Home Network Problems? 8 Diagnostic Tricks and Fixes to Try

Have problems with your home network? Learn how to troubleshoot network connectivity problems and get back online!

Of all the types of computer issues you can have, network problems are one of the worst. Though our computers can do a lot offline, being cut off from the internet isn't fun. Even worse, when you can't get online, it's more difficult to research fixes for your problem.

Let's step through the basic process of how to troubleshoot network connectivity problems. That way, next time you open up your web browser to a Cannot Connect message, you'll know what to do.

Like all troubleshooting, we'll start broadly and narrow down to specifics. After each step, try connecting to a website to verify that your connection is fixed. If it still doesn't work, continue to the next part.

0. Make Sure It's Actually Your Network Problem

Sometimes, what seems like an issue with your network is actually a problem on a specific website's end. If you can't get on Twitter, for instance, check another few websites to make sure that the problem isn't just with a single site.

You can visit downfor.io , which is a short URL for the site Down for Everyone or Just Me?, to easily check if a website is down for everyone. Simply enter the URL and you'll see where the issue lies.

If a site is down for everyone, you'll have to wait until it's fixed. But if the problem is only affecting you, continue on to troubleshoot.

1. Power Cycle Everything and Check Other Devices

There's no need to get upset about network issues right away, as the fix to your problem might be as simple as rebooting your equipment. Restarting fixes a lot of issues, so make sure it's your first response to network problems, too.

To start troubleshooting, reboot your PC, as well as your modem and router. If your modem and router have power buttons on the back, you can press those to turn them off. Otherwise, just pull the power plugs.

To fully clear the modem and router caches, wait 60 seconds before you turn them back on again. When you plug everything back in, plug your modem in first and wait for it to fully power on before connecting your router.

Turning everything off and back on first ensures that it isn't a temporary network problem. It's better to reboot now than to waste 30 minutes continuing on when you don't need to.

Once you've restarted, if you have a second computer (or a mobile device), try getting online with that. If you find that no devices can connect, you likely have an issue with your equipment or your ISP.

Should you find that only one computer can't get online, you can continue to narrow down the problem. On that device, make sure to run an antivirus scan to ensure you don't have malware interfering with your connection. You should also make sure that your firewall settings aren't blocking the connection.

Related: How to Allow Apps Through Windows Firewall

Finally, try using a different browser to see if your usual one is somehow misconfigured. See how to fix "your connection is not private" errors if you're seeing them on every website, which is a separate issue that involves security certificates.

2. Check Physical Network Connections

If your network problem persists after rebooting, you should next check to make sure that all physical network connections are in place. This is another easy fix before you start diving into settings and tests.

If you use an Ethernet cable to connect to your router, check to make sure that it's not unplugged or damaged. If your laptop has a physical wireless switch, make sure that it's not set to the off position.

Once you've verified a proper connection, check your router and modem. Are the lights on your router and/or modem flashing green as normal? If no lights come on after the reboot, the device could be dead or malfunctioning.

However, if you get red lights, or a power light but no connection light, your ISP is likely experiencing disruption. See #6 below if you think this is the issue—you may need to check the manuals for your equipment to interpret the lights correctly.

3. Run the Windows Network Troubleshooter

Windows includes some built-in troubleshooters that can automatically find and fix issues. To run the troubleshooter for network problems, right-click the network icon in your System Tray and choose Troubleshoot Problems .

You can also go to Settings > Update & Security > Troubleshoot > Additional troubleshooters and choose Internet Connections > Run the troubleshooter to launch it.

Once the troubleshooter runs, it could fix issues, find issues but fail to fix them, or find nothing. If the troubleshooter finds a problem that it fixes, try to connect again. If you get a specific error or problem name that Windows can't fix automatically, take note of it for later research.

Advanced users might also look at using other Windows tools to troubleshoot network issues .

4. Confirm That You Have a Valid IP Address

At this point, you've verified that the problem is not temporary and that all your hardware works. Since Windows can't fix the problem on its own, you need to pinpoint the spot along the connection where the network problem is occurring.

It's a good idea to make sure that you don't have any strange IP settings selected. To check this, open Settings and go to Network & Internet > Status . Below the Advanced network settings header, choose Change adapter options . In the resulting window, double-click the name of your network.

Next, you'll see a status window. Click the Properties button here.

Inside the next dialog, double-click the Internet Protocol Version 4 entry.

Unless you've set up a static IP address (if you don't know what this is, you probably don't use one), make sure you have both Obtain an IP address automatically and Obtain DNS server address automatically checked.

Repeat this process for Internet Protocol Version 6 , if it's enabled, to ensure everything is automatic there as well.

Reviewing Your IP Address Validity

Once you've done the above, you should check to confirm if the router is giving you a valid IP address. Open up a Command Prompt window by typing cmd into the Start Menu. Enter ipconfig and hit Enter , then look for the text under Ethernet adapter (for wired connections) or Wireless LAN Adapter (for wireless connections).

If IPv4 Address looks like 169.x.x.x , your computer is not receiving a valid IP address from your router. Typing the following two commands, one at a time, will release your computer's current IP address and request a new one, which may resolve this:

Should you still have a 169.x.x.x address after typing the above commands and entering ipconfig again, your machine still isn't receiving an IP from the router. Try plugging your PC directly into the modem with an Ethernet cable and see if you can get online.

If the connection works this way, your router is the problem. You may need to factory reset your router , or consider replacing it.

5. Try a Ping and Trace Its Route

If your IP address starts with anything other than 169 when you run ipconfig , you have a valid IP address from your router. At this point, you've confirmed the problem is somewhere between your router and the internet.

Type the below command to ping Google's DNS servers to see if you can reach a website online (you can replace with anything you like, such as www.msn.com ):

This will send four packets to Google's DNS server. If they fail to send, you'll see some basic info about the failure. In case you want to continue pinging indefinitely so you can monitor it while troubleshooting, just add a -t to the end, like so:

You can press Ctrl + C to stop pinging at any time. For more information, type this command to trace the route between your computer and Google's DNS servers:

The above command gives you a step-by-step breakdown of the path the information takes to reach the destination you specify. Watch it, and if it fails, check to see where the problem occurs.

If an error pops up early in the route, the issue is likely with your local network. There are more useful CMD commands for networking , if you're interested.

6. Contact Your ISP

Should all the above steps complete successfully, you've now verified that your equipment is working and confirmed you have a valid IP address from the router. Also, you're sure that the problem is occurring outside of the network, and for multiple devices. If this is the case, your next best option is to find out if your ISP is having issues.

Using your smartphone will prove useful here, as you can look up an outage map (like DownDetector.com ) for your provider. Searching Twitter to see if others in your area are experiencing issues can help as well.

If you don't see anything of note online, try giving your ISP a call to see if there are known outages. Perhaps line issues are affecting a small area; a representative should be able to run tests to check.

7. Wait the Network Problems Out

Once you've let your ISP know of the issue and confirmed that it's not just one computer having a problem, all you can do is wait. Many times, you can't fix network issues on your own.

If your ISP is aware of the issues, hopefully they'll get everything fixed in a short time. Meanwhile, you can take the opportunity to enjoy reading a book, going for a walk, or something else that's offline.

8. Troubleshoot Specific Network Issues

While we covered general steps here, if you're seeing a specific network error, it can help to focus your troubleshooting on that. Have a look below at some guides for particular network problems:

Hopefully, one of these guides with more focused advice will solve your issue if these tips didn't work.

Diagnose and Fix Your Network Problems

These steps are a general template for diagnosing network issues, as your exact setup may differ. In general, respond by restarting everything, seeing if multiple devices are having trouble getting online, and checking to make sure your settings are correct, per the above.

Even after you solve your major network issue, your connection might still be slow. This is a separate problem to work on.

Image Credit: Andreas Beer/ Flickr

Fix internet connection problems on Android devices

If you can't access the Internet on your Android device, either through an app or a website, try these troubleshooting steps.

Signs of a bad connection

General troubleshooting tips for Android devices

Check that mobile data is turned on and you have a data connection

and then

solve network problems

If you don't get a signal data indicator, you may be in an area without coverage. If you can, move to a different area, or go outside, and check your signal again.

Tip : If this happens a lot, contact your mobile service provider.

Turn airplane mode on and off

If you still have problems after you complete these steps, contact your mobile service provider.

Check that Wi-Fi is turned on and you're connected

solve network problems

Restart your wireless router

If you are connecting to Wi-Fi at home, check your router's manual for instructions on how to reset it. Often you can:

If you still have connectivity issues after you complete these steps, contact your internet service provider or the host of the Wi-Fi network.

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Slow network speeds, weak Wi-Fi signals and damaged cabling are just some of the most common network connection issues that IT departments need to troubleshoot.

David Jacobs

Business networks are complex, and many things can go wrong that disrupt network performance. End users often complain about what appears to be poor application performance, and there can be many possible reasons for these hiccups. Here are nine of the most common network issues to troubleshoot.

1. Slow network

Users complain the network is too slow. There can be many reasons why a network that provided adequate performance in the past is now frustrating its users. For instance, a new application, such as video conferencing or online training videos , may have been added. A failing switch port or link could cause traffic to route around the failure and overload another link.

In other cases, the network could be part of a larger organizational network. As a result, a change in the larger network has resulted in more traffic through the internet connection point, slowing responses to cloud-resident applications.

Another network speed issue could emerge if employees decide to download high-definition videos while at work because downloading in the office is faster than using their home internet connection. A network monitoring tool helps solve any of these common network issues.

This article is part of

Ultimate guide to network management in the enterprise

The true cost of network downtime for your business

How to monitor network traffic in 7 steps

Download this entire guide for FREE now!

2. Weak Wi-Fi signal

Wi-Fi signal strength may be adequate almost everywhere, but it could be weak or nonexistent in other areas. Rearranging an office area can result in a weak wireless connection, where signal strength had been adequate before the move. For example, a large metal object, like a file cabinet, can block the Wi-Fi signal.

Devices such as microwave ovens, cordless phones and Bluetooth can interfere with Wi-Fi signals, too. A Wi-Fi network test tool can help identify the source of the problem.

3. Physical connectivity issues

A network connection can suddenly break because of physical connectivity issues. A common problem is when a network cable becomes damaged or knocked loose . Cables might be added or removed from a switch, and one of the other cables might accidentally get disconnected.

Or a cable was damaged when it was pulled around a sharp edge while work was done on the heating or air conditioning pipes. It should be clear from the segment of the network affected which cable was damaged. But finding the problem along a cable stretching across the ceiling may be time-consuming.

common network issues

4. Excessive CPU usage

Task Manager is the first thing to use to find which application is using a high proportion of system resources, such as CPU, memory or disk space. This basic troubleshooting step may not reveal a problem since some applications may be performing complex calculations, receiving high-speed video or interacting with large databases. A virus may also consume resources, so make sure antivirus software is up to date.

If an application has been running for a long time, it may slowly leak resources. The quickest way to improve performance is to stop and restart the application, although sometimes you may need to stop and restart the entire system. Updating device drivers may also improve performance.

Task Manager also shows applications you didn't know were running in the background. One example would be Windows including games upon system startup. Editing startup files can eliminate this problem.

5. Slow DNS lookups

The DNS matches the common name used to match server or service names with the internet address that routes a network request. For commonly used names, the matchup is probably already stored in the system's DNS cache, and the lookup is quick. For less commonly used names, the matchup may be stored in a more distant cache, such as the root server of the top-level name, such as .com, .org or a national root, such as .uk.

Each DNS server along the path checks its cache before making a request to the next server along the path. The next server then checks its cache, repeating the process. If lookup is slow, there may be a slow link along the path or a slow or overloaded server. To address this issue, your local network administrator can reconfigure local routers to shift requests to a faster chain of servers.

6. Duplicate and static IP addresses

On a network, no two systems can share the same internet address. If there are duplicate internet addresses, neither system can access the network reliably. The addresses for most network devices are assigned when Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol ( DHCP ) boots up the systems on the local network. DHCP maintains a pool of addresses assigned to the local network, assigning a different address from the pool to each system.

Workstations are not assigned permanent addresses but receive one for a limited time from DHCP. Systems re-request before the time runs out and usually receive the same address. If the system shuts down without re-requesting and the time runs out, it loses this address and may receive a different one upon startup.

The DHCP administrator may assign a static IP address to some network devices, such as printers or web servers, because external systems won't be updated if an address changes. One issue is users sometimes set up a private web server to support a hobby, allocating a static address without informing the network administrator. Both share a DHCP server in either an organization or home network. So, if the static address matches one assigned by DHCP, it disrupts the network.

Often, these private web servers are set up to upload and download licensed music or video and consume excessive network bandwidth.

7. Exhausted IP addresses

Internet addresses are in limited supply. Each service provider is given a supply based on the expected number necessary. Most familiar are the IPv4 addresses , which were originally thought to be adequate so every system could be allocated one. But, with the proliferation of cellphones and other devices, it's been necessary to move to IPv6 with 128-bit addresses for some networks.

A widely used method to stretch the supply of addresses is Network Address Translation ( NAT ), a feature often built into routers. Each is assigned a single internet address allocated from the worldwide set of addresses. Its internal DHCP server allocates private addresses to systems on connected local networks -- usually, an Ethernet or wireless network.

Private addresses generally start with either 10 or 192.168 on networks using 32-bit IPv4 addresses. These address ranges can be used many times, which helps to save addresses. The NAT server maps traffic to its global address to communicate with the internet. Responses are mapped back via the private addresses.

8. Can't connect to printer

When users can't connect to a printer, the first step is to check simple things like whether the printer is plugged in, turned on and has paper. Also, make sure the printer appears on Devices and Printers on Windows. If it does, click to check whether the file is queued.

Sometimes, you need to stop and restart the print spooler , the software that stores files until the printer is ready to print them. Also, check the printer vendor's website because some brands have a downloadable app that can diagnose and fix problems.

If the OS was just upgraded, scan for other people with similar problems, or check Microsoft.com to see if the company is aware of a problem. Shut off the printer, and turn it back on. Also, shut down your system, and turn it back on.

Finally, update printer drivers and your OS. In some cases, you may need to temporarily shut down your antivirus software . For a wireless printer, make sure it's connected to the signal.

9. VLAN and VPN problems

Check for virtual LAN (VLAN) misconfiguration issues. Review the configuration on each switch, carefully comparing configurations to ensure compatibility of switch configuration.

The most common VPN problem is a failure to connect . First, check to see if you're successfully logging in to the service, and make sure your account is up to date and you're entering your correct credentials. Next, check firewall settings. You need to open some ports. Check if that is the problem by temporarily shutting down your firewall. Finally, restart your system.

Try accessing the VPN from a different network, such as switching from Wi-Fi to Ethernet to the router. If there is still a problem, refer to the firewall documentation for other solutions, or contact the VPN vendor support.

In sum, networks are complex, and problems do occur. These are just some of the most common types of network problems. When other types of network issues occur, scan the web for help, or contact network service providers or device vendor support.

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The Beginner's Guide to Solving Network Problems

If a bad connection is between you and the online content you want, this guide helps diagnose your problem and work toward a solution.

Keep reading to learn how to use PingPlotter to find the source of network problems!

Let PingPlotter do the tedious work.

PingPlotter Sidekick automates setup and guides you through troubleshooting.

Network Problems Suck.

It's never fun when your connection's on the fritz, but you can do more than reboot your router . Follow this step-by-step guide and we'll show you how to find the source of your problem and start working toward a solution.

This Beginner's Guide to Solving Network Problems is effective whether or not you control the failing part of the network. If your local network is the problem, we'll show you how to diagnose the issue and fix it. If a network outside your control, like an internet provider, is the problem, we'll show you how to build a case and persuade the provider to help fix the problem.

What is a Network Problem?

Lag, buffering, bad call quality, and no internet connection are examples of network problem symptoms. If you're unable to enjoy the online content you want, there's a good chance your network is to blame. Network problems impact things like online games, websites, streaming media, and video calling. The internet doesn't even have to be involved. Any time a bad connection prevents you from accessing something outside your computer you're dealing with a network problem.

Network problems happen when something disrupts the connection between your computer and the content you're trying to access.

How are Network Problems Solved?

The first step to solving a network problem is finding the source. Network problems are caused by a part of the network you control or a part of the network outside your control. We're assuming you control your local network and don't control anything beyond that. If that's not the case, just think of local as in your control and outside as in someone else's control .

Inside Network

Your devices, including your internet modem and wireless router, are usually in your direct control.

Outside Network

External services, like the servers for online games, media, and more, are out of your direct control.

The way you solve the problem depends on whether or not you control the failing part of the network. You can solve local network problems by yourself because you control the network. Outside network problems require help from whoever runs that network. Either way, this guide has the steps you need to move toward a solution.

Why Follow this Guide?

We've been helping people solve network problems for almost twenty years. Our "secret sauce" is a software tool called PingPlotter . It tests your network and makes it easier to find the source of problems. With PingPlotter and this guide by your side, you're well equipped to tackle problems of all shapes and sizes.

PingPlotter makes finding the source of problems easier by graphing network performance. Green is good. Red is bad.

How Does PingPlotter Work?

PingPlotter tests your network with the same tools technicians have been using for years. Those tools are Ping and Traceroute. The difference is PingPlotter visualizes the information in a way that makes finding the source of network problems easier.

To find the source of a problem, look for places on the network where performance goes from good to bad.

What Happens After I Find the Source of the Problem?

Once you have an idea of what's going on, we'll show you how to check your diagnosis and work toward a solution based on the results. If you have a local network problem, we'll provide instructions on how to fix it. If your problem is outside you local network, we'll show you how to effectively connect with the people running the network and persuade them to help you.

So what do you say? Ready to try it out?

Or jump to a specific section:

Let PingPlotter help you troubleshoot.

solve network problems

IT Pro Guide to the Most Common Network Troubleshooting Techniques and Best Practices

If you’ve just started working in IT at a company, it’s only a matter of time before a network problem comes up and everyone’s calling you to solve it. The longer it takes to identify the issue, the more emails you’ll get from grumpy staff or clients, asking you why the problem isn’t solved yet.

I’ve written this guide on the most common network troubleshooting techniques, best practices, and recommended my favorite network performance monitoring tool you can use to give you a starting point and structure for efficiently resolving network issues as they arise as well as proactively prevent them. I’ll be using a bit of technical jargon here, but I’ll explain the key terms and hopefully give enough context so anyone can understand what I’m talking about.

How to Troubleshoot a Network Network Troubleshooting Best Practices Best Way to Troubleshoot Network Issues

How to Troubleshoot a Network

Issues can arise at numerous points along the network . Before you start trying to troubleshoot any issue, you want to have a clear understanding of what the problem is, how it came up, who it’s affecting, and how long it’s been going on. By gathering the right information and clarifying the problem, you’ll have a much better chance of resolving the issue quickly, without wasting time trying unnecessary fixes.

steps to troubleshoot a network

I always start troubleshooting using these simple network troubleshooting steps to help diagnose and refine the issue.

Back to Top

Network Troubleshooting Best Practices

To make troubleshooting as efficient and painless as possible, it’s also important to have some best practices in place. As you work through the steps to try to solve network issues, following these network troubleshooting best practices can help streamline the process and avoid unnecessary or redundant efforts.

network troubleshooting flowchart

My preferred monitoring software is SolarWinds ® Network Performance Monitor (NPM). It’s a well-designed tool with features to support network troubleshooting issues in an efficient and thorough way. It allows you to clearly baseline your network behavior, so you have good data on what your network should look like and how it usually performs, and it includes advanced alerting features so you don’t receive floods of alerts all the time. You can customize the software to alert you to major issues, choose the timing of alerts, and define the conditions under which alerts occur.

NPM summary

Other NPM features include NetPath ™ network path analysis , which lets you see your network topology and performance pathways, and PerfStack ™ , which allows you to compare different performance metrics against each other, as well as historical data. With these tools, you can see which performance issues may be interlinked and troubleshoot the root cause faster. NPM also comes with tools like Wi-Fi sniffer , software for monitoring load balancers, switches, and firewalls, as well as wireless issues and coverage, all of which enables you to keep an eye on the overall health of your network and quickly pinpoint and fix issues as soon as they arise.

Best Way to Troubleshoot Network Issues

Network troubleshooting can be stressful at the best of times. Having clear steps to follow, an arsenal of best practices and a robust monitoring tool like Network Performance Monitor can help make the process as smooth as possible.

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Dominick Fair

Dominick Fair

Chief Technology Officer

15 Common Network Problems & How To Solve Them

common network problems

So, your network crashed. It’s a great day.

You just lost an entire morning’s work because your network quit on you- and this is not some college research paper, this is your business .

Life is crazy and busy enough already! You don’t need more network and IT stressors added to it.

The only thing you need is a business network that makes your job and your life fluid.

It doesn’t matter if you live in Frederick, Bethesda , Rockville, McLean or Alexandria- you live in the future tech-hub of the world. Amazon is moving in, and Google has already caught on. You need protected, reliable and progressive IT.

If your business network breaks down, we have you covered.

We know about the uncommon network problems on the backend. But, did you know there are common network problems that can sometimes be prevented with the services of a managed service provider?

Here’s some information that may help you take a positive step towards never having to deal with annoying network issues again:

1. Networking Issues

IT management companies can always help businesses with their networking issues. But not all IT companies which help you with network issues are created equal. 

Some aren’t worth the time to call them. Some have great network solutions for issues but cost too much. What if we were to tell you about a company that can handle your networking issues at an affordable price? 

Maybe you’re skeptical at this point, so we’ll go over 15 of the most common network problems. Then we will tell you why we’re the best IT company in your area.

Here are a few common network problems:

We know how aggravating and stressful these network issues can be. As an IT management company with clients from Virginia to DC and Maryland, we also know how important our network solutions are.

They are the reasons our solutions need to work the first time, every time.

2. Network Problems

We are presenting you with common network issues and problems that affect all businesses from time to time. We also have solutions for these problems.

Here’s a small cheat sheet of brief solutions you may try for a couple of these ongoing network problems.

Here are more everyday common network problems;

There are solutions to these network problems we work with every day. But the longer the problems go on, the more difficult it is to fix at every level. We get it done, but it is time-intensive. 

3. Common Network Problems

The last five common network problems are some of our unique network problems. But that being said, they are still common enough to include on our the list. They are:

The value of an IT management company cannot be overstated. We say the heartbeat of your business is your network.  There is no substitute you can put in the place of a network that crashed. Because it doesn’t exist.

Reliable networks are a necessity for businesses everywhere. If your network problems cause you to lose business, for a day or even an hour- it is going to make a huge difference in office flow and client relations on your end.

Managed IT can prevent these problems before they happen.

Common Network Problems & Solutions

Some answers to a few of the common network problems we mentioned above you may find surprising. Some will seem too easy to be true but sometimes it works out that way.

But there are other network problems that can take the average IT knowledgeable person, more days than they want to figure it all out. This is often because of all the moving parts in network systems and servers.

The good news is that there isn’t a single network problem or issue we haven’t seen already. When it comes to complicated and in-depth network problems, we know what to do and how to do it almost as soon as we make it.

Here are some short answers to what can be difficult network problems.

Network Issues 

There is no network issue you have which does not have a solution or answer. That’s what we will as truth in our industry. We give you the IT management services and answers to meet your network needs.

View pricing on our management plans that vary and are based on your particular needs. We have starter package plans for new businesses. We also have our obsidian package plan for established, larger businesses.

All of our packages can handle any of your current or potential network issues and provide your business with the answers and solutions to get you back on track. Our mission is to create fluidity in the workspace so that you and your business can get back to what it does best in its day-to-day operations.

All technology today evolves at the speed of a week-to-week and sometimes day to day basis. Problems in networking, cloud computing, and remote access are what we fix for our customers every day.

Your business should be able to hop online with the touch of a button and click of a mouse. Many of our calls come when people have tried to fix their network issues themselves but think they may have made things worse. We can fix those network issues too. 

Our IT Service Management Plans

Our IT service management plans allow us to be there for you so you never have to worry about having network problems or issues. 

We offer timely network solutions that give you peace of mind. Also, they get your business back up to speed as quickly as possible.  

Wouldn’t it be great to know that your network protection is just around the corner with 24/7 support?

SADOS offers more than solutions to your network problems. We offer specialized architecture and deployment. SADOS does maintenance and LAN/WAN network monitoring in our managed service packages.

We’re only one call away . Reach out to us before you need us in a network emergency. 

Have an IT product you want us to review?

Advertise it with sados, news topics, you may also like....


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8 Easy-to-Do Ways to Troubleshoot Network Connection

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A faulty Wi-Fi connection doesn’t have to ruin your day. There are plenty of ways you can restore a lost internet connection. Follow these network troubleshooting tips and you’ll be up and running in no time.

1. Check Your Settings

First, check your Wi-Fi settings. Go to Settings > Network & Internet > Wi-Fi . Switch Wi-Fi to the On position.

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Phones and tablets also have settings that turn Wi-Fi on and off. Make sure that it is turned on so you can connect to the network.

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You also want to check if Airplane Mode is turned on.

2. Check Your Access Points

Check your WAN (wide area network) and LAN (local area network) connections. In layman’s terms, these are the Ethernet cables that go to and from your router.

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If you suspect that the cables are the culprit, try swapping them out with new ones.

3. Go Around Obstacles

Walls, furniture, and other obstructions can be the reason why you’re unable to go online. Moving closer to the router can re-establish the connection. If moving closer to the router does not solve the issue, then at least we can remove it from the list of suspects.

4. Restart the Router

Sometimes restarting the router can help fix connectivity issues. This is even truer in cases where the router has not been turned off in a while. A quick restart can jolt the router back into working like it used to.

If that doesn’t work, you might also consider resetting the router. But only do so if you’re okay with it being restored to its factory settings. You will have to reconfigure everything including the SSID and password.

5. Check the Wi-Fi Name and Password

Check the network name (otherwise known as SSID) and password of the network connection. If you’re used to connecting automatically when in range of a router but are no longer able to, changes may have been made to the network while you’re away.

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It could be as simple as administrators updating the password or the SSID could have been changed to a different one.

6. Check DHCP Settings

Routers are usually set up as DHCP servers. This setting lets computers join a network automatically. With DHCP turned on, users will no longer have to mess with IP Address and DNS Server settings manually.

To edit your DHCP settings, go to Windows Settings > Network & Internet > Wi-Fi . Under Wi-Fi , click Manage Known Networks . Select a network and click Properties .

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Under IP Settings , click Edit . From the drop-down menu, select Automatic (DHCP) .

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Note: Selecting Manual will let you set your DNS Server Address and IP Address settings manually.

7. Update Windows

Your network problems could be caused by your system. If that is the case, Windows could have possibly released a fix. Try updating your Windows machine to the latest release.

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Go to Windows Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update . Click Check for Updates . If there are updates available, Windows will download and install them.

8. Open Windows Network Diagnostics

Windows has a tool called Windows Network Diagnostics that lets users troubleshoot connection issues.

Go to Windows Settings > Network & Internet > Status . Under Change Your Network Settings , click Network Troubleshooter .

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Windows Network Diagnostics will run a couple of tests to see what’s possibly causing your Wi-Fi issues.

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Windows will let you know if it does not find any issue. Otherwise, you will be given a list of possible actions to take to resolve the problem.

This tool, or a version of it, should be available in Windows 7 to Windows 10.

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Christopher Jan Benitez is a freelance writer for hire who provides actionable and useful web content to small businesses and startups. In his spare time, he religiously watches professional wrestling and finds solace in listening to '80s speed metal. Read Christopher's Full Bio

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Fix network connection issues in Windows

Try these things to troubleshoot network connection issues in Windows 11.

Make sure Wi-Fi is on. Select Start  >  Settings  > Network & internet , then turn on  Wi-Fi . Next, select More options  ( > ) next to Wi-Fi, then select  Show available networks . If a network you expect to see appears in the list, select it, then select  Connect .  Open Wi-Fi settings

See if you can use the Wi-Fi network to get to websites from a different device. If you can’t, restart your modem, router, and device, and re-connect to the Wi-Fi.

Try turning Wi-Fi on and off. This can solve issues by restarting your connection.

If your Surface still isn't connecting, try the steps on Surface can't find my wireless network .

Get more help fixing network connection issues

Try these things to troubleshoot network connection issues in Windows 10.

Use the Network troubleshooter. Select Start  >  Settings  > Network & Internet > Status . Under Change your network settings , select Network troubleshooter .  Open Status settings

Make sure Wi-Fi is on. Select Start  >  Settings  > Network & Internet > Wi-Fi . Next, select Show available networks , and if a network you expect to see appears in the list, select it, then select  Connect .  Open Wi-Fi settings

See if you can use the Wi-Fi to get to websites from a different device. If you can’t, restart your modem, router, and device, and re-connect to the Wi-Fi.


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Common Network Issues & Solutions : Solved

Learn how to solve common network and computer network issues quickly and effectively with this guide!  

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Network issues are already irritating and frustrating to handle, but they can spell out disaster when they happen on a business network. While your IT department should be able to fix most network issues, you can save a lot of time by handling the issues yourself. Here are some of the most common network issues that people encounter along with their solutions: 

1.Computer Viruses

The Problem: Help! I think I have a virus on my network!

Network viruses can completely disable a computer network, so this is the first issue we’re going to tackle. There can be a number of causes of computer viruses.  Viruses can come from a wide range of sources , such as e-mail attachments, malicious software, online advertisements, and yes, even social media. 

What are some signs of computer viruses? While remediating an infection on a single computer can be daunting, removing a virus from an infected network is a real challenge since it can hide on any computer. So, here’s how you can fix it:

The Solution:

Step 1: Check the severity of the infection by running a complete network scan to find malicious files or programs. Make sure that your antivirus and anti-malware programs are up to date and able to scan hidden files, the root directory, and all running programs. Also, try to have your antivirus/anti-malware software scan your e-mail inbox for any malicious materials.

Step 2: Back up all of your system files using the necessary tools. Running a complete system backup will ensure that your data isn’t lost and that the network will remain stable. The Windows’ “System Restore” option will allow you to set up a restoration that can often be useful in an emergency.

 Step 3: Confine all suspicious, irregular files. Isolating them will prevent their exchanging with other files or your network system. Then, disinfect or completely wipe all quarantined files.  Manually delete any emails that were identified by your antivirus software.

2. Unable to Connect to the Internet

The Problem: The wireless network shows a signal, but my device won’t connect

Using a wireless network is great for mobility, but can hinder your productivity when it decides to malfunction. There are a few different reasons why your wireless network is having connectivity issues, such as the wireless router or the network card itself. This issue will require a bit of network troubleshooting to find a solution, so let’s get to work:

Step 1: If your router won't connect to the internet, try putting your computer or device right next to the router. If this causes your equipment to connect, then the system hardware may have been the issue. If this didn’t fix the problem, proceed to Step 2.

Step 2: Update the network card. Sometimes, your network card will receive a strong signal, but won’t be able to transmit it quickly and effectively resulting in the need for network troubleshooting. Updating the driver might solve the problem entirely, but if it doesn’t, you might need to contact your IT department or provider and consider replacing the hardware altogether.

3.Duplicated IP Address

The Problem: I got an error message that says that the IP address is already in use.

A small error window just popped up on your screen saying that your IP address is already in use. How is this even possible and what causes this IP address conflict? Well, there are a few reasons why this can happen:

These are just a few of the plethora of reasons why IP address conflicts take place. Here are some ways to fix this issue:

Windows - If you have a dynamic IP address:

Step 1: Click the “Start” button and click “Run”. Enter “cmd” into the text box and click “OK”. The Windows command prompt will open.

Step 2: Type “ipconfig/renew” into the command prompt and press “Enter”. This will refresh your dynamic IP address.

Step 3: Check your network connection. Your computer will receive an available IP address that isn’t already taken.

Windows – if you have a static IP address:

Step 1: Right click “Network Neighborhood” on your desktop. On Windows 7 or Windows Vista, this will be labeled “Network”. Next, click “Properties”.

Step 2: Rick click onto your network card and click “Properties”. In most cases, your network card will be labeled “Local area LAN Connection.”

Step 3: Select “TCP/IP” in the list and then, click the “Properties” button under the list of options. Enter in a new IP address in the opened window. Click “OK” to confirm the changes you’ve made.

Step 1: Click on “System Preferences” in your dock. Then, click on “Network”.

Step 2: Select “Wi-Fi” on the left side of the window. Then, click “Advanced”, which is located on the bottom right.

Step 3: On the next page, select the “TCP/IP” tab and then click “Renew DHCP Lease” on the right side of the window.

4. Slow Performance

Problem: My applications are responding very slowly.

Why is my computer so slow? Slow-running applications can put a damper on your productivity in the workplace. One of the most common network issues that business networks fight with is slow applications. This happens especially when a computer first turns on or connects to a network. In most cases, this is caused by heavy bandwidth usage. In other instances, it can be caused by lack of hard drive space, running too many applications at once, having too many browser tabs open at one time, or even just a dusty room! The solution for this issue depends on the root of the problem.

Once you’ve gotten rid of some of your browser’s extensions, eliminated applications you aren’t using, or identified the application that’s eating up all of your processing power, you should be able to see a huge difference in your computer’s processing speed. (You can do this by using the Task Manager for Windows or the Activity Monitor for Mac to see which applications are slowing you down).

If this solution didn’t work for you, here’s what you can do:

Note: Be sure to enforce proper network use by making sure that users aren’t viewing too much digital content via streaming or continuously downloading large files. Doing so will help you keep your bandwidth use under control. However, if you find that your employees are utilizing the network correctly, it might be time to upgrade your network to meet your business needs.

If you feel that the sluggishness of your applications is due to another issue, proceed to Step 1.

Step 1: Try restarting your PC. Sometimes, a quick reset will fix any and all issues right away. Doing so will clear your system memory (RAM). If this works, remember to shut down your PC when it’s not in use. If this doesn’t help, proceed to Step 2. 

Step 2: Now, it’s time to check on your hard drive and make sure that it’s not approaching the end of its lifespan. So, let’s run a hard drive check:

Right click on “Drive”. Then, click “Properties” and then click “Tools”. Click “Check Now”. Select “Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors”. Doing this will stop your computer from tapping into any malfunctioning areas of the hard drive.

Click “Applications” from the “Finder”, then “Utilities”, and then “Disk Utility”. Highlight the hard drive that’s giving you trouble and then select “First Aid”.

If your hard drive is healthy, but you think it’s becoming too full with data, proceed to Step 3.

Step 3: Get rid of unnecessary files from programs that have gone unused. System backups and restore points can eat up a lot of space, so don’t hang onto more versions of this software than you need. You might also consider uploading your data onto the cloud to save your hard drive.

Step 4: If you’ve completely deep-cleaned your computer and checked all of the possible issues above, but your computer is still running slowly, it might be time to upgrade your RAM so that your computer has more memory. Certain programs take more RAM to run properly than others and if you don’t have enough RAM ready, your computer will not be able to handle it. Look into RAM upgrade options.

5. IP Address Exhaustion

The Problem: I can’t get an IP address.

So, your network seems to have gone down. Your operating system has sent you an alert stating that the address was not received from the DHCP server. You’ve just checked the network adapter status and noticed that there’s actually no IP address to be found. What now?

There are a few different reasons why this could happen. It could be that the DHCP server is out of addresses, the device might be set to use a static address rather than a DHCP address, or maybe the DHCP request from the device never made it to the server. Either way, here’s what we need to do:

Step 1: Check the network interface card (NIC). You can find this by opening the control panel, then the device manager. Then, select “Hardware and Sound” and then select “Device Manager”. Expand the Network Adapters item to view all network adapters, although you will most likely only have one. Verify that your system is configured to utilize DHCP.

 Step 2: Check the switch to see which virtual LAN (VLAN) the port is set as a member. Verify that other devices on this particular VLAN are able to get an IP address. If they can’t, the issue is that the network is not sending DHCP requests to the server.

 If this issue is taking place with more than one device, then the issue is likely the server itself.

6. VPN Errors

The Problem: I got an error message saying that my device was “unable to establish the VPN connection” or error 800.

Your virtual private network (VPN) works to provide a safe connection between a local client and a remote server. When you can’t connect to a VPN, you’ll receive an error message that usually states something along the lines of “VPN error 800 – Unable to establish the VPN connection”. This can happen if the client device disconnected from the local network, the network’s firewall is blocking the VPN traffic, or if the name/address specified for the VPN server was incorrect.

 Here’s how you can fix this issue:

Step 1: Check the connection between the client and server. Attempt to connect to the server from a different client device to verify whether the network issue is a widespread issue or if it is affecting only one client.

Step 2: Verify that the name entered on the client side matches the server name given by the VPN administrator. In some instances, users can specify an IP address rather than a name, while it’s more typical for users to mistype the address than the name. VPN servers can also change their IP addresses in some instances, especially DHCP networks.

Step 3: If the first two steps didn’t clear up the issue, now it’s time to make sure that the firewall isn’t blocking your connection with the VPN. Do so by temporarily disabling it to retry the connection. If this solves the problem, you need to update the firewall settings specific to the port numbers that the VPN on the network is using to prevent this issue from happening again.

If none of this troubleshooting solved the issue, it could be possible that the server is overloaded with clients or that it is offline. Check with your IT department to see what can be done.

7.Connection Errors and Network Connectivity 

The Problem: My network has limited connectivity or no connectivity at all.

Connection issues are some of the most annoying, frustrating network issues of all. These issues can be a result of all types of glitches and issues within the computer and/or the network itself. So, if your computer has handed you a lovely “Limited or no connectivity” error message, here’s what you can do to fix it:

Step 1: Restart your computer. A quick reboot can often be a life-saver. If you’ve already tried this or restarting the computer didn’t fix anything, proceed to Step 2.

Step 2: Restart your router or modem. DO NOT reset the router or modem or restore its settings back to factory default. Simply turn the router or modem off and back on. If this doesn’t work or only works for a moment, keep going to Step 3.

Step 3: If you are connected to your network via Ethernet cable, unplug the cable and then reattach it. If needed, replace your network cable with a new or different cable to see if this was the cause of the issue.

Step 4: If you’re connected via Wi-Fi when you see this error, it’s a possibility that the network adapter is attempting to conserve power. Stop this by finding the Network and Sharing Center in the Control Panel. Right click “Wi-Fi Connection”, select “Properties”, click “Configure” and find the “Power Management” tab. Click and uncheck the option that allows your computer to turn off device to conserve power.

Step 5: If you’ve tried all of this and there’s still no connection, unplug your router and connect your computer directly to your modem. If this solves the issue, then your router is likely to be malfunctioning. If not, contact the router manufacturer for support.

If the error remains and the network is still down, reach out to your internet service provider for help.

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These common network issues can plague anyone. Fortunately, most of these network issues have very simple resolutions. By handling these issues, you’ll allow your IT team to address more complex issues , thus streamlining your business' workflow. Great work! For more information, download our e-book today!

  Do you have a question or a concern that isn’t addressed here? Here at Advanced Business Systems, we offer Managed IT Services that allow you to focus on your work while we focus on making sure your network is helping your business - not hindering it. Contact us today to see what we can do for you!

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No Internet Connection? How to Troubleshoot Internet Issues

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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.

But first, we highly recommend you stop now and try restarting your modem and router ( instructions are provided later on this page).

On this page, 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.

Alternatively, you can jump straight to our complete list of internet fixes and try each one until you’re back online.

Do you have recurring internet problems? A different package or provider could make a huge difference in the quality of your service. Use the zip code search below to see what’s available in your area.

Jump to: Is the problem with your internet signal or your Wi-Fi? |  Connected to Wi-Fi but no internet access: internet signal troubleshooting |  Wi-Fi troubleshooting |  Advanced troubleshooting |  Complete list of internet fixes

Is the problem with your internet signal or your Wi-Fi?

Wi-Fi troubleshooting

Advanced troubleshooting.

You can tell an internet signal issue from a Wi-Fi issue with a few key troubleshooting steps. Internet signal issues have different fixes than Wi-Fi issues—so, it’s important to find out which you’re dealing with to get back online ASAP.

Check the lights on your equipment

Nearly all modems and routers have LED status lights. You may also have a combo unit that is an all-in-one modem/router (also called a gateway). 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 without internet access

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.

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.

solve network problems

You can always take our speed test to see if your internet speeds match those offered on your monthly internet plan.

solve network problems

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.

solve network problems

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 contact 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 all the cables if you have extras. The copper lines inside the cable or in the connectors could have become severed without any obvious visible signs of damage.

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.


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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