Internet, the omnipotent “entity” that permeates the lives of billions of people every day. Living in an online world has become so common that it is really hard to imagine a day or, god forbid, more, offline. Be that as it may, electronic devices are not flawless. From time to time, they may malfunction, resulting in the internet connection failure. In such cases, even if you are not tech-savvy, there are certain steps you can take in order to restore your window into the world.
Track & Trace
First and foremost, we need to know what is it exactly that caused the internet connection to break. This is done by a simple process of elimination. We take all of the elements of a connection into account and check each one for errors.
The best place to start would be your ISP. Phoning the ISP would let you know if there are any problems at their end, and if by any chance you’ve missed your monthly installment (in which case further reading is recommended, but, not necessary). With certain providers, connection issues are common, due to bad infrastructure. That is why opting for a trustworthy provider like att u verse is the safest option.
If all seems well on ISP’s end, then the likely cause rests somewhere between the wall socket and the computer. Examining the wall socket and the cable between it and the modem/router would be the next logical step. In some cases, the cable might be damaged on the inside, so test it by using another one.
Next comes the modem/router. Commonly, the modem serves as a router as well, but some of you might have a dedicated router, so do make sure to examine both devices. Every manufacturer has different specs for their modems, which is why it would be a good thing to find the user manual that came along with it and see which lights should be blinking or not, and which should be always on.
If the modem is not working as it should, turn it off and then turn it on after 10 seconds. If the problem persists, call the ISP to intervene and probably replace the modem. On the other hand, should you learn that it is not the modem to blame, replace the cable between it and the PC and ultimately proceed to the PC itself.
With PCs, there are basically two main things that could cause internet outages – hardware and software. A faulty network device would show itself in the device manager with a yellow triangle and an exclamation mark in the middle. One can attempt to update drivers, however, in case of a hardware failure, it is just a waste of time. The best way to test the hardware would be by using a different device (pc, laptop or a phone) on the same cable.
With software, things get a little bit tricky. Windows users have an option to run a connection troublesooter which will, in most occasions, do nothing. One thing it will show you though is a clue as to where the problem might lie. A faulty IP/DNS/DHCP configuration is the most common cause for setups which have a high number of devices connected on a single modem. In such cases, it’s best to find a free IP in your local network and then enter the configuration manually. The settings should look like this:
IP address: 192.168.1.xxx
Subnet mask: 255.255.255.0
Default gateway: 192.168.1 – the most common IP of modems
Preferred DNS: 184.108.40.206
Alternate DNS: 220.127.116.11
To enter these settings go to start > control panel > network and sharing center – click on “Change adapter settings” in the top left corner of the windows > right click the ethernet adapter and click properties. Then select Internet Protocol Version 4 and in that window choose “Use the following IP Address” – see the image for details.
In case none of the options above work and you don’t feel like troubleshooting on your own anymore, it might be time to get in touch with an expert.
Dan Radak is Hosting security specialist. Currently employed as a consultant in couple of Web Hosting companies. Lately, he has been interested in web design. You can reach him on Twitter.