An inexplicable loss of internet connection can be a frustrating problem – especially if you’re on a work deadline. The good news is that more often than not, you can fix your internet connection issues on your own. Read on to find out how these simple steps can make fixing an interrupted connection a breeze for anyone.
Is My Internet Working?
The first thing you want to do is be sure your connection isn’t working and that it isn’t just a glitch on one particular website. At the top right-hand side of your screen, you should have three curved, stacked lines. This is the universal symbol for Internet connectivity.
If the symbol includes only one or two black lines, you have a weak signal. Ideally, all lines should be black. If they are not, this signals that your internet is not working well. You may want to try an online internet connectivity test to see what the issue is.
If the lines are all greyed out, you have no connection at all.
How to Check Network Connection
First, verify that all of your cables are connected. It may seem silly, but very often, a network connection isn’t happening all because one of the wires is slightly pulled out. The next step is to unplug your modem, wait 30 seconds, and try reconnecting it.
This is something even a technical repair person will do the first time they sit down to diagnose a network connectivity issue. You should also try to see if your other devices are able to log on to the local Wi-Fi network to see if it’s a network-related issue or a device-related issue.
Why Is My Internet Not Working?
Here are the most common reasons your internet connection isn’t working:
- Device issues
- Unplugged wires
- Local network failure (on the service provider’s side)
- Improper settings on your device
- Can’t connect to router due to unplugged cables or router issues
How to Fix Internet Connection
If you are having issues getting your device to connect to your Wi-Fi, here are some of the super simple steps that you can try to fix the problem yourself.
Check System Proxy Settings
On shared computers at an office, it is not uncommon to have this issue. Verify the System Proxy settings to regain your connectivity. Here’s how to do it on Windows and Mac computers:
Windows: Click on the “Connections” tab, then click the “LAN Settings” button. Uncheck “Use a proxy server for your LAN.” Then verify that you have Internet access.
Mac: Visit “System Preferences.” Click on “Network,” “Advanced,” and then the “Proxies” tab. Make sure that only “Use Passive FTP Mode” is selected. Uncheck the other boxes if checked.
Reset Your Router
If you are having trouble and can’t connect to your router, try resetting it by unplugging it for a full 30 to 60 seconds. Then plug everything back securely, and restart the device.
Check Wireless Settings
Your wireless settings may be the problem. Verify that you are connected to the right network and that you have a strong signal. Make sure the network you are using is protected by a security protocol that includes password protection.
Secure Your Own Network
If you are using a network that does not belong to you, stop right here and secure your own network. You cannot fix a connectivity issue with a router or modem that is out of range. It is always safest to secure your own network instead.
Test Internet Connectivity Speed
Sometimes, your internet speed may be the culprit. Maybe you have a plan that cannot accommodate your data usage. Or maybe your speed has slowed down after hitting a certain data usage. An internet speed connectivity test will tell you how your connection is doing.
If the speed is too slow, you may have serious trouble logging onto the internet on your device.
Check for Firewall Settings
If you have a firewall on, or your employer does, this may hinder your connectivity or at least limit it. You will want to go into Firewall settings and verify what is blocked to see if that is why your internet connection is experiencing trouble.
Check Network Settings by Operating System
Each Operating System (OS) has a distinct way to verify network settings. Here’s how to check if your network settings are in order:
Windows: Click on the Network icon. Then select “Open the Network” and “Sharing Center.” You should see a diagram with solid lines connecting your PC and network icons to the Internet icon. If you don’t, your settings may need to be readjusted.
Mac: Click on “System Preferences” to view your network connections. If all is functioning normally, you should see that everything is connected. If not, click on the “Assist Me” button at the bottom to diagnose the connectivity issue.
Consider Updating Your Devices
Technical issues can also be caused by out-dated software or hardware. Sometimes, the only way to fix the issue is to update your software or hardware to make sure it can accommodate the data usage you need.
When to Get Expert Help
Can’t seem to work out your internet connectivity issues with the above-mentioned steps? Or maybe you’ve hit a wall after implementing some of these steps? It may be time to consider calling in an expert.
Complex software and technical issues can lead to other problems with your device. An expert will know exactly where to look and how to repair the problem. If you are unsure what the settings you are looking at mean, don’t attempt to change them all up. This will most likely just create more problems rather than fix your connectivity issue.
The Bottom Line
More often than not, what seems like a huge technical failure is really just a quick fix. It doesn’t always require skill, just a little patience, and a little basic knowhow. If you find yourself overwhelmed, step back and try again later. If you still can’t diagnose or fix the problem, call an expert to help you.
And remember to take notes if a technical repair person does come. You never know how those tips may come in handy the next time.