Troubleshooting: Common connection issues
You’re browsing the internet on your phone, and the connection drops. The YouTube video you were watching just starts buffering indefinitely.
Is there anything more frustrating?
In a world where a significant proportion of our lives now exists online, it’s hard to top the frustration of a dropped connection or network problem. So we’ve compiled some easy tips and troubleshooting to help to identify and diagnose whatever is currently giving you connection problems.
Router or modem issues
Check your router first and foremost: Ensure that not only that you are connected to the router either via an ethernet cable or Wi-Fi, but also that there is an internet connection at all. Many ISPs can diagnose the physical state of your modem over your mobile data, so it’s worth checking that your issue is not down to a problem with the modem. If there are no apparent issues, then it may be down to the connection.
Try turning off the modem by unplugging it and waiting for at least ten seconds. Sometimes a quick restart can reset the modem and fix any lingering issues.
Network adapter problems
Your network adapter is a hardware component that allows a computer to connect to a network, serving as the interface between the computer and the network. Whether it’s a wired Ethernet adapter or a wireless Wi-Fi adapter, it may experience issues and interfere with your connection.
Ensure your network adapter is enabled in the “Network and Internet” settings on Windows, or Network Preferences on macOS.
Applications such as your firewall or antivirus programs may be interfering with your internet connection. If you have installed antivirus software recently, then it may be the culprit
Temporarily disabling these programs or checking their settings may resolve the issue.
IP Address conflicts
If multiple devices on the same network are assigned the same IP address, it can cause connectivity issues.
Ensure that your PC’s network settings are set to obtain an IP address automatically (DHCP)
Wi-Fi signal strength
Wireless connections get weaker the further away you get from the modem. And can cause weak or intermittent connection issues.
Check the signal strength on your PC, and try moving your device closer to the router or using Wi-Fi range extenders.
Outdated or incompatible network drivers can cause connectivity problems. We wrote a blog recently about keeping your drivers updated, which you can check out here.
Update your network adapter drivers to the latest version available. You can usually find the drivers on the manufacturer's website or by using Windows Update.
Sometimes, the fault may lie with your Internet Service Provider (ISP). Many ISPs offer a server status of their internet connection in your area, and even a diagnosis of the connection within your local area.
Check with your ISP to ensure all services are up and running, or get in touch with them directly for further information
In rare cases, faulty network cables or damaged network ports on your router, modem, or PC can cause connectivity problems.
Try using a different Ethernet cable or connecting to a different port to rule out any hardware-related issues. Alternatively, contact your ISP who provided your router as the fault may lie in the router itself.
If you still cannot discover a fault, it may be necessary to seek further assistance from your ISP or a professional technician who can help you diagnose and resolve your connection problem. Alternatively, if you're covered under our IT support package, we can often diagnose the problem through a remote service appointment.