How to troubleshoot your home network.
In this article, we will walk you through several possible solutions to common network problems.
Why won't my device connect to the Internet?
Check your cables.
One of the most common problems with home networks is that a cable is loose or unplugged somewhere. Check to make sure everything is hooked up properly.
Check a different website.
If you can't connect to a particular website, try a few others to see if any of them load. If one website loads and another doesn't, the problem is probably with that website and not your network.
Try resetting your devices.
You could try "power cycling" your devices, which means rebooting all of the pieces of your network one at a time.
To power cycle your network:
- Unplug your modem for at least 10 seconds; plug it back in
- Unplug your router for at least 10 seconds; plug it back in
- The lights on your router should start blinking
- When the light comes on that shows you have an Internet connection, reboot your device
- Establish a wireless connection between the device and your network
Contact your service provider.
If the above steps haven't gotten you re-connected, you might have to call your Internet service provider (ISP) to make sure there's not a service outage or a change to your service plan that you weren't aware of.
Why does one of my computers have trouble connecting when all my other devices work fine?
Restart the computer or device that won't connect. If the computer is portable, try moving it closer to your router or modem. If this solves the problem, you might be having signal interference. See the section of this guide titled Reduce interference for some potential solutions.
What can I do if my Internet connection drops frequently?
If your device connects to the Internet initially, but the connection keeps dropping, there are a few tricks that might help you get a better signal.
Move closer to your router.
If your device is portable, move it closer to the router and try again.
Another potential problem is that your network may be experiencing interference from other networks or electronic devices. Products such as microwaves, cordless phones, and Bluetooth devices could be interfering with your wireless signal. If that's the case, try shutting off the devices that may be causing interference.
Update your firmware.
It's possible that your router's firmware, or the software programmed into the router itself, is out of date and a newer version is available that offers smoother performance. Firmware updates are free, and the option to update should be in the settings menu of your router.
If you need help finding firmware or drivers, check out our article Find Drivers and Updates.
I have a 2.4 GHz wireless telephone. Could it interfere with my wireless network?
Yes, a 2.4GHz wireless phone can interfere with your wireless network.
Try changing the channel on your phone using the channel button near the keypad. If there isn't a channel button, try hanging up the phone, then picking it up again.
Additionally, some routers let you change the broadcast channel. Try changing the channel on your router to see if that helps.
Why is my connection so slow?
There are several potential reasons you could be experiencing lag or slowdown across your network.
Is your device too far from the router?
Perhaps your device is simply too far from the router and you're getting a weak signal. Try moving closer to see if that helps.
Is your Internet speed fast enough?
It's possible that the Internet service you have is simply too slow. In this case, you may want to call your provider to upgrade your service.
Why is my connection weak in certain parts of the house?
If you have a large house, or if you're experiencing interference from your neighbors' wireless networks, it's not uncommon to find "dead zones," or areas your wireless network can't reach. Here are a few things to try:
Moving your router.
It is possible your router is not in an ideal location. Try moving the router to the location where it can cover the largest area of your home.
Be sure to place your router in a place where it won't be blocked. Higher up is generally better, and you'll want to make sure your router is not tucked away in a drawer or a closet where it can't effectively broadcast a wide signal.
Getting a more powerful router.
Perhaps your router is just not powerful enough, or is using outdated/older wireless technology. Replacing it with a newer, more powerful model may allow you to increase the coverage area in your home.
Wireless network extenders.
Wireless extenders pick up the signal from your router and re-broadcast it to create a larger area of coverage.
Powerline extenders work by sending a signal through the electric wires that already exist inside your home, letting you extend your network to any location where there is an electrical outlet.