Help! Internet Connection Drops, No Web Access (Intermittent)

Dennis Faas's picture

Infopackets Reader 'WB2' writes:

" Dear Dennis,

I have a home network consisting of two computers, using an N-link router. Both computers are connected to the router using a wired connection (not wireless). Problem: the router drops my Internet connection from time to time. Shutting off the router and turning it back on after a few seconds appears to solve the problem -- but it's only temporary. Can you help me solve this problem? "

My Response:

If the problem you are experiencing happens to both PCs at the exact same time, it's a safe bet it's not either of your PCs at fault, but likely the router or perhaps the cable / DSL modem causing the issue.

Resetting the router by turning it off and then on is a good idea. But if only temporary resolves the issue, that suggests to me that you have a hardware problem.

Determine if it's the Router or the Modem at Fault

The next time you lose your connection, try shutting off your modem for a few seconds, then turn it back on. Then, wait and see if your router will reestablish connection and 'fix' itself. If the router is completely "out to lunch" (so to speak), resetting the modem won't matter -- and if that's the case, it's a very safe bet the problem is in fact your router.

Firmware Updates Can Resolve Many Issues

Before you send your router packing, check the router manufacturer's web site and make sure you have the latest firmware available. Firmware is special software that tells the router how to function and often contains bug fixes and updates to previous firmware revisions. The latest firmware may in fact resolve your issue. Most routers can be updated via the router's internal configuration page (accessible via IP address usually) -- check your router manual for full details.

If the router still doesn't work after a firmware update, I suggest you borrow another router from a friend and try it out for a week or two. If you have no issues after that, it's probably time to buy a new router.

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