No internet connection? Here’s how to troubleshoot home internet issues
We all want our internet connection to just work. We pay too much for it, yet all too often it feels like we aren’t getting what we pay for.
In this guide, we’ll cover common internet issues and how to solve them. If you’re in a hurry, here’s the first thing you should try:
The Wifi Restart Trick
If you are using a wireless (WiFi) connection, many internet issues can be solved by simply restarting your equipment (the old “turn it off and back on again” trick).
- Unplug or power off your router.
- Wait 2-5 minutes before plugging it back in.
- Wait 5 more minutes and retry the connection.
This solves a ton of issues with WiFi connections, but if you still aren’t getting a signal, we’ll have to go a bit further to get you back online.
Check to see if your internet service provider is having issues
If you’ve already tried the obvious router fix and it isn’t working, you might want to next do a quick Google search for “(name of your provider) outage” to see if there are any issues ongoing in your region. If there are, these will often be resolved in a matter of hours, but in the meantime, there isn’t too much you can do.
How to fix common WiFi internet problems
Internet issues are frustrating. Fixing them doesn’t have to be, though, as there are a few things you can try which will cover the vast majority of issues you may be having. Let’s take a look at a few of them below:
Check to make sure it’s just your wireless connection
If possible, try plugging in to your router directly and seeing if the problem goes away. If it does, then you can be sure it’s an issue of the signal not reaching your computer with sufficient strength. Wired will always be faster than wireless, but it shouldn’t be so slow that it is unusable.
Simply moving your router and computer closer together will solve the issue, but sometimes this isn’t feasible. If it was working fine before, then it likely isn’t related to distance specifically.
Make sure no new device is hogging all of your network bandwidth
Did someone in your home recently get a new media device, such as an Xbox or a streaming media player like an Apple TV? If so, these changes to your network may cause performance degradations, especially when these new devices are in use.
Try doing a firmware update on your network equipment.
Firmware is essentially code that keeps your equipment running properly. Occasionally, it will need to be updated. You can find detailed instructions for doing so for the most common brands below:
Firmware Updates by Brand
How to log into your router’s control panel
Click on your router’s brand below to see in-depth instructions on how to log in to its configuration area, where you can adjust network passwords and names, as well as change the channels they are operating on.
Try resetting all of your network settings from scratch
For whatever reason, sometimes restoring the factory default state on your networking devices will solve your issue. Doing so may seem difficult, but for most routers, the process is relatively straightforward.
You’ll want to type in the name of your router on Google (which you can often find somewhere on the device itself) followed by “reset to factory”.
After you’ve reset your router, you’ll need to “forget” the network on your computer. On a Mac, you can do this in the Apple main menu by going to System Preferences > Network. From there, you can simply click on your network and hit the minus (-) symbol to delete it. On Windows, you similarly go to Windows Settings > Network & Internet > Status. Click “Network Reset” and you’ll be back to square one.
After doing these on any device, you will need to re-enter your network password to connect to your newly reset WiFi network.
What if I’m using a public Wifi network?
If you are using the public Wifi at a cafe or hotel and you’re having trouble connecting, you can usually manually open the network login page by typing one of the following things into your web browser address bar (you may need to try each of them):
Upgrade your internet service
Sometimes, it’s just a matter of having a slow internet plan. A not-so-great network speed can be reduced to an absolute crawl during peak hours, so if this happens to you often, it might be time to consider upgrading your internet package. Luckily, we’ve got you covered. Simply type in your zip code here and we’ll help you find the best prices and plans in your area.
Call your service provider
If you’ve tried everything on this list and you still can’t get connected, it’s probably time to call your provider. Sometimes you can try a live chat service if available, but in our experience, talking with someone over the phone is going to easier, especially if you can’t connect at all.
Below, you’ll find the customer service lines for all of the top internet service providers in the U.S.:
Tech Support Phone Numbers for Common ISPs:
– AT&T Internet tech support: (800) 288-2020
– Cable ONE tech support: (877) 692-2253
– CenturyLink tech support: (888) 723-8010
– Charter Spectrum tech support: (855) 757-7328
– Cox Cable tech support: (800) 234-3993
– Frontier Communications tech support: (888) 884-0504
– HughesNet Satellite Internet tech support: (866) 347-3292
– Mediacom Cable tech support: (800) 883-0145
– RCN tech support: (800) 746-4726
– Rise Broadband tech support: (877) 910-6207
– Suddenlink Communications tech support: (877) 794-2724
– TDS Telecom tech support: (866) 571-6662
– Verizon Fios tech support: (800) 837-4966
– Verizon High Speed Internet tech support: (800) 837-4966
– Viasat Internet (formerly Exede) tech support: (855) 463-9333
– Wi-Power tech support: (877) 877-6861
– Windstream tech support: (800) 347-1991
– WOW! tech support: (855) 496-9929
– XFINITY tech support: (800) 934-6489