Troubleshooting tips

This page summarizes several tips for troubleshooting your Internet connection.

Although it is possible that your connection maybe affected by network traffic or other factors outside of your control, you can avoid many problems by protecting your hardware:

  • Install a good quality surge protector.

    These fit under your computer or on the floor. They offer superior voltage protection and advanced line conditioning. Many models feature built-in circuit breakers. You can get one of these units for as little $30, or you can spend upward of $100 for a more advanced model. A $10 power strip is totally inadequate.

    An even better choice is an Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS) - Some units combine surge protection with a continuous UPS. The basic design of a continuous UPS is to convert AC power to DC power and store it on a battery. The UPS then converts the battery's DC power back to AC power and runs it to the AC outlets for your electronics. If the power goes out, your computer will continue to run, feeding off the stored battery power. This will give you a few minutes to save your work and shut down your computer. The conversion process also gets rid of most of the line noise coming from the AC outlet. These units tend to cost $150 or more. 

  • Install a router between the modem and your computer. A router serves as a hardware firewall and allows you to connect more than one computer to the Internet. A good choice is a Linksys wireless router.

Print this page and save it for future reference.
  1. To determine if you have an internet connection, do a ping test as follows:
    • Open the CommandPrompt (DOS screen) which is usually found under Start/Accessories
    • Type 'ping' and press the Enter key (the choice of is arbitrary)
    • If you see words like 'Pinging . . . ' and 'Reply from . . .' you have an internet connection.
  2. If you don't have an internet connection, the simplest thing to try is to power cycle  your modem, router and computer.
    • Disconnect the power cords for and wait for at least 30 seconds.
    • Power up the modem and the router, in that order.
    • Reboot your computer.
  1. Open a browser (IE, Firefox, etc.) and try to go to a website (i.e., If performance is sluggish, try emptying your cache (i.e., Delete Temporary Internet Files) but NOT your Cookies.
  1. Click here to learn how to measure your connection speed.

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If you are still unable to resolve your problem, you can try to contact the manufacturer of your router. Most offer telephone support.

Otherwise, contact your Internet Service Provider for further assistance.