How to troubleshoot your internet connection

You only realize how much you depend on the internet when your internet connection goes down. Usually, the first thing we do is call the ISP to see what’s up, but there are a few things you can do yourself before waiting in a call queue for half an hour.

As connected people ourselves, the guys here at Dave’s Computers in New Jersey know how much we all depend on the internet. Whether it’s to kill time or entertain or whether for work, an internet connection is now a human right. Or should be.

Troubleshooting an internet connection

Here are some practical steps you can take to see if there is anything you can do yourself to fix your internet before contacting your ISPs call center. Or you could do it while you’re in the call queue. If your supplier is anything like ours, you’ll have plenty of time while you’re waiting!

Look toward the light

If your connection drops, check your router to see if all the lights are illuminated. You would usually see the same pattern of lights day in day out. If one or more is amber or red, there may be a problem. Check to see what, if any lights are not green. If it’s labeled as internet, there may be an issue with your ISP. If the light says Ethernet, it may be something you can fix.

Reboot everything

A reboot fixes 90% of computer issues and this could be one of them. Reboot your router or modem and reboot your computer too. Give the router at least 30 seconds without power and then at least a minute to reload, download any config from the network and begin working.

Now retest. If the lights go to green it was a software issue that may have been fixed. If there is still an amber or red light, we have more work to do.

Check connections

You would be amazed at how many times we have visited small businesses without internet only to find someone has unplugged the router to boil a kettle or to use the vacuum. The same principle applies here. Check power to your modem or router if you haven’t already and check the connection between the ISP wall socket and modem or router. Then check the cable from the router to your computer.

If you use wireless, try using a cable instead. If you have a wireless device, test using that too.

Check your ISP service status

If you have a phone with a working network, check your ISPs service status page to see if there are any known issues in your area. This can often save you the hassle of talking to an agent and quickly answer your question. It doesn’t help you fix the problem but at least if you know your neighborhood is down, you won’t waste time trying to fix it or waiting in a call queue.

If all those things fail to bring your internet back to life, it’s time to call your ISP. It is now unavoidable and now you have performed first line diagnostics you can tell the agent that and let them fix your internet.