Internet Connection Problem? Here’s How to Fix It

Now that majority of jobs are worked at home, your success and productivity rely heavily on your internet connection. If it fails, you’ll also fail to accomplish your work – worse, you could lose a client if you are in an important business call. Before saying goodbye to your precious time and money, here are some troubleshooting tips to help you fix your internet connection problems in the shortest time possible.

Use Your Phone as a Personal Hotspot

If you are in the middle of an important project, try to finish it first by using your phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot. Troubleshooting and fixing a lost internet connection can take a lot of time (especially if the ISP is encountering problems on their end).

Read this article, “Tethering: How to Use Your Phone as a Wi-Fi Hotspot?”, for a step-by-step guide on how to use your phone (iOS or Android) as a personal hotspot in case of an emergency.

Keep in mind that some mobile carriers may restrict tethering in their data plans. Some mobile devices, mostly tablets without SIM card slots, may not support tethering at all.

Troubleshooting a Lost Internet Connection

Once you complete your work, you may proceed to troubleshoot your network connection. Here are the things that you should try:

1. Identify the cause of the issue.

  • Try to access the internet from another device on the same network. If the other device does have internet connection, there is something wrong with the network configuration of the device from which you are trying to work on.
  • Try to visit another website. If you can access other sites, the site that you are originally trying to access may be down at the moment. If you cannot access any website, there are issues with your network connection, or your ISP is encountering problems on their end.

2. Change the DNS server.

DNS (Domain Name System) servers translate the URL entered in a web browser into an IP address to allow you to access a website. If your ISP’s DNS server is down or overloaded, you may experience a slow internet speed or no internet connectivity at all.

If this is indeed the case, changing the DNS server will resolve the issue. Popular choices are:

On the referenced webpages, Google and OpenDNS provide instructions on how to change the DNS server on popular computer operating systems and routers.

3. Reboot your computer, modem, and router.

Generally, internet service providers nowadays give you a single equipment which serves as both modem and router. However, they are different technologies and serve different functions. A modem is the one which receives internet connectivity from the ISP. A router is the one which lets your wired and wireless devices connect to the internet.

Getting back to fixing your internet connection problems, try to reboot your computer.

If this does not solve the issue, also reboot your modem and router (if you are using them separately). Unplug the router, wait for 30 seconds, and plug it back in. Wait for the router to connect to the internet. After that, check on your device if there is connectivity.

4. Run your computer’s network troubleshooter.

Windows

Windows has a useful network troubleshooting utility that can help you isolate network issues. In some cases, this utility may also be able to fix internet connection issues.

To use the network troubleshooter, right click on the Wi-Fi icon at the right-hand side of the taskbar and select Troubleshoot problems.

Windows will attempt to detect and fix network problems. After troubleshooting, you will be presented a list of detected issues, and whether or not they were resolved by the troubleshooter.

Most issues related to the network on that particular Windows computer can be fixed by the troubleshooting utility. However, issues beyond the computer, most likely, will not be fixed by the tool. But at least, the tool will tell you where to look next.

MacOS

On macOS, you can easily detect Wi-Fi issues using the Wireless Diagnostics tool. This tool analyzes your network and gives possible fixes for the discovered problems.

To launch Wireless Diagnostics, do the following:

  • Quit any open apps and connect to Wi-Fi.
  • Hold the Option (Alt) key, click the Wi-Fi icon at the top right of the screen, and choose Open Wireless Diagnostics. If required, enter your admin name and password.
  • If there are any issues with your Wi-Fi network, the diagnostics tool will show recommendations on fixing them. Otherwise, you will be prompted to either monitor your Wi-Fi connection to detect issues or obtain the scan summary.

MacOS also has a Network Utility for troubleshooting, but it is for more advanced users.

5. Switch from wireless to ethernet connection.

If you cannot connect wirelessly, try to connect using an ethernet cable. If it works:

  • There may be issues with your Wi-Fi configuration.
  • Something may be interfering with your Wi-Fi signal.
  • Your device’s Wi-Fi module may be switched off.
  • Your device may be in airplane mode.

If Ethernet does not solve the issue, the problem most likely lies on your home network or the ISP.

6. Disconnect unused devices from the router.

If you do determine that switching to ethernet fixes lost internet connection, your Wi-Fi network may be congested. In other words, there may be too many devices connected to the router – more than it can handle.

If you have plenty of devices like gaming consoles, smart devices, laptops, smartphones, or tablets that are connected to the Wi-Fi, you should try to temporarily disconnect them. Offloading your network will help if your internet is significantly slowed down.

However, if it is unavoidable to connect multiple devices simultaneously, you should subscribe to an internet plan with faster download speed, and use Wireless Access Points to spread out the users.

7. Make sure that nothing is interfering with your Wi-Fi signal.

Wireless networks are highly sensitive to interference from other devices operating on the same frequency band (2.4 or 5 GHz). Among electronic devices that can interfere with your Wi-Fi router or access point are:

  • Microwaves
  • Walkie-talkies
  • Baby monitors
  • Other wireless access points/routers

Aside from that, physical barriers such as walls, furniture, equipment, or even water can significantly degrade the quality of your Wi-Fi signal.

To prevent signal degradation, do the following:

  • Switch off close-by electronic devices that may be interfering with your router.
  • Move the router away from other electronic devices.
  • Make sure that there is a clear line of sight between the device that needs Wi-Fi and the router.
  • Move closer to the router.
  • Switch to the less congested 5GHz band (if supported by your access point and devices).
  • Use non-overlapping channels to minimize interference from other wireless access points.

Read this article for a more detailed guide to improve weak Wi-Fi signal.

8. Call your ISP and report the problem.

If none of the tips above worked, the issue is probably on your ISP’s end. In such a case, give them a call to explain the problem. If there is an outage in your area, the only thing that you can do is to wait.

Final Words

Most of the time, troubleshooting your internet connection problems only require little effort. With the detailed solutions enumerated above, you’ll probably solve your lost network connection on your own.

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