All of the sudden, you notice your Internet connection doesn’t seem to be working right. Maybe Netflix isn’t loading, or YouTube is taking a long time to buffer. Maybe a page you opened just won’t load. Time to call tech support, right?
Not necessarily. There are a few things you can try first. Let’s be honest, no matter how friendly or effective your tech support may be, you don’t really want to call them. Why not ask yourself these questions first?
Question 1: Could this just be the page?
Sometimes an individual page gets overloaded, and it has nothing to do with your connection. To see if this is the issue, open a new tab and try another page. This can happen with your homepage too, so if you opened your browser and nothing loaded, try typing another page into the address bar (I usually use Google.com, since it’s just a plain page and should load very quickly). When some pages load, but not others, the problem is usually with the pages, not your connection.
Netflix and YouTube servers can get overloaded too, causing videos to freeze up or not load at all. Refreshing the page (Refresh or Reload at the top of your browser window, or F5 on your keyboard) will usually fix this.
Question 2: Is it just that device?
If you can’t get anything to load, you’re probably already reaching for the phone. But hang on a minute. Before you call, are there any other connected devices you could try? Most people have more than one internet-capable device in the house these days – smartphones, iPods, tablets, laptops, desktops. When one doesn’t work, try the others (if using a phone or tablet, be sure it’s connected through your wifi, not a cell network). If any device can get online through your router, your problem isn’t your connection. It’s that device you’re using.
Question 3: What happens if you just disconnect?
This is such an easy thing to try, really! If it’s a phone, tablet, or laptop that won’t connect, disable the wireless function and then re-enable it. Nine times out of ten, that will get you back online. For a desktop running Windows, there’s usually a “diagnose” button or link for you to click, which generally fixes it all on its own. Also, never underestimate the power of rebooting. If you’re nervous about disabling anything, just shut the whole thing down and restart.
Question 4: Maybe it’s the router?
None of your devices are working; surely it’s time to call tech support now? Well, not just yet. One more thing to try: power cycling your router. It sounds all technical, but all it really means is unplugging your router for 10-30 seconds and plugging it back in. Give it a few more seconds to get booted up, and, frequently, your connection will be back like magic. Why does this work? Well, there’s no good reason for it, but routers (like all electronics) sometimes just freeze up. This is very common, so you should ALWAYS try power cycling before calling tech support.
Question 5: Still nothing – now what?
So you’ve tried other pages, you’ve checked out your device, you’ve disconnected or rebooted, and you’ve power cycled your router, but you’re still getting no internet. Now is the time to call in the cavalry, and get tech support on the phone. If you’ve already gone through the steps above, your technician will be able to find the problem more quickly, helping you get back online faster!
RazzoLink is the premier local Internet service provider for the Santa Clara, San Benito, Santa Cruz, and Monterey County areas in California! Call us today for any Internet service inquiries!