Broadband Internet access is an incredibly useful thing to have, but at the same time it’s a complex technological feat, and troubleshooting problems can prove painful. The fact that most ISPs’ tech support ranges from “incompetent” to “someone who has never seen a computer before in their life” doesn’t help things. As such, it’s important to be able to do as much of your own tech support as possible. These helpful troubleshooting tips for broadband Internet problems should come in useful in pursuit of that goal.
Most operating systems contain network diagnostic tools
Clearly identify the problem: It’s useless to know nothing more than that “something’s wrong, pages won’t load.” Most operating systems contain network diagnostic tools; use those first. You can’t connect to the DNS server but you can ping specific remote IPs, that’s something that narrows the potential situations down by a mammoth degree right there. If you can get online but are having difficulty with speeds, try using a service like speedtest.net to compare the speeds you’re getting to those advertised by your ISP; Specific site is the problem, you can use isup.me to determine if the problem is on your end or theirs. After all- if a site’s gone down due to hardware issues on the server end of things, no amount of troubleshooting on your end will fix that.
Available bandwidth at high usage times
Make sure this is a problem with your equipment: If your speeds are bad, it’s possible that your ISP has some manner of peak usage throttling system in place, which cuts available bandwidth at high usage times to prevent the load on their high speed internet infrastructure from being too great. Alternatively, if these speeds only apply to a specific task, it could be that there’s throttling imposed on a specific protocol. Many ISPs throttle BitTorrent traffic, for example. Either way, this isn’t a problem it’s in your power to solve. If you can’t reach DNS, try using an alternative DNS server like Google Public DNS to make sure that your ISP’s DNS server isn’t the problem.
Check other devices in the house: If you’re having connection issues with one device, it could be an issue with your network, or it could be an issue with that device. Try other things- if your laptop can’t connect to anything, try seeing if a gaming console is in the same boat. If all your hardware has the same problem, the issue is likely with the modem or the router, and not with your high speed internet; if it’s specific to a single piece of hardware, the problem can probably be solved with that hardware. Sometimes equipment will encounter an unusual situation and won’t cope properly with it- nothing’s perfect. Many networking issues can be fixed even without a great deal of technical knowledge by simply power-cycling the problem piece of hardware.
These are very, very general tips, but by keeping them in mind you can solve a majority of the fairly simple issues you’re likely to encounter with your broadband high speed internet connection. Even in far more complex issues, the single most important part of solving a problem is finding out what the problem actually is.