Solutions to Common Internet Connection Issues
Electricity, cars, phones, PC’s and other items of vital importance to our current lifestyle used to be nothing more than a commodity at a certain point of their existence. Just like that, the internet is on the verge of becoming a fresh lifeline of our civilization. Sure, there are more than several regions worldwide where internet is yet unavailable, but in more developed parts of the world a big part of the population is connected and quite dependent on the world wide web.
In times like these it is evident why having internet connection problems can cause major distress with users, especially if your work depends on being connected. In most cases these problems can be circumvented with several simple fixes which we shall cover in this article.
When we encounter the so-called simple problems, they are mostly related to faulty configured connections. However, from time to time it can even be more trivial than that. Unfortunately, most of our electronics still depend on cables to be powered up or connected, and more often than not cables simply fail. Whether they short circuit, stop conducting for some reason or get plugged out, the devices they power or connect will stop working. Because of that, checking all of the cables that have something to do with the internet connection is a first step in troubleshooting.
There are at least 2 cables coming out of your modem. Power cord and a phone/cable line. If you use a wired connection, there are one or more UTP (LAN) cables attached as well. In any case, starting from the power cord, all the way to every LAN cable, check all of them for defects. Once you finish, and if any of the cables is faulty, replacing them is quite cheap and easy.
A bit more technical
Once all of the cables are checked and in place, and your modem is working, the next step in troubleshooting internet connection will be reviewing WiFi and/or LAN network adapters. Should any of the devices be affected by bad drivers or windows updates, a yellow triangle with an exclamation mark will be displayed on top of their icons (see the image below).
Repairing a misconfigured or a bad driver is not a difficult task. First up, open the device manager (in windows 10: right click on windows logo in the taskbar and select the device manager from the popup list). From the list of devices, select network adapters and open the problematic adapter. Once in the properties window, go to drivers tab. If there is an option enabled, do a rollback of the driver to a previous version that might have worked. Else, choose to update driver.
The thing is, opting for updating drivers requires you to have either a working internet connection, or to have drivers locally, and as your internet is not working we will focus on the second option. The best place for getting your drivers is from the website of your motherboard manufacturer. All you need is a motherboard or, in case of laptops, a laptop model and a version of your operating system and you are good to go.
After installing fresh drivers, it is best that you restart the device for the changes to take effect. Also, it is advisable to uninstall and clean out all the files from the old drivers, prior to the installation of the new ones.
Should your problems go beyond hardware/software combination, the last line of defense (before asking for a professional aid) should be connection optimisation and re-configuration. A badly configured connection can cause slow download and upload speeds, especially in case of a WiFi connection. By taking an HTML5 based speed test you can see the actual speeds you are achieving and take necessary steps for improving those speeds if needed.
We cannot deny the usefulness of wireless connections, as they enabled us not only to have internet in every corner of our home, but to connect other devices (phones, tablets, IoT gadgets, etc.) as well. However, if you live in an apartment building with a lot of tenants, your WiFi signal can be weakened severely as a result of interference with other people’s signals.
The solution is fairly simple. In your browser, go to your modem setup page which is usually located at 192.168.1.1 or 192.168.0.1 (depending on the manufacturer). Under wireless settings, choose wireless channels and change the channel you are currently on to something that might be less “polluted” by your neighbours’ devices.
Another possible misconfiguration both WiFi and LAN share can be false IP, DNS or Gateway. Should this be the case, Windows has a built in troubleshooter for addressing such issues. The unfortunate truth, though, is that it will rarely solve anything. If it does, great! But, if not, then there is a list of commands you can apply to command prompt (cmd.exe) to resolve any of the configuration problems:
- netsh winsock reset and press Enter.
- netsh int ip reset and press Enter.
- ipconfig /release and press Enter.
- ipconfig /renew and press Enter.
- ipconfig /flushdns and press Enter.
In case your perils continue even after applying all of the accounted methods, it’s high time you let a professional take over. All of this of course applies under the circumstances that you have paid your internet bill on time.