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What to do if the internet isn’t working?

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  • 7 min read

In this ever-growing digital world, you must have constant access to the internet for your daily home, office, or productivity work.

However, like any other technology, there may be times when the internet stops working suddenly. It can get frustrating, especially if you’re an online business owner or doing work from home.

But worry not, as in this article, we’re here with a list of steps that you should take to fix your internet connection ASAP so that you can return to your daily work or other internet goals. But before heading to the fixes, let us understand the possible causes of the internet problems.

Possible causes of Internet problems

Many factors may affect your internet connection. Some of these factors are mentioned below:

  • Faulty router or modem: A router or modem is one of the most critical machines without which you cannot connect your devices to the internet. If any of these machines are configured incorrectly, faulty or outdated, you will have problems with the internet connection.
  • Misconfigured network settings: Network settings are essential for any device as they determine how the device contacts the router to access the internet. Any misconfigured network settings will likely affect internet connectivity.
  • Problems with your Internet Service Provider (ISP): An ISP is a company that provides you with an Internet connection. If the company is facing issues such as maintenance or equipment repair, then there are chances that you will have no internet access for that time.
  • Your location: Your location will certainly affect the internet quality and speed. If your device’s location is far from your router or if there are other physical obstacles or interferences, you will have some problems operating the WiFi.
  • A faulty device: If the device that you’re trying to run the internet has physical damage, is infected with malware, has a low battery or has any other issue, it can cause internet problems.

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How to troubleshoot internet problems?

Now that we have understood the possible cause of why your internet is down or not working properly, let us now understand the steps you will have to take to troubleshoot the issue.

Check your router and modem

As we have explained earlier, a router and a modem are two necessary internet access equipment.

Check both devices for any damages or cable dislodging from the port, or check for unusual lights or indicators. You can also check for lighting patterns or error codes on your router to know the exact problem with the device.

If nothing works, you can reset them by unplugging them from the main power and leaving them waiting for a few seconds to a minute before plugging them back in.

Check your network settings

Network settings provide a host of settings for the device and help your device to connect to the internet. For example, using network settings, you can configure WiFi, Bluetooth, VPN, DNS or proxy and much more.

However, faulty network settings can cause constant pain for you as it will affect the internet connection. So, you must know how to tweak these settings.

  • Windows: For a Windows device, head to Settings > Network and internet.
  • Mac: In Mac, head to System Preferences > Network.
  • iPhone and iPad: In iPhones and iPads, you will find the network settings spread across the operating system. For example, settings related to Bluetooth are displayed in the Settings menu and can be found easily. More in-depth settings, such as VPN, updating your carrier settings, or resetting your network settings, can be found in Settings > General.
  • Android: You can access the network settings from Settings > Network if you’re an Android user.

You can also try to flush the DNS settings or renew your IP address. This can be done via the command prompt in Windows or the terminal in Mac.

For Windows users, here are the instructions to flush the DNS:

Step 1: Press the Windows key + R to open the Run dialogue box. Here, type cmd to open the command prompt.

Step 2: Next, enter ipconfig /flushdns to reset your DNS settings.

On a Mac terminal, enter sudo ipconfig set en0 DHCP to reset the DNS settings.

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Contact your service provider

You can ask your service provider if there is a problem in your area and when it will be resolved. This will give you an idea of whether the root cause of the problem is at your end.

For more information, you can check the social media pages of your ISP. You can also post your questions on their social media platform, where they will promptly reply to your queries.

Change your location

As we have explained earlier, the distance between your device and the router plays an important role in the internet connection. If the distance is too large, you will experience a laggy internet.

To rectify this, move your device closer to the source, that is, the router. While at it, remove any appliances or electrical devices like microwaves that can interfere between your device and the router.

Also, if too many devices are connected to your router, you will experience a significant down in the internet, especially if you’re engaged in data-intensive tasks such as video streaming or online games. Upgrade your data plan or remove some extra devices connected to your router. Change the password if necessary.

Check your device

Scan your device using an antivirus software. One of the telltale signs that your device is hacked is that your internet data suddenly becomes high. This can also cause problems with your internet connection.

Another thing that you can do is to update your device’s operating system or remove some shady apps that you think are using unnecessary data.

Furthermore, you can restart your device to flush out the corrupt data in RAM. Also, sometimes, a low battery will cause a lag in the internet. So, charge your device.

How to prevent internet problems in the future?

Follow these tips to avoid internet problems in the future:

  • Maintain your router and modem: Keep your router and modem in optimal condition. Regularly clean them and remove dust from their sockets. If you’re using them for quite a long period, change them ASAP.
  • Optimise your network settings: Too many devices connected to the same network will increase the congestion. So, set a unique password and change it at regular intervals. You can also opt for other security measures such as a firewall.
  • Select a reliable ISP: Many different Internet Service Providers (ISPs) cater to a wide customer base. So, finding an ISP that suits you won’t be difficult. However, while selecting your ISP, first read the reviews and talk to other people who have already subscribed to that ISP. This will ensure you have proper internet and support in case anything goes wrong.
  • Set an optimal location for your device: For the best experience, place your router in the centre and at an elevated location. This will ensure that all the devices will have a proper connection with your router. Remove the appliances that may interfere with the waves and invest in a wireless extender or a repeater to increase the range further.

In conclusion, the internet not working can be frustrating if you use it daily. However, you can follow the steps mentioned here to get your internet working again in no time.

If none of the above steps work, you can contact your router manufacturer or ISP support for more detailed and technical troubleshooting.

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Kumar Hemant

Kumar Hemant

Deputy Editor at Candid.Technology. Hemant writes at the intersection of tech and culture and has a keen interest in science, social issues and international relations. You can contact him here: