Many of us take our stable internet connections for granted, but there are hiccups that can affect them occasionally. When your websites stop loading, your videos stop streaming, and your games start lagging, you know your internet is acting up. With so much of our tech and services being dependent on having a stable internet connection it can really drive you mad. So, before you blame it on your ISP, you can do several simple tests yourself:
Check Whether All Websites Are Working
When a website isn’t loading, test other websites first. It could be that there’s only an issue with a specific website or service. For example, not so long ago, all Google services experiences loading issues – you couldn’t access Gmail, Google Docs, or any of their services. A good way to test this is to visit the website “Is it up?” and see reports. If none of your websites are loading, it’s time to check what the computer says next.
Check the Computer and Other Devices
Sometimes, your computer might be the one with the issues. To test this theory, check whether your internet is working on other devices, like another PC, your TV, or your phone.
If the connection is stable there, it is probably just your PC that’s having an issue. The simplest solution is to restart your PC. If that doesn’t work, you’ll have to check the DNS settings.
Also, check the network connection settings on your computer – does the network status say “Internet Access,” “No Internet Access,” or “Limited Internet Access”? This can tell you a lot about the issue.
If the status says you have access but it’s slow, you might want to check the speed. If there’s no or limited access, you will have to check the router, cables, and details about your network.
Check the Router
Next, look at the router and the lights specifically: usually, the lights that are supposed to be turned on are Power, Online or Internet, DSL, Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Phone, and WPS. If you only connect via Wi-Fi, the ethernet light will be off. If you don’t have phones connected, those lights will be off too. Check how the lights are behaving: Wi-Fi and Ethernet should be the only flickering lights (indicating inbound and outbound traffic), while other lights should be stable. If some lights are blinking or are turned off, it’s time to check the rest of the gear.
Check All the Cables
If you notice some lights are turned off, check the cables first. Sometimes, it’s just a case of a badly connected cable, and plugging it out and in again can fix the issue.
Also, make sure it’s not a cable problem by testing another port and another cable too.
Test Ping, Trace, and DNS Settings (Network Troubleshooter)
If all cables are okay, you should test ping and trace in the Command Prompt (CMD). This will send and trace several packets to the intended address. For example, you can write “ping google.com” in the CMD, and the results will show whether the packets were received and how long it took. If there is packet loss, and if the round-trip took too long (high ping), you will have to see what your ISP says about the issue.
Your ISP is the only one that can help at that point. Call them and make sure to mention all the tests you have done up until this point; this will save both sides precious time and speed up the whole process. If their fix works only temporarily or you experience such issues often, you might want to search for a good alternative.