There are many reasons that you can lose your internet connection, including:
1. Outage from your ISP (Internet Service Provider): Charter, Verizon, TWC, ATT, etc.
2. Faulty hardware (modem, router or computer).
3. Problem with your software, a virus or spyware (yes, this can affect Apple Computers, too).
The basic steps are to try to exclude possibilities. So, if you cannot get online with your laptop, try another computer. If you don’t have another computer, try your smartphone.
The first thing I suggest to people is to reboot your computer. This simple step works most of the time. If you reboot your computer and you are still offline, I have the following steps to help you out.
Some people have both a modem and router. If you only have one Internet device that does both, then eliminate Step 3 below. A modem does not usually have any antennas and a router usually has antennas (but sometimes does not).
Examples of modems are: Motorola-Surfboard, Speedstream, Cisco modem, etc.
Examples of common routers: Netgear, Dlink, Linksys, Apple Airport Extreme.
1. Patience is the key. This full process should take between 6-10 minutes. Rushing through it will void the process and you may have to start again.
2. Locate your modem/router. This is usually supplied from your ISP. Unplug the power cable to this device. If it is in awkward spot, get some tape and stick the cable down so it does not fall behind a cabinet or a desk. Leave this unplugged until you are instructed to re-plug it below. Typically it should be unplugged for a minimum of two minutes to let any power dissipate from the circuit. There is no time limit before you plug it back in.
3. If you have a separate router, unplug it following the same process as above. The power cable for either of these devices is usually black and the consistency of the cable is usually different from any other networking (Ethernet) cables. Do not plug it back in it until advised below.
4. Next, shut down your computer. Do not restart it until advised below.
5. The sequence of the reboot is imperative; reinstall power cables and apply power in the same order as you powered down. Reinsert the power cable into your modem (the first device). Wait at least one minute. You should see lights start to blink. If you do not, check to see if there is power coming from that outlet, otherwise your modem is dead and you need to call your ISP.
6. Next, reinsert the power cable to your router and wait one minute. Again, you should see flashing lights almost instantly. If not, check your connection to the outlet, etc. If you get no lights at all, your router is probably dead and needs to be replaced.
7. Start your computer and try to get online. Open up your browser, (Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer, etc). Do you have fresh content appearing? If not, and you use a separate email program (Mail, Outlook, etc), see if your mail comes in.
8. If you do not get any emails and there is no content available, then you are still offline and you need to call your ISP. Typically, the helpline phone number is on your bill along with your account number, which you may or may not need.
9. Your ISP is going to give you one of three answers:
A) The ISP has an outage. This means you as a customer really have no choice but to wait for them to resolve it. Ask them for an estimate of time, as this could take from several hours to a day or two. Remember, they want to keep you happy so they do not lose you to the competition.
B) The ISP can see a problem on the connection and they can sometimes do something to resolve it for you within a few minutes.
C) The ISP can see no issue with the line or their equipment, which means you need to replace the router or there is another issue at your location out of their control. At this juncture it is best to contact external help from your local Computer Guru.
Feel free to contact Jason on 310.570.8256 or via email at Jason@CalabasasComputers.com.