Troubleshooting your broadband connection

A guide to troubleshooting your broadband connection

The nice folks over at BroadbandGenie have been in touch, after reading a couple of articles that Hightrees had written about the problems with broadband, to ask if they could guest author a basic troubleshooting guide and here it is !

In under 20 years, the internet has gone from being a luxury which some households have, to something many of us can’t imagine life without. As it has become part of everyday life, we no longer need encyclopaedias to look up information and contacting friends is easier than trying to reach them by phone.

Whether it be consumers buying everything they need online or business people utilising it as an aid to their applying their trade more cost effectively, it’s no exaggeration to say that we have come to rely on the net the same as we do gas and electricity.

Unfortunately, with anything that we rely so heavily on, there is nothing worse than when we are forced to do without it. Add to this, the fact that millions of users of the internet still have a limited understanding of how it works, and you are left with many people looking blank faced when they are forced to deal with their broadband going down.

However, all is not lost, and with this simple checklist, you may find that your broadband connection is back up and running in no time.

(1) Check other computers in the house: This is a great place to start as, if they are working, you can immediately rule out the problem being the router or phone line. If this is what’s wrong, it could be a number of reasons ranging from a virus to the wireless being switched off. If you’re in any doubt you should get an expert to take a look and do not attempt to fix it yourself.

(2) Is your router switched on? It may sound like a daft question but you would be amazed at how the simplest thing can go unnoticed. Don’t worry though, if you do end up on the phone to technical support only to realise that you didn’t switch your router on, you won’t be the first.

(3) A quick reboot: If there is one rule throughout the world of technology, it’s that everything can be temperamental. Even if your router is switched on and no one has touched it, a quick reboot may be all it needs. Once it is switched on, simply wait for around five minutes, make sure the lights are all on and try again. Rebooting is never an exact science so you may have to be patient.

(4) Check your phone line: It may be that the phone line is out, in which case it may be beyond your control. If it is, or if you are in doubt, the best course of action is to use your mobile to call your provider and see what’s up. Though you may have to look up the number in a dusty old phone book that hasn’t come out of the cupboard in a long time!

(5) Check the wireless is enabled: Again, computers can be temperamental and it may be that the wireless has disabled itself for no reason (or little fingers have been playing). If this is the case, switch it back on and that may solve the problem. How it’s done will vary from device to device so you should consult your manual.

(6) Fix an Ethernet cable from your device directly to your router: This will help you establish whether it is a wireless problem or not.

(7) Connect to main box: Take off the front face of telephone socket and connect directly. If its works fine, you will know it’s an internal wiring problem, if not then and it’s external, it’s generally the responsibility of the provider.

(8) If, having attempted all of these, you still haven’t fixed the problem it’s now time to call your provider. Trust me, you should definitely try all of the above first as if you call technical support, they will only insist you go through each step before they look any closer.

As well as broadband problems, many people simply have a connection that isn’t up to scratch. If this is the case with you, maybe it’s time to consider changing to a faster broadband supplier as that may work a treat. We have a handy comparison on Broadband Genie if you’re specifically looking for a faster broadband connection. Lastly, it may be an idea to print this off. After all, if your net goes down, you may struggle to find a solution online.

About the author: This post was contributed by Matt Powell, the editor for the broadband comparison site Broadband Genie.