Suddenly losing your Internet connection is frustrating, especially as you can’t then access online help to solve the problem. There can be a number of reasons for the interruption. Follow the steps below to fix the most likely causes.
Step 1 Start with the obvious – cables. Check that the router cable is securely plugged in, as is your ethernet cable if you’re using a wired connection to your computer. If in doubt, unplug, then plug cables back in. If you’ve a wireless network, check that the wi-fi radio on your computer hasn’t been switched off inadvertently. On many laptops, pressing F2 toggles the radio on and off but check your manual for instructions.
Step 2 Restart all your devices. Turn off the modem and router, then turn off your computer and unplug them from the mains – ensuring all lights on the front of the devices go out. Wait 30 seconds, then plug your modem back in and restart it. Plug in the router and restart it, then plug in the computer and restart it.
Step 3 Check the wireless signal range If you’re connecting to the Internet across a wireless network you may need to move closer to your router. The further away a wi-fi device or computer is from the wireless router, the slower the connection, until it stops altogether. The wireless signal also deteriorates if there are ‘blocks’ in the way such as walls or furniture.
Step 4 Check your firewall. Firewalls are designed to stop unwanted network traffic to your computer but if two firewalls – such as Windows Firewall and a third-party product – are running on the same computer, contention between the two can also inadvertently block all traffic. Temporarily disable any firewall on your computer to see if it is the cause of Internet connection problem.
Step 5 Windows Network troubleshooter. Run Windows’ Network troubleshooter to help identify and fix the problem.
- Step 1 Click Start, type troubleshooting into the search box. From the results, click Troubleshooting, then choose option Network and Internet
- Step 2 From the list that appears, click Internet Connections
- Step 3 The Network troubleshooter will now run, trying to figure out and fix the problem.
Step 6 Contact your ISP. If all else fails, call your Internet Service Provider for help. Sometimes temporary connection problems are caused by bad weather, peaks in network traffic or server failure. Your ISP will be able to confirm if there is a problem or will walk you through troubleshooting steps to help solve the problem including switching your IP address if the cause is an IP address conflict with a nearby computer.