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Internet Troubleshooting 101: How to Get Your Business Back Online

Last updated: 23 Oct 2023
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Various online tools and services, including communication (VoIP) and data access (Cloud), rely on an Internet connection, making it a critical factor in your daily business operations. A stable Internet connection is crucial being unable to connect with one can feel like a major roadblock to productivity and even result in severe consequences. With operations dependent on the Internet, we will share easy troubleshooting steps to get your Internet connection to run smoothly.

Understanding the Basics

Before diving into troubleshooting, it’s important to understand how your Internet connection works to help identify potential issues more efficiently. 

Different Types of Internet Connections 

  1. DSL (Digital Subscriber Line): DSL transmits digital data using existing local telephone lines to provide Internet access. It’s most commonly used in residential areas and small business settings. 
  2. Cable: This type of connection leverages the same coaxial cables used in cable television signals that transmit cable television signals to provide Internet access. 
  3. Fiber: Fiber-optic Internet offers the fastest speeds and relies on thin glass or plastic strands to transmit data as pulses of light. 
  4. Satellite: A satellite dish is utilized to send and receive data. It is a viable option in remote areas but can be prone to weather conditions. 

Key Components of an Internet Setup 

  1. Modem: The modem connects your home or office to the Internet service provider (ISP) and translates incoming data signals into a format your network devices can understand. 
  2. Router: A router distributes Internet access to multiple devices within your network and manages data traffic, ensuring information reaches its intended destination. 
  3. Devices: Your computers, smartphones, tablets, and other devices connect to the Internet via the router. 

Types of Internet Issues 

  1. No Connection: When you can’t connect to the Internet at all. 
  2. Slow Connection: When your Internet speed is significantly slower than expected. 
  3. Intermittent Connection: When the Internet connection goes in and out periodically. 

After covering the basics, let's move on to the troubleshooting steps.

Initial Checks 

Before troubleshooting, start with initial checks to rule out simple and common Internet issues. 

  1. Ensure Physical Connections are Secure: Check for loose or damaged cables. Ensure all cables connected to your devices, modem, and router are securely plugged in. You can often resolve minor issues by performing a hardware reset. Power cycling your modem and router involves turning off these devices, waiting for a minute, and then turning them back on. 
  2. Confirm if the Issue is Localized: Check if the device is the only one having Internet issues or if it affects your entire network. If only one device can’t connect, the problem may lie with that device. If all devices are affected, it’s likely a network-wide issue. 
  3. Verify the Status of Your ISP: Confirm with your Internet Service Provider (ISP) if they are experiencing widespread outages or maintenance. You can check this information on their website or by contacting customer support. 

Troubleshooting Steps 

  1. Check Router and Modem Lights: Most routers and modems have LED status lights to diagnose network problems. Examine the indicator lights on your router and modem, referencing the user manual or the manufacturer’s website to interpret the lights’ meaning. This process is a quick and easy solution to figuring out your router or modem issues. 
  2. Checking for Firmware Updates: Routers require regular updates to function optimally, just like any other software-based system. Outdated router firmware can lead to stability issues. Regular firmware updates can address various issues, such as security vulnerabilities, performance enhancements, and bug fixes. Check if there are any available firmware updates and apply them if necessary. 
  3. Changing DNS Servers: There are cases wherein default DNS servers provided by your ISP may not offer optimal performance. Switching to a different DNS server can enhance your Internet speed and reliability. Consider using alternative DNS server options — Google’s DNS (8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4) being a popular choice. 
  4. Flushing DNS Cache: Your computer maintains a DNS cache containing records of website visits and other Internet domains. Flushing the DNS cache clears local storage and forces your computer to request fresh DNS records from DNS servers, resolving many connectivity and website loading issues. 
  5. Optimizing Router Placement: Your router’s location determines the quality and reliability of your Internet connection. A central, elevated location free from physical obstacles and electronic interference is ideal for ensuring robust and even Wi-Fi coverage throughout your workspace.  
  6. Releasing and Renewing Internet Protocol (IP) Addresses: This action involves temporarily releasing your device’s current IP address and requesting a new one from your network’s Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) server, eliminating potential conflicts or issues with the previous IP address. 
  7. Securing Your Wi-Fi Network: A secure network protects sensitive data and prevents unauthorized access and bandwidth hogging. A simple way to secure your Wi-Fi network is by setting a strong password to reduce the risk of unauthorized access, preserving the performance and integrity of your online connections and data. 
  8. Resetting the Router: Restoring the router to its original factory settings is a final troubleshooting measure that eliminates personalized configurations. This method is usually used when other advanced strategies can’t resolve network issues or login details are lost. The process can also help rectify router glitches by starting afresh, but it should be undertaken cautiously due to potential data loss. It’s advisable to resort to this measure only after all the other troubleshooting alternatives have been explored.  

Training Employees on Basic Troubleshooting Steps

Training your employees with the basic troubleshooting steps on your Internet connectivity can help resolve minor IT issues promptly, alleviating the IT workload of your IT staff and allowing them to focus on more complex tasks. It also enhances your employees’ understanding of vital technology supporting your operations, leading to more innovative and effective use of these tools. It fosters a culture of responsibility, enhances problem-solving skills, and promotes security awareness. With the increasing prevalence of remote work, such training ensures employees can adapt and address issues regardless of location.  

Considering the Need for a Professional Technician

While basic troubleshooting skills are valuable for everyday technical issues, there are scenarios where the expertise of a professional technician is essential. With their in-depth understanding of network systems, they can swiftly diagnose and resolve complicated issues beyond the scope of basic troubleshooting. These experts can provide valuable insights into optimizing your network infrastructure and handling complex hardware failures, security breaches, data recovery, regulatory compliance, specialized equipment, and safety considerations. Their expertise enables them to recommend effective solutions tailored to your needs to help your business stay competitive in the digital age.

Backup Internet Solutions

A backup Internet solution can be a lifesaver, especially for organizations relying heavily on the Internet for operations. Consider options like a secondary Internet service or a mobile hotspot to ensure continuity during outages. These solutions are different from your primary connection, providing a safety net when your main Internet service is disrupted. 

If you’re currently facing internet connectivity issues or simply want to learn more about our telecom services, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. Schedule a personalized consultation now!