verifying the connection issue isn't specific to a single website, server or device.
If you've lost your Netflix connection halfway through a show, check to see if other streaming services are still accessible and working. If so, the problem likely lies with Netflix and not your internet connection. If you're having an issue connecting to other streaming services, it could be that the smart TV or streaming device is to blame. Try streaming on another device, if possible, to verify that an internet outage is the culprit.
Modem and router issues
When your home internet connection goes out, it's most likely due to a hiccup with your modem and/or router. The solution is often simple: Restart your equipment by unplugging it, waiting 10 seconds or so, plugging it back in and allowing it to reboot. More often than not, this will resolve your outage.
When restarting your router, I'd recommend cutting power by unplugging it instead of pressing or holding any buttons on the device itself. Doing so can prompt the device to do a hard reset, returning it to factory settings and erasing your Wi-Fi network settings. Granted, the reset will likely re-establish your internet connection, but you'll also have the extra task of setting up your Wi-Fi again.
Also, keep in mind that your device may have a battery backup. If the lights on your modem or router don't go out when you unplug it from the power source, check to see if there are batteries installed somewhere and temporarily remove them when restarting your device.
Inadequate speeds or equipment
Maybe your internet isn't necessarily "out," it just can't keep up with what you're trying to do or where you're doing it.
Constant buffering, excessive lagging, Wi-Fi "dead zones," and other connectivity issues could result from insufficient speed, bandwidth or Wi-Fi coverage to handle all your devices. There are two ways to remedy the situation: Scale back your internet expectations and use or make some upgrades.
Consider the internet speeds you need and determine if your current plan can deliver those speeds. If your plan lacks the speeds you need, upgrading to a faster plan (assuming one is available) will be your best option. Many cable and fiber internet providers offer speeds up to 1 gigabit per second or higher , which is plenty of speed for the average home.
On the other hand, if you feel your current plan should meet your needs, it's possible your equipment is to blame. Conduct a few speed tests around your home to gauge what speeds you are getting and where the Wi-Fi signal might not be as strong. Sometimes simply relocating your router to a more efficient spot will improve connection quality and eliminate or at least mitigate any dead zones.
Otherwise, you may want to invest in a better router or Wi-Fi extenders to boost the Wi-Fi signal throughout your home. If you rent equipment from a provider, call to ask about getting a better device .
Try adjusting your router settings
Your router should allow you to steer connected devices to a specific pod or extender, if you have them, and between 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. You'll get a stronger signal on the 5GHz band, but only if your device is within range (the 5GHz range is shorter than 2.4GHz) and if there aren't too many other devices connected to 5GHz. So, if your connection quality is weak on a particular device, try switching bands on the device or moving some of the other devices off the band you're using.
Use a wired connection
Connecting directly to your modem, router or pods/extenders using an Ethernet cable will be your best bet for establishing and maintaining a strong connection. If possible, use a wired connection for the most bandwidth-hogging devices, like smart TVs and gaming consoles. Not only will this often provide a better, faster connection, but it will also take some of the strain off your Wi-Fi network.
Hacking or malware
A less likely but still possible cause of an internet outage is a compromised network . If hackers gain access to your Wi-Fi network, they could completely restrict your internet access to any or all devices.
If you suspect someone has gained unauthorized access to your network, immediately go to your router settings and recreate your Wi-Fi network with (preferably) a different network name and (definitely) a different password -- one with some complexity or randomness that will make it difficult for a hacker to figure out.
Along with creating a strong password, be sure to keep all firmware on your router and any connected devices up to date to help prevent hacking attempts. Installing antivirus software will also help keep your devices protected. Many ISPs offer virus and malware protection at no extra cost.
Yes, Mother Nature can mess with your internet connection. Some internet connection types are more prone to internet outages than others during bouts of bad weather , but hard rain, a violent thunderstorm or even heavy cloud coverage could interfere with your signal.
Satellite internet is the most vulnerable to internet outages caused by weather, but a power outage can knock any connection type offline. Having a modem and router with a battery backup may help keep you connected during power outages, though they will be useless if the power outage is preventing internet service from reaching your modem in the first place.
If you have satellite internet, a rain guard, snow shield or dish heater can help prevent outages due to bad weather in the immediate area of your home. Signal interference can happen anywhere along the path between the satellite and your dish, however, and heavy cloud coverage or rain could have an impact on your connection even if it's miles away. There's not much you can do about an internet outage in that case, unfortunately; you'll just have to wait for the signal to return.
ISP outages and network congestion
Despite the negative impression many people have about their internet providers , widespread ISP outages are uncommon and outages at a single residence are virtually unheard of (unless, of course, you forgot to pay the bill). Still, it's possible that the provider is having issues.
If your internet is completely out and you've already tried restarting the router, check your provider's social media pages, official website or sources like downdector.com for updates and outage reports. You can also call customer service, but be prepared for a long wait on hold.
Other than confirming your ISP is having problems, there's nothing you can do in such situations other than wait for service to return. Outages are bad publicity , so rest assured your ISP is doing everything in its power to restore service as quickly as possible.
Outages are rare but network congestion could be a much more frequent problem and, while it won't always knock your connection out completely, it can certainly cause slowed speeds. Cable, DSL and satellite internet are vulnerable to network congestion, as is 5G home internet. T-Mobile acknowledges network congestion can lead to slowed speeds, stating that "during congestion, Home Internet customers may notice speeds lower than customers using other T-Mobile services due to data prioritization."
Network congestion means the speeds coming to your home are slowed, so there isn't much you can do about that other than wait for the congestion to clear. You can, however, make the most of the speeds you are getting by placing your router in an optimal location, adjusting your Wi-Fi settings or using an Ethernet connection, as mentioned above.
Internet still out? Here's what else to try
Aside from the tips listed above, there are a couple of ways you may be able to get back online.
The first is by using your mobile connection. Your phone will likely automatically switch to cellular service if your Wi-Fi goes out, so you'll be able to use your phone just like you would if you were away from home. Keep in mind, however, that doing so will use up your mobile data.
Additionally, some phones, carriers and plans allow you to create a Wi-Fi hotspot. It probably won't power your home the same as your router, but it will enable you to connect a few devices until your home network comes back.
Second, and perhaps only applicable for longer outages or urgent internet needs such as submitting a school assignment on time, would be to find a public Wi-Fi hotspot. Your local public library, coffee shop or restaurant, among many other public places, may offer free Wi-Fi.
Be mindful that using a public Wi-Fi connection is not as secure as your home network, so consider using a VPN or avoid any activity that involves sensitive data (passwords, banking info, doing your taxes, etc.) while on a public network.
Internet outage FAQs
Why does my internet keep going out.
There could be a number of factors that affect your internet connection. First, and most likely, is problems with your equipment. Restarting your modem/router should resolve the issue.
Other reasons why your internet may keep going out include inadequate speeds, network congestion and inclement weather. It's possible that your provider is experiencing a service outage, but for frequent connection disruptions, I would look to the previously mentioned causes, starting with your router.
Can I get a partial refund for ISP outages?
Many providers do offer compensation for prolonged or frequent outages. Spectrum, for example, will provide "proportionate credit for those qualifying outages that last for 4 or more consecutive hours." Call to report the outage as soon as possible and monitor how long it lasts before requesting a refund.
Will a power outage knock out my internet service?
Not always, but probably. When the power goes out, it won't necessarily keep internet service from reaching your home, but it can certainly limit your ability to use the internet. Unless your modem and router have a battery backup, a power outage will disable those devices, rendering you unable to connect to the internet.
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7 reasons why your internet isn’t working.
Are you tearing your hair out wondering why your internet isn’t working? Does your internet constantly drop right when you’re in the middle of something? Thankfully, the most common fixes for having no internet connection may be simpler than you think. And once you’re back online, get an all-in-one internet security app that will help ensure smooth, optimal device performance.
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Common reasons why the internet is not working
There can be a number of reasons for having no internet, even when the Wi-Fi symbol shows that you’re connected. The most common cause is a problem with your router or modem, or a loose cable, but your internet can also fail because of a more technical reason.
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Internet connection problems can also be related to internet security — so this is a great time to assess your level of digital protection. Make sure to install the best internet security software once you finish resolving your internet issues.
Here are some of the most common reasons why your Wi-Fi isn't working:
Modem or router
Your ISP (Internet Service Provider) has an outage
Low internet speed
Physical distance from your router
Hacking or network issues
Let’s look at each of these issues so you can figure out why your internet isn’t working properly, locate the cause of your internet problems, and get back online quickly.
Router or modem
First, check your router and make sure the cables are connected properly and haven’t come loose. Most people have a combined router/modem unit, so you probably have to check only one device. If everything seems fine, a simple reset — or unplugging it and plugging it back in — usually fixes most modem and router problems.
Just like your computer, a modem or router needs to be updated and periodically cleared of temporary files. Updates keep security tight – routers can get malware too – while regular temporary file disposal will reduce the chances of having no Wi-Fi.
You probably don’t think about it, but a router/modem works 24/7, sitting somewhere in your house collecting dust. That’s why a modem/router is the most common reason for the internet not working. Routers and modems can start malfunctioning after just a few years. So, in addition to updating and restarting occasionally, you should also replace your router every five years or so.
Internet Service Provider outages
Your ISP’s connection can go down due to maintenance or mishaps. The best way to check for an ISP outage is by contacting the company. If your ISP is having an outage, wait and the problem will be resolved soon.
Your ISP can also be the cause for slow internet, and they may even decide to slow your internet down on purpose. This is called ISP throttling , and you may want to learn how to get around it.
If your internet is working super slowly, it can prevent you from doing what you need to. A slow internet connection can happen for a number of reasons, and there are many ways to speed up your internet .
For example, your internet speed can slow if you’r e uploading or downloading larg e files. Precious bandwidth is diverted away from your browsing while you upload or download. The same goes for CPU-intensive processes ; while these aren’t network problems, they can cause your page-load speed to slow down.
Bandwidth taken up by multiple users
Speaking of bandwidth, network congestion can slow your internet to a crawl thanks to other members of your household streaming, downloading, gaming, or otherwise consuming lots of bandwidth.
Physical distance from your router or modem
If your device is too far from your router or modem, your internet speed can also be impacted. So consider moving closer to your router or using a Wi-Fi extender device to improve the range of your connection. Also, try to minimize the number of walls between yourself and the internet device.
Your internet can stop working thanks to malware or hacking. Hackers have a motive for debilitating your internet, as it makes it more difficult for you to defend yourself. Additionally, some malware is designed to hijack your bandwidth and data — cryptojacking — to mine cryptocurrency .
Network security is more essential than ever these days so always use top quality internet security software . Make sure to learn how to prevent router hacks , too. A non-malicious problem with your network can also leave you with no internet connection, like a DNS cache that needs flushing .
We all know that storms can knock out power lines — but the weather can also affect internet speed even if it doesn’t physically damage any equipment. For example, humidity and rain can interfere with signals.
Weather-related internet problems can come in many different forms. Usually, the only thing to do is wait for the weather to improve and your internet connection to return.
How to fix internet connection issues
There are a number of proactive steps you can take to fix internet connection issues at home. The best place to start is with your router and modem. Unplug your router, wait 10 seconds, and then plug it back in. We’ll look at this in more detail and other top fixes:
Restarting your router or modem
Checking hardware, checking network settings, advanced troubleshooting, contacting your internet service provider.
When figuring out how to fix no internet connection, restarting your router is the first step. It’s possible your router isn’t connecting to the internet because of a buildup of temporary files, which can cause network connection problems. Restarting your router clears the temporary files from its memory and brings everything back to baseline.
To restart your router or modem, switch it off and keep it unplugged for at least ten seconds so that the device’s memory gets flushed completely. Switch off your computer too. Then, reconnect your router and power your devices up again. Hopefully, this will also fix the Wi-Fi connection on your Android or your iPhone, if that’s also not connecting to Wi-Fi .
If you have a solid green or white light then your router is working normally. If you see a different light, check your router manual to see what a flashing, yellow, or other light means. Routers and modems are all different, but there is a standard way to tell if they’re working correctly.
Aside from the lights, also check to make sure all cables are fully plugged in and not damaged.
Lastly, try connecting to the internet with another device , like your phone, to determine whether it’s your device or router/modem not connecting to the internet properly. If your phone connects normally, then your internet problem is related to your computer.
To check the network settings on your device, go to your Wi-Fi network settings , disconnect your Wi-Fi, wait a minute, and then reconnect. Also, try changing the frequency band you’re on by connecting to either the 2.4GHz or 5GHz network (whichever you’re not currently on).
If you’re using a VPN, it might be causing no internet access even though it may appear that you’re connected in your settings. In that case, try disabling the VPN. VPNs are great at keeping a stable connection (and letting you watch streaming services from other countries), but they can run into snags sometimes.
Here are some of the more advanced ways you can fix the problem of being connected without internet access:
Diagnose the issue using your computer
Update your drivers (windows), flush the dns cache.
Reset all network settings
On a Windows device, follow these steps:
Type network troubleshooting in the taskbar and click Find and fix network problems .
Click Advanced , then Run as Administrator on the new screen before clicking Next . Then choose from the on-screen options.
On a Mac device, follow these steps:
Open a Spotlight search and type in wireless diagnostics . Then open the app and click Continue .
When your Mac’s finished running the test, review the results. If there’s an issue found, follow the instructions.
You can also try updating the drivers for your network adapters.
Type device manager in the taskbar and click Device Manager .
Right-click each of the adapters and click Update driver .
Now it’s time to try flushing the DNS cache, which holds temporary files that can clog up and slow down your computer.
On Windows :
Type cmd in the taskbar and click Command Prompt.
Type ipconfig /flushdns and hit Enter .
Open a Spotlight search and type terminal , then open the app. Type sudo dscacheutil -flushcache; sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder , then hit Enter .
This works on all later macOS versions from El Capitan up.
Type in your password and hit Enter , and your DNS cache will be cleared.
Reset your network settings
If the above fixes don’t work, you can try resetting all network settings. This will revert these back to default settings, which means your Wi-Fi network name and password will be forgotten. Only do this if you’ve tried all other fixes first, and make sure you have all your login details saved somewhere.
Type network reset in the taskbar and choose Network reset .
Click Reset now and your computer will restart.
Open the Apple menu, click System Preferences , then select Network on the new screen.
Make sure Wi-Fi is selected, then click the - button at the bottom to delete the network.
Wait for a few seconds, then you can click the + button (next to the - symbol). Click the Interface dropdown list and choose Wi-Fi, then click Create .
Hopefully, this has solved your problem of being connected to Wi-Fi but having no internet. You can also learn how to reset your phone’s network settings and boost your phone’s internet speed .
Assuming you’ve tried all the above and your internet still isn’t working, contact your ISP. Ask them, “Why is my Wi-Fi not working?” and be ready to supply information like your account number, email address, and a description of the problem.
They can also walk you through setting a static vs. dynamic IP address .
Secure your Wi-Fi network
Now that you’re back online, make sure you download an app that secures your network and helps prevent internet problems. Avast One can help you do both. Avast One runs on an award-winning anti-malware engine to ensure your device stays clean and protected from hackers. And it helps you clear out junk files to keep your device running smoothly. Install Avast One today — completely free.
Now that you’re back online, make sure you download security software that protects your network and blocks malware that can disrupt your connection. Avast Free Antivirus helps block hackers while keeping you safe from viruses and other malware that can hijack your resources and slow you down. Install Avast today — completely free.
How do I fix a Wi-Fi connection that says "connected, no internet"?
Try and fix the Wi-Fi “connected, no internet” message by unplugging your router, waiting a minute, and plugging it back in. Another common solution is to disconnect from (or forget) your Wi-Fi network and then reconnect again. You may also need to update your network drivers.
If neither of these solutions work, you should contact your ISP, who can help you diagnose the cause of the issue — and they may even send you a new router.
What should I do if my Wi-Fi is working but my internet is slow?
Slow internet can be the result of many different causes, like distance from your device to the router, interference from a nearby network, congestion, or old equipment. Try moving closer to your router, connecting to it via an Ethernet cable, or even replacing it.
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BT Broadband connection problems
If you're having problems connecting to your broadband there are some things you can do at home to try and resolve it. It will save time if you can try these first before calling us.
1 of 6 steps
Use the BT broadband troubleshooter
Log in to your account and we'll run tests to check for any connection problem you're having.
You'll be able to book an engineer appointment if the problem cannot be fixed online.
Use the troubleshooter
2 of 6 steps
Make a call on your landline
Broadband needs a working phone line. Check you can make a phone call and that there's no noise on the line. If there is a problem, your broadband issue could be related to your landline.
Try our landline troubleshooter >
3 of 6 steps
Restart your Hub
Many connections problems can be resolved by turning your BT Hub off and on.
- Press the Power button on the back until all the lights go off and wait for 5 minutes.
- Press the Power button again until all the lights come back on. It may take a few minutes for the lights to settle.
If this doesn't work check the status of the lights (see below).
4 of 6 steps
Check the lights on your BT Hub
The lights on your Hub give indicators about what the hub is doing and whether everything is working correctly.
If there are no lights, check the power cable is in firmly, and connected to the mains.
A steady blue means that the Hub is connected to your broadband. If you are still having problems try turning the device you are using - like a phone, tablet or laptop - off and on.
If the light isn’t a steady blue there could be an issue, but there are things you can do to help resolve it.
What the lights on your BT Hub mean >
5 of 6 steps
Power cycle your modem
Fibre customers might have an Openreach modem installed. This is a white box that connects to your BT Hub.
We’ve found that many fibre connection issues can be resolved by power cycling the modem – turning it off and on again in a controlled way.
How to power cycle the Openreach modem >
6 of 6 steps
Try your test socket
The issue may be with your internal telephone extensions, rather than the phone line itself. One way to check this is by connecting your Hub to your test socket.
The test socket is your main socket. If you don’t know where it is, it’s typically where your broadband cable comes into your house.
How to use your test socket >
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Fix your broadband problems
Check your phone line.
If you have a phone, lift your receiver. If you can hear a beeping, intermittent dial tone, this means you have a voicemail and there isn’t a fault with your phone line. We also need you to check for:
- no dial tone.
- noise, hissing or crackling on the line.
- your phone line sounding normal.
- your phone line sounds normal: go to the next step.
- you don't have a phone: go to the next step .
- your phone line doesn't sound normal: we can't resolve your issue. Please contact us.
Check your router set up
If you find that your broadband connection is unexpectedly slow or unreliable, here are a few things for you to check:
- Your leads: make sure your Sky Hub's power lead isn’t bunched together with your grey DSL cable or any Ethernet cable you might be using. The power lead can sometimes cause interference with other cables in your premises network.
- Your TV: if you have a plasma screen TV, it could interfere with your broadband signal. Make sure your Sky Hub isn’t positioned too close to it. Try to leave at least 3 metres distance.
- Your microfilters: your microfilters need to be installed properly to get the best from your Sky Hub. If you’re not sure if they are, follow the steps below:
Your microfilter should be the first thing plugged into the telephone socket. If you’re connecting your Sky Hub, you should be using the master microfilter. It’s the larger of the two microfilters that came with your Sky Hub. Call Us if you’re missing any microfilters.
What is a microfilter? See image below for an example of what a microfilter looks like.
A microfilter is a small box that lets you use your phone and broadband at the same time. You need one wherever there’s a device plugged into a phone socket, including Sky boxes.
If you don’t have enough microfilters, call us to order more for free. Please allow between three and five days for delivery.
If you’ve connected your Sky Hub, check that it’s plugged into the Sky Hub port on the master microfilter.
Make sure your phone or other devices are connected to either the master or secondary microfilter using the Sky Box/Phone port.
If the issue isn't resolved, go to the next step.
Check other devices in your premises
Check all other phone sockets around your premises to see if anything is plugged into them. This could be another phone or your Sky box.
For each phone socket that has a device connected to it, make sure a microfilter is the first thing plugged into the phone socket.
If you have multiple devices connected to one phone socket you’ll need to use a splitter. Make sure a microfilter is the first thing plugged into the phone socket and then plug a splitter into the microfilter.
What is a splitter? See images below for examples of what a splitter looks like.
![enter image description here] ( https://static.skyassets.com/contentstack/assets/bltc9b15397b58ef0b0/blt60d511e1ced8b8fb/5ece4f8deab6b36d0fd81f73/Fix_Splitter_2_small.jpg "Microfilter 3")
A splitter is used when you need to connect more than one device to your phone line. This could be another phone, your Sky box or a fax machine. A splitter is different to a microfilter and you’ll need to use both if more than one device is connected to your phone line.
If the issue isn't resolved, go to the next step .
Reboot your Sky Hub
- Press and release the reset button on the back of your Sky Hub. It may take a few minutes to reboot.
- Go to the device that you were experiencing difficulty in accessing the internet on and type check.sky.com into your web browser to check if your broadband connection is now working.
Check your Sky Hub lights
Look at the lights on your Sky Hub and find the power and internet lights.
For more info on what this means and how to resolve it, go to Lights on your Sky Hub or router explained .