I don’t know about you, but I can’t live without having Internet access. And I can still remember all the (very few) occasions when my Internet connection didn’t work! My ISP is usually quick to fix any problems, but one time it took them about 15 hours to do it. Fifteen hours without social media, email, browsing, and all the goodies that we are often taking for granted… oh, man, it’s been years, but it still sends shivers down my spine 🙂
Sometimes it’s not the ISP’s problem, though; in fact, most times we have trouble connecting to the Internet because we did something wrong. Or maybe one of the cables has some problems! So let’s go through the key steps that you should take to troubleshoot and (hopefully) fix your Internet connection.
First of all, it is important to figure out if you are actually having an Internet connection problem or not. Is your computer able to connect to the web? There are several articles and even applications that will help you verify that, but if your computer runs the Windows operating system, you won’t need a dedicated application.
Open a command prompt, and then type in ping www.google.com
This command will ping Google’s URL, a website that should always be on. If you get an answer, it means that you are connected to the Internet, so the problem must lay somewhere else – you’ve got a computer virus, for example.
If Google isn’t responding after a few ping tests, you may have a problem with your ISP, your modem or with your router.
Sometimes it’s just your cat, who may have played with a switch, cutting your devices from power. So take a good look at your modem’s and router’s LED lights; if they are all off, it means that you need to plug these devices back on. Some router power supplies fail as well, so this is an option that you should also take into account if your router doesn’t have any lit LED.
Did you know that 90% of your router’s problems can be solved by simply restarting the device? So if you’ve got power, turn your modem and router off, wait for 30 seconds, and then turn them back on. Then, unplug and then plug back all the Ethernet cables – the ones that connect to your router, modem and computer.
Try to connect your laptop or computer to the Internet using a wired connection. If that works fine, you’ve only got Wi-Fi related problems. To verify them, bring your wireless device closer to the router, and check if it works fine there. If it does, you may need to purchase and install a wireless extender. But before doing that, try to reorient your router’s antennas and consider investing in a couple of high-quality, long-range Wi-Fi antennas and matching cables.
As mentioned above, your Internet connection problems may be caused by viruses as well. Many people make use of an antivirus today, but unfortunately most of them don’t realize that they should invest money into one of the top antiviruses, rather than install a free product. If this is your case, it is wise to download and install the trial version of a good commercial antivirus; most of them offer 30-days trials.
Of course, if none of these suggestions work, it may be time to call your ISP. Most companies have skilled technicians who will gladly help you fix the problem, even if it’s entirely your fault, and not theirs.