Here around the Forum section, we get a lot of connectivity issues ranging from “I gots no internets” to a slightly more intelligent “checked my IP settings and getting nothing.” This article will be a quick rundown guide of things to check over and do in case you find yourself stuck in “lost connectivity land.” Granted this can’t go over all of the reasons behind lost connectivity such as viruses, work related proxies, and ISP blockages but it will cover the majority of things you should try to do. If you call your ISP, they are going to request you do these things anyway so best to be prepared when they ask you some questions.
The very first thing you should always try is unplugging the power of the modem and router, wait for 30 seconds, plug the modem in and then 10 seconds later plug the router back in. If that doesn’t fix the issue, check out the below.
I’ve Lost The Internet
Well, we have established that you have lost complete connectivity to the outside world. No the Ruskies haven’t invaded nor are aliens/zombies taking down your ISPs, …probably. The biggest indicator of connection issues is at the bottom right-hand corner of your screen.
Checking Our IP Settings
When we are in a position as outlined above, where do we start our troubleshooting? The first thing I always do is to check my IP settings from the command prompt. It is a very easy way to verify if you are actually connected and just maybe DNS or your Browser is malfunctioning. To access the command prompt in XP/Vista/7, hit the Windows Key +R and then type in “cmd“. This should bring up a black box. Then type in “ipconfig” and you should now see your IP, Gateway, Subnet Mask and Domain if a part of one. Home users should usually see something in the 192.168.x.x range while most business will be in the 10.0.x.x range. If you see 169.254.22.171 or something similar with no default Gateway, we have likely confirmed that we have no connectivity to the outside world.
Now type in ping 126.96.36.199 or 188.8.131.52 and if you are connected you will see a response. If not, you will see “Request Timed Out” or something similar stating it did not reach its destination. If you received a response, you know you are physically connected from your PC to the internet. You should be able to open Firefox, Chrome, or IE and connect to the internet and surf. If so, you are good to go. If not then we continue on with the troubleshooting.
Checking Device Manager
Now we should check and see if there is possibly something wrong with our NIC or LAN port on our PC. Device Manager can tell us if our PC is having trouble with our NIC or something is amiss. Click the Start Button and right click on Computer or My Computer and select Manage. Then click on Network Adapters and see if you notice any yellow exclamation points or question marks. Also take not of any red “X’s” on any of the adapters. If you see any of that here, go to your manufacturer’s website and download the most current driver and install it, then check back to see if it has been fixed.
Checking Browsers and Settings
So, you have checked the IP settings and they appear correct, looked in the Device Manager and everything says its working fine, but when you try and open up your browser it still says it cannot connect. Go to Tools – Addons and disable all Addons to make sure one of them isn’t messing up and causing our Browser to break. Then in the Address Bar, type www.google.com. If it makes it there, search for something random that you have most likely never searched before. I usually use Bob Saget when doing this initial troubleshooting search since not everyone is in the practice of looking up Bob Saget on Google. This will avoid the possibility of that search/page being stored in cache memory and just pulling from there. If it works, we know it is a Addon and can re-enable one by one until we find the culprit.
If not, download another browser from another PC like Firefox, Iceweasel, Chrome, Safari, etc and install it on the troubled PC. Try connecting to the internet with that Browser. If you can connect with another Browser then there is something inherently wrong with your default Browser. Try updating it to the latest version and see if it makes any difference.
These are the basic things to check. If you are on wired or wireless there will be a few other things to try such as if wired, try a different port on your router to make sure you do not have a faulty port or completely remove the router from the equation and connect directly to the modem. If you have connectivity there, you know your router has failed. Reset to factory defaults and set it back up the way you want it and try connecting with it again. If nothing, you may need a new router. There is many other ways to go about checking your connectivity but this is a good starter list to begin with. If these methods do not work and you have to call your ISP or take it to a repair shop, it could save you money by saving them time if you tell them the steps you have taken and the results of those.
What other methods do you guys use to check when you have lost connectivity? Post them up in the comments section so anyone looking to rectify their issue has a bevy of things to try out!