Troubleshooting WiFi and Internet Connectivity

“Hey, the WiFi isn’t working again!”

With social media and connected services playing such large roles in our lives, poor internet connectivity can be very frustrating. Before sitting on hold with your ISP for a couple of hours, try these tips to troubleshoot your network and quickly get back online.

Check your WiFi connection.

Check the WiFi indicator light for connection to the correct network, check that the signal strength is good and that you’re not too far away from the router. Consider whether the issue is WiFi coverage, not connectivity.

Restart modem and affected devices.

Restart the modem, waiting 30 seconds and restarting, and restart the affected device. Check the modem lights for WAN/DSL [showing your connection to your ISP], ONLINE/INTERNET [showing your modem is connected to the internet] as well as WIFI/ETHERNET [for wireless or wired communications].

Ensure your modem is secured with a WiFi password, so only users you’re aware of are using your connection. Consider contacting your ISP if the number of users in your house has outgrown the bandwidth of the connection you currently have.

Check your clock settings.

Incorrect time and date settings can cause some web pages to load, but others to be blocked. Secure websites [those using https, not http] have strict certificate expiration rules. Certificates are issued automatically but have to match the time and date on the device. In your settings, review your date and time. If it’s incorrect, you may need to swap back to MANUAL, set the correct time, date and timezone, and then swap back to AUTOMATIC.

This issue usually presents itself as a certificate or a past/future error in a web browser when loading a website. A common cause is a user trying to prevent a daylight saving time zone swap when living close to the NSW/QLD border.

Perform a Network Reset

Internet connectivity issues can also be caused by incorrect or outdated network settings. Windows 10, Apple iOS and Android all include a quick method to reset your network settings back to default, allowing you to add your WiFi network from a fresh start. It will require you to have access to the WiFi password, as it will need to be saved again.

  • Windows 10 Network Reset- Type NETWORK RESET in the search box, or look under Settings-Network & Internet-Status-Reset. It will require you to restart the PC.
  • Apple iOS iPhone or iPad- Type NETWORK RESET in the search box, or look under Settings-General-Reset-Reset Network Settings. You may be prompted for your passcode.
  • Android- Look under Settings-System-Advanced-Reset Options- Reset WiFi-Reset Settings. You may be prompted for your passcode.

Clean up your computer.

Third party software can play havoc with Windows internet connectivity. Poor third party driver tools, third-party security software, and malware can all interfere with your connection. Review my support guide on cleaning up Windows to ensure your PC is running as best as possible, as connection issues regularly arise from installed software.

  • Uninstall third-party security suites- Windows 10 includes an excellent, free, fully featured security suite called Windows Defender. It’s built right into Windows 10 and doesn’t interfere with Windows Updates or internet connectivity. When Defender is enabled, perform a QUICK SCAN by right-clicking on the shield icon in the taskbar.
  • Reset your browser settings to default- Certain downloaded malware can unwittingly change the settings in your favorite web browser, interfering with internet connectivity. Reset Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox back to their defaults.
  • Empty the browser cache- In your browser settings, clear your browser history and data to empty the cache.

Check the specific website

Occasionally, the issue may lie with the website itself. If you’re having issues connecting to a specific website, check here if a website down for everyone or just down for you.

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