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How To Trouble Shoot Your Internet Connection

Updated on June 19, 2011

If you have been using computers long enough you will have experienced losing your internet connection at one time or another.

Most people have routers in their homes now. If you have broadband connection then you have a router. A router acts as a firewall for you home network. The router handles the communication with your internet service provider allowing you to communicate on the internet. When you lose the connection there are number of things that could be causing the problem.

  1. Your computer has a hardware failure.

  2. Network cable is severed or unplugged.

  3. Wifi signal lost.

  4. Your router is off or unplugged.

  5. You forgot to pay your bill

This is what is happening when the internet is working:

  • you computer asks the router for an ip address which a number to identify the computer on the network

  • when you open an internet browser the router then forwards all internet request to the servers hosting the website you are trying to see

  • then the servers on the internet send packets to the router which then forwards those packets to your computer

  • you can now view the webpage

Internet Browsers

Common internet browsers used: Internet Explorer; Mozilla Firefox; Google Chrome and Opera.

Note: It does not matter which internet browser you are using the trouble-shooting works the same.

Things To Do

Here is a list of things to do:

  • First of all the simplest thing you can do is restart your computer!

  • Open the internet browser of your choice and see if you can access the internet

  • If you cannot connect to the internet then proceed to the next step

  • Go to Start Menu at bottom left then click on Run

  • Type "cmd" (ignore quotes)

  • At the command prompt type "ipconfig"

  • Look to see if you have an ip address which looks like this:

    Note: An ip address is a number assigned to the computer on a network. "IP" stands for internet protocol.

  • If the ip address looks starts with a 169 instead of a 192 the computer did not get an ip address from the router. This number has been auto assigned by the computer itself.

At the command prompt type "ipconfig /release

  • You should now see the ip address to show

  • At the command prompt type "ipconfig /renew"

  • You should now see some new numbers

  • Make sure the ip address does not start with 169

    Note: If you keep getting an ip address starting with "169" then you need to restart your router.

  • If it looks something like then open your browser

    Note: The ip address is usually 192.168.*.* The last two numbers can be anything. If the the number starts with 169 then Microsoft Windows assigned itself an ip address. This is how the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol is designed to work. The computer cannot connect to the internet with this type of ip address.

  • If you have a website then your done.

  • Make sure your network cable is plugged into your computer

  • Make sure your network cable is plugged into your router

  • Unplug your router's power supply then re-plug

  • You should see the lights on the router blinking

  • Wait for approximately two minutes then try your browser again

  • You should now have a working internet connection

  • If this did not work then call your internet service provider to help with the rest of the trouble shooting

  • If you were able to get this far in the steps then your hardware should be working properly.

  • If your internet service provider's technical support is unable to help you then call a local professional to help you

You can now enjoy your favorite websites with confidence knowing that you can attempt to repair your own connection before contacting your internet service provider. Print this article and put it close to your computer in the event you lose your connection. Happy surfing!


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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      very useful

    • Kenneth Ray profile imageAUTHOR

      Ken McGonigal 

      7 years ago from Maple Ridge, BC

      That happens. Faulty equipment is usually the last thing you suspect--unless all the lights are off.

    • FloraBreenRobison profile image


      7 years ago

      Last year there was a time when I couldn't stay on the internet for more than a few seconds. I tried everything including getting someone to get my power boosted through the socket. Turns out all it was was a broken modem.

    • QudsiaP1 profile image


      7 years ago

      Very useful hub.


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