Home network problems are a common occurrence now days. Just think about it? Everyone is now on the internet and most houses have some type of network setup to enable more than one computer to use the internet connection. Unfortunately this means that there are more Home network problems because people are settings these up themselves. There is no problem setting up your own home network and usually the hassles only start when you run into a problem that you cannot solve. It can be very frustrating when you have home network problems but hopefully we can help. This is not a tutorial on how to get a faster internet connection but rather to find network problems that might cause connection problems.
5 uncommon Home Network Problems
You’ve probably read our article about 5 common home network problems, but you didn’t find your problem listed. If you have not red this article you really should! After that, read on because we’ve got solutions to five more uncommon home network problems listed below.
Home Network Problems #1: Server Not Found
Sometimes you’ll try connecting to a website you know is still working and get a “server not found” error. This especially happens when you try to connect to new websites or websites you visit infrequently.
This isn’t an error with your home network, but rather a problem with your Internet Service Provider’s (ISP’s) Domain Name Server (DNS) setup. It most often occurs when your ISP changes DNS servers and you’re stuck using the old server.
Among the many home network problems, this is one of the simplest to fix, although it can be annoying. You need to get the list of updated DNS servers from your ISP. To do it, you first need to purge the current list of DNS servers from the two places it’s stored on your network—your computer and your router.
First turn off your computer. Then unplug your router, count to five, and plug it back in. Wait for it to start flashing like normal, then turn on your computer. Of course, if other people share your home network, you want to give them fair warning before you restart the router.
Restarting your router will force it to ask for network settings using the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP), which sends IP addresses, DNS server addresses, and some other network information. Restarting your computer tells it to get its own network settings from your router also using DHCP, and your router will pass along the address of the DNS server it just received—which will be your ISP’s current DNS server.
Home Network Problems #2: Intermittent Cable Signal Loss
There are may kinds of intermittent signal loss, but in this case we’ll describe the inability to connect to any site on the Internet due to apparent problems with your cable modem. If you don’t use a cable modem, this isn’t your problem.
Cable providers send Internet signals along wires originally designed for mediocre television, and even in the days before cable broadband, it wasn’t too unusual in many places to lose television signal occasionally. Now, the Internet was designed to work even over horrible connections, but unfortunately, your cable modem is probably more picky than any other networking hardware in your house. Cable modem-powered Internet requires a good, strong signal, and that’s what you’re missing when you have intermittent cable signal loss.
Of the home network problems described in this article, intermittent cable signal loss is most often easily traceable to its cause by recording when you lost signal. If you lose signal most often during days of extreme heat or humidity (especially during rain or fog), then the problem is probably your cable wires.
There are a few ways to boost your signal. Go through your house and see how many times your cable signal is split—how many times one wire connects to a box with two or more wires coming out of it. The cable that goes to your cable modem shouldn’t go through more than one splitter. You also need to make sure all the splitter connections are connected to wires or have ends on them, or you’re wasting precious cable signal on dead air.
Making sure your use every bit of signal that comes down your cable line can significantly improve the functioning of your cable modem. Not only will it reduce the number of intermittent signal failures, but it can improve your download and upload speeds.
Home Network Problems #3: High Latency
If you use your Internet connection for voice or video chatting or gaming, significant lags in the applications you use can ruin your fun. Sometimes these lags can be caused by something besides high latency, but there’s an easy test for high latency so it’s a good place to start diagnosing:
- Open the Windows terminal by opening the Start menu, choosing Run…, and entering
- At the command-line, type
ping google.com. Windows will send four special Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) packets to Google’s nearest server and Google will kindly return four responses. Windows will then calculate how long it took for the packets to get to Google and back—this is your latency.
How long it takes for packets to get to Google and back to you depends a lot on how close you live to Google’s nearest server, but for anyone using broadband and living within 50 miles of an affluent city or a major population center, it should take between 20 and 30 milliseconds (ms). If all four packets take longer than 50ms, then you may have a problem—longer than 100ms and you definitely have a problem.
High-latency has two main causes: your network can be overloaded, in which case the answer is to shutdown all Internet-using applications on your computer and every other computer on your network and try running ping again. The other cause is bad wires or wireless signal. Try swapping wires between your computer and another computer without problems, or try moving your wireless laptop closer to the wireless router.
Home Network Problems #4: Can’t Connect To Router Admin
Many of the articles you read on this site tell you to change settings in your router administration interface, but if you don’t have the manual that came with your router, you may not know how to access the administration interface. Almost all routers use the same simple instructions:
- Open a Web browser and try each of the following links in a new tab (Ctrl-click) until you find one that displays a username and password prompt:
- If you changed the password for your router before, enter it now. If you haven’t, these are the most common defaults (username/password):
- (leave empty)/admin
Home Network Problems #5: Forgot WPA Password
It can be embarrassing when you invite a friend over for a work or study session and they ask you for the password to your wireless network—and you don’t know what it is. Windows will let you see the password as you type it but, for security reasons, you can’t go back into the Wireless Connection Manager to get the password after you save it.
One option is to log into your router admin and go to the Wireless Security screen to figure out the current password—but what if you forgot the password and you don’t have your laptop? Is your only option to reset the router and set it up all over again? Luckily, there’s another solution.
Almost all routers include ethernet ports. These ports don’t include any security—if you’re close enough to plug in to them, you’re probably authorized to be on the network. So just find some ethernet (CAT–5) cable, plug in your friend’s laptop, and log into the router using the instructions above to find your password and eliminate your home network problems.
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