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 in no time.

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.

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 (8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4).

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.

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