There could be many different reasons stopping you from connecting to the internet or having a slow internet connection. A solution to your problem could be unique depending on the type of hardware you use, network connections and technologies that are supported by your ISP (Internet Service Provider).
Here I will try to focus on some common internet problems and provide few tips that you could use to check and fix the problem on your own quickly.
Some people uses wire-line broadband internet solution and some on the other hand uses wireless internet like Wimax, 3G or 4G technologies provided by large mobile phone operators. If you subscribe to a wireless internet provider, it could be little easier to get to a solution because you don’t have to worry about a broken/cut cables somewhere between your PC and your ISP.
The First Steps to Fixing Internet Connection Problems
Irrespective of whichever type of internet connection you have, you should do the following things first to make sure you are not getting stuck at something very basic;
#1. Reboot your PC
Reboot your PC if you haven’t done that already. A restart often fixes many common computer errors.
#2. Check the user name and the password provided by your ISP
Make sure it is correctly entered in your internet connection box as shown in image 1. Just re-enter them and try to connect. Sometimes the hidden password that is stored there could be changed somehow and just re-entering it will fix your problem.
#3. Check all cables
If no improvement, then disconnect all the cables from your modem, wait for few seconds and then reconnect them back again. This also works in many cases as the cable port connected to your modem can freeze up at times and disconnecting and reconnecting it back will make the port open and the error go away.
#4. Check your IP address
If this method also fails, go to your command prompt. You can reach command prompt by going into Start – All programs – Accessories – Command Prompt in Windows 7 or Start – Programs – Accessories – Command Prompt in Windows XP. In the command prompt type the command “ipconfig” as shown in image 2. This will give you the entire IP (Internet Protocol) configuration of your internet connection. See if you are getting an IPv4 address as shown in the image. If you don’t get these addresses as shown in the picture after running “ipconfig”, then definitely you are disconnected from your ISP. In this case, you need to contact your ISP to fix the problem.
#5. Renew your IP address
Now if you are getting the IP addresses as shown in the image above and still you cannot get connected, it may be because the IP address assigned to your modem is flawed or inconsistent. In that case you can release the IP address and renew it entering the following commands one after another at the command prompt.
– Ipconfig /release
– Ipcongif /renew
After you have renewed your IP address, try connecting again. This should work in most cases. You should also do a fresh reboot of your PC and see if the problem has gone.
Internet Connection Problems Due to Shortage of System Resources
Internet problems sometimes also possible due to lack of resources occurring at the time you are trying to connect. In that case you can go to the task manager and see what processes are running at the background of your PC.
In Windows XP you can go to the task manger by clicking CTRL-ALT-DELETE simultaneously and in Windows 7 – by right clicking on the taskbar at the bottom and clicking on “start task manager”.
In the task manager, under the “processes” tab you will see many processes running in the background. Some of these are needed and some are not needed at all. Actually every time you install a new program or hardware, it leaves one of its sidekicks (agent) in the startup to launch automatically at the background. Sometimes you know it, sometimes you don’t.
Some of these unnecessary processes consume lot of system resources and also make your PC a target for possible intruders. Better to stop some of these processes that are not needed at this moment when you are facing with internet connection problem. For example in the image 3 below, in my PC there are processes like “HP Advisor dock”, “BlueTooth Headset Skype Proxy”, “Google chrome”, too many instances – they are not necessary to run at this moment. So I am going to select these processes and hit “end process” on the task menu for each of them. These will free up system resources and you might be able to connect now with the use of these additional resources.
How to use the PING Command?
When dealing with internet connection problems, it is worth knowing the use of few additional network troubleshooting commands like “PING” or “TRACERT” for example. You must be familiar by now that every computer uses an IP address as shown in figure 2 above.
For example, my IP address according to what the ipconfig command detected is – 220.127.116.11. To know whether this IP address is working properly in sending and receiving information off the internet or not, I would run the PING command at the command prompt. Here is a video tutorial showing exactly how to ping your IP address.
By pinging another IP address (another device attached to the internet having a different IP address) you would know if your PC is able to communicate with another PC or a network device on the internet. When the PING command successfully detects a communication between the two ends, you can be certain that there is nothing wrong at your end with respect to your internet connection problem and the problem is at your ISP’s end.
To try the PING command, let’s go to the command prompt again like we did before from the “start menu”. Here type the ping command followed by any IP address that you know is a valid (Live) address. For example, my IP address is 18.104.22.168 and I’m pinging another IP address 22.214.171.124 based on my intuition that 126.96.36.199 is a live IP address. If you don’t know any live address, you can just ping www.google.com or any other live URL – because that is also an IP address at the backend. On the command prompt, run the command as follows;
- Ping www.google.com
You will get a set of information from the destination IP address as shown in image 4. You can see the destination IP address is clearly talking to your own PC’s IP address and they are sending and receiving packets between them.
On the other hand, if there was something wrong at your end, it won’t be possible to establish a connection between the two IP addresses.
Now the above test does confirm a communication of your PC with an internet device but then why you are still not able to connect to the internet? This could be because there is a home network problem or something wrong at your ISP’s end – and you should call them up and explain the scenario in detail and have them fix the problem for you.