How to rapidly diagnose and fix your Internet connection issues, all without throwing your computer out of the window.
No doubt you’ve seen the modernised version of “Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs” that has the addition of WiFi?
And whilst it might be a bit of a joke (although not for some people!), the reality is that Internet that works has become one of the most crucial things for people all over the world.
Without the Internet, most businesses in the 21st century simply don’t have a shot – too much is done online nowadays.
Whether it’s your phone system, your emails, your diary management software, your customer liaison or your cloud documents, all business tasks seem have an element of online, and if you’re offline, then it’s pretty much impossible to get all these tasks done.
Which means that when you lose your Internet connection, it’s pretty much always at the worst possible moment, and the desire to get it back on is huge.
So, rather than punching a hole in your laptop screen, or tipping your PC out of the window, try these steps to diagnose and fix your Internet connectivity issues:
1. Turn your router off and then on again
Yeah, we know it’s the joke from The IT Crowd, but the reality is that a lot of problems do get fixed simply by turning the router on and off.
Why? Well, because the connection is reset, it often deals with some of the connectivity issues.
Plus, if you’re able to keep the router off for five minutes before turning it back on again, this also changes a few settings at the exchange, making it more likely that your problem is sorted.
However, if you’re continually rebooting your router and you’re still not getting a connection, then something else is causing the problem, so turning it on and off again is a good way to work out whether your problem is simple or complex.
If you have a converged router (if you don’t know whether you have, give us a call on 01252 916888 and we’ll tell you), then you need to make sure that all the other equipment is unplugged from the Cisco router.
Once you’ve done that, turn it off and back on again, wait patiently for a full reboot, and once all the lights are on you can plug in the other equipment (like your switch and WiFi router etc)
2. Check that your router is plugged in, turned on and there are no loose cables
I promise I’m not trying to teach you to suck eggs, it’s just a reality that quite often a loss of connection is down to loose cables or cables that aren’t connected properly.
Make sure that the power cable is plugged firmly into the router and turned on, and also make sure that all the relevant Ethernet cables are connected.
3. Change from wireless to ethernet
This is an underrated one. WiFi connections are like your mobile signal. Most of the time they’re stable, but there are a lot of factors that can cause interference.
Switching to Ethernet is a great way to see whether the problem is an overall “Internet issue” or whether it’s just a problem with your WiFi.
If connecting directly stops the issue then you may just need to look at the wireless settings on your router.
4. Check your extensions
Here’s something people probably know subconsciously but never really think about: extension sockets and leads are not very good for broadband! Make sure your router is connected directly into the master socket on your line without any extension cables.
5. Check your micro-filters
If you’re plugging any item into a socket on your broadband line, phone router, modem, fax, alarm, TV, you must plug it into a micro-filter (device that allows broadband to work at the same time as your phone service) before plugging it into the line socket.
Dodgy connections are sometimes caused by a faulty micro-filter, so it’s really worth checking each one that you’ve got on your line.
Disconnect every piece of equipment that you’ve got connected to your line then reconnect each item one at a time. Then each time you connect something, check your broadband connection. You will always get a spare filter with your router so don’t throw it away. The filter is the little white box which looks like this:
6. Try another router if possible
Often, it’s the equipment on site that is the root cause of problems with broadband, and it’s the first thing that the providers make us check.
When we’re looking to resolve a broadband fault, we need to investigate everything from the cable to the router to understand where the breach might be.
If you have another router to hand, it might make sense to try that as part of your troubleshooting process, as it may be that the router is the problem.
What most people don’t know is that the quality of the router you use can make a huge difference and there’s a huge variance in router capability and reliability.
When you’re running a business, you need business grade broadband, but if you’re using a cheap router, it’s less likely to be able to cope with it, so if you’re running a serious business, and your line is being used by more than 10 people, a cheapo £30 router won’t cut the mustard.
Generally we recommend that our clients invest in a high quality router – these usually cost between £50 and £200, and you’re then into the world of routers designed specifically for business.
These routers generally have higher capabilities and the ability to manage their connection in a stable way and more features, like allowing remote access for home workers. We can usually manage the higher spec routers externally, so can log in to them and investigate the issues on our end.
So there you go six steps to get back your broadband and reduce the risk of grey hairs!
At any point should you feel uncomfortable trying any of these steps, please don’t hesitate to email the team here at Boosh on [email protected] or by phone on 01252 916888.