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How to Troubleshoot Common Internet Connection Issues

Paul Kaplan / Updated Mar 21,2023 | Pub Mar 01,2023

At some point, everyone experiences problems with their internet connection. Whether it’s slow speed, dropped connections, or simply no internet access at all, these issues can be frustrating and impact your productivity. In this article, we’ll explore the most common internet connection issues and provide solutions to help you troubleshoot and resolve them.

Slow Internet Speed

Slow internet speed is a common issue that can be caused by several factors. In this section, we’ll explore some of the most common reasons for slow internet speed and provide solutions to help you troubleshoot and resolve them.

Too many devices connected

One reason for slow internet speed is having too many devices connected to the same Wi-Fi network. When multiple devices are using the same network, it can lead to congestion, which can slow down the internet speed for all devices. To solve this issue, you can disconnect devices that are not in use or upgrade your internet plan to one with higher speeds.

Outdated router

Another reason for slow internet speed is having an outdated router. Older routers might not be able to handle the demands of modern internet usage, resulting in slow internet speeds. If you suspect that your router is outdated, you can check your router’s manual to see if there are any updates available and install them if necessary. You can also look for routers with newer technologies such as 802.11ac or 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6), which offer faster speeds and better performance. Wi-Fi 6 has been available since 2020, so more devices are now Wi-Fi 6 compatible.

Wi-Fi 6 offers faster speed with image of router and antennae

Data-intensive applications and streaming services

Using data-intensive applications or streaming services can also slow down your internet speed. Applications such as video conferencing, online gaming, and streaming services like Netflix or YouTube can consume a significant amount of bandwidth, which can slow down your internet speed. To solve this issue, you can limit the number of applications you’re using at once or prioritize which applications get access to the most bandwidth.

Dropped Connections

Dropped connections are a common issue that can be caused by various factors. In this section, we’ll explore the most common reasons for dropped connections and provide solutions to help you troubleshoot and resolve them.

Router experiencing interference or weak signal

One of the most common reasons for dropped connections is interference with the Wi-Fi signal or a weak signal. There are many sources of interference, including neighboring Wi-Fi networks, cordless phones, microwaves, and even Bluetooth devices. Additionally, physical barriers like walls or floors can weaken the Wi-Fi signal. To fix this issue, you can try moving your router to a different location, away from potential sources of interference, or placing it in a higher position to increase the Wi-Fi signal’s range.

Router firmware needs an update

Another reason for dropped connections is outdated firmware on your router. Router manufacturers frequently release firmware updates that can fix bugs, improve performance, and enhance security. To update your router’s firmware, check your router’s manual for instructions on how to access the router’s web interface. From there, you can download the latest firmware from the manufacturer’s website and follow the instructions to install it. If updating the firmware doesn’t fix the issue, you may need to replace your router altogether.

Illustration of router position in bedroom up off the floor and away from microwave

Unstable internet connection

An unstable internet connection is a frustrating issue that can cause disruptions to your work, communication, or entertainment. In this section, we’ll explore what an unstable connection is, how it’s different from dropped connections, the problems it can cause, and provide solutions to help you troubleshoot and resolve the issue.

An unstable internet connection is different from a dropped connection. Dropped connections occur when the connection is lost entirely, while an unstable connection means that the connection is weak or fluctuates, resulting in a slow or inconsistent connection. You may receive a notification on your device that the connection is unstable or weak. An unstable internet connection can cause problems such as slow internet speeds, buffering or freezing during video calls, online gaming, or streaming services like Netflix and YouTube.

Reset your modem and router

One of the first steps to troubleshoot an unstable internet connection is to reset your modem and router. This can help to clear any temporary issues or errors with the connection. To reset your modem and router, unplug them from the power source, wait for a few seconds, then plug them back in. After they have powered back up, check your connection to see if the issue has been resolved.

7 Steps to reset your modem and router

Systematically test your router’s location

If resetting your modem and router doesn’t fix the issue, you can try testing your router’s location. Sometimes, the location of the router can affect the strength and stability of the Wi-Fi signal. To test your router’s location, start by placing it in different locations throughout your home, away from potential sources of interference such as metal objects, cordless phones, or microwaves. You can also try adjusting your router’s antennas or replacing them altogether with high-gain antennas.

Try a signal booster or a mesh router

If resetting your modem and router or adjusting the router’s location doesn’t fix the issue, you can try using a signal booster or a mesh router. A signal booster is a device that amplifies the Wi-Fi signal, allowing it to reach further distances and penetrate through obstacles. This can be helpful in larger homes or areas where the Wi-Fi signal may be weak. On the other hand, a mesh router is a system of multiple routers that work together to create a seamless Wi-Fi network throughout your home. Mesh routers can provide better coverage and more stable connections by distributing the Wi-Fi signal across multiple devices.

Signal boosters and mesh routers can help to improve your internet connection’s stability and speed. By amplifying the Wi-Fi signal or creating a more reliable network, you can enjoy faster speeds, more reliable connections, and better performance for online activities such as video conferencing, online gaming, or streaming services.

No Internet Access

Having no internet access can be frustrating, especially if you rely on the internet for work, communication, or entertainment. In this section, we’ll explore the most common reasons for no internet access and provide solutions to help you troubleshoot and resolve them.

Outages or issues on your ISP’s end

One of the most common reasons for no internet access is that there’s an issue with your internet service provider (ISP). This could be due to outages in your area, maintenance work being carried out, or other service problems. To check if there are any outages, you can visit your ISP’s website or contact their customer support. If the issue is on your ISP’s end, there’s little you can do other than wait for them to resolve the issue.

image of overhead cables because bad weather can cause internet cables to go down

Problems with router/modem connections or power

Another reason for no internet access is that there’s a problem with your router or modem. This could be due to loose cables or connections, no power, or hardware failures. To check for loose cables, start by unplugging your router and modem from the power source, then check all the cables to ensure they’re properly connected. If everything is connected correctly and there’s still no power, you may need to replace your router or modem.

Connected to wrong Wi-Fi network

Sometimes, devices may auto-connect to the wrong Wi-Fi network, which can result in no internet access. This could be due to a new Wi-Fi network being added to your area, or because the device was previously connected to a different Wi-Fi network. To fix this issue, check to ensure that your device is connected to the correct Wi-Fi network. You can also try resetting your device’s network settings to clear any previously saved Wi-Fi connections.

Summary: Troubleshoot Common Internet Connection Issues

In today’s world, having a reliable internet connection is essential. Whether for work, communication, or entertainment, our dependence on the internet continues to grow, and any disruptions to our internet connection can be frustrating and impact our productivity. In this article, we explored the most common internet connection issues and provided solutions to help you troubleshoot and resolve them. Slow internet speeds, dropped connections, unstable connections, and no internet access can all be resolved with simple steps and equipment upgrades. By understanding the reasons behind these issues and knowing how to fix them, you can enjoy faster speeds, more reliable connections, and better performance for all your online activities.

Happy woman uses her computer after successfully fixing her internet connection issues

 

Written by
Paul Kaplan

About Paul Kaplan

Paul Kaplan is a content writer at Brightspeed Savings. He specializes in broadband connectivity, telecom legislation, the impact of broadband on everyday life, and emerging technologies that have the potential of making consumers’ lives easier.

Background

Paul Kaplan has been working in the telecom industry for the last eight years. He started his telecom writing career after participating in CenturyLink’s Internship program during his senior year of College. During the program, he was able to develop skills and knowledge in media, wireless, and technology industries. Since then, he’s been working as a telecom focused content writer at various tech start-ups around the East Coast of the United States.

Paul’s passion lies in leading global brands in the technology sector and helping create campaigns that narrow the digital divide and enhance the way technological advancements reach consumers.

Professional Background and Education

Paul grew up in the Midwest and attended the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. He graduated with a Bachelor’s in Computer Science. He started his professional career as a software engineer for small companies in the Midwest until he decided to make the move to Boston and pursue a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Boston.

Personal

Paul is a football fanatic and closely follows the Michigan Wolverines. Besides football, he enjoys spending time with his 3-year-old daughter and spending time taking her to get chocolate Sundaes in the winter. He loves to read and most recently finished the fifth book in the Game of Thrones series.

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