Internet Connection Issues
If You Can't Access the Web
We'll assume that your Internet was working at an earlier point. If you are setting it up for the first time, the steps listed below were not designed with that purpose in mind.
Basic Internet Terminology
- A modem can generally refer to either cable or ADSL modems. Dial-up modems are mostly obsolete.
- A LAN is wireled connection.
- A WLAN is a wireless connection.
- ISP refers to the company that provides you access to the Internet (e.g. Shaw, Telus, etc.).
- A router combines the splitting power of a network hub with the ability to protect you with a hardware firewall. Your connection may be hard wired orwireless.
- An IP address is usually represented with a numeric series of numbers separated with dots (e.g. 192.168.1.1) and will vary by ISP and by router brand.
- A (web) browser is a program used to view web pages on the Internet. IE is the browser included with Windows, but there are many others.
If you have no Internet access a series of troubleshooting steps will help to determine where the breakdown is and how to resolve the problem.
When your Internet service is disrupted, there can be many things that have gone wrong. The best way to start is to determine if everything is broken (i.e. you can't access any websites or Internet services) or if the difficulty is only with a certain program or a specific website not responding.
If Access is Limited
If you are able to view certain sites, but not others, or if only some of your programs are working, try the following:
- If you are able to view local content but cannot see sites hosted across the country or elsewhere, there could be a blockage in the Internet grid. Have a look atThe Internet Traffic Report (see the graphic image to the right) which monitors the flow of data around the world. On their site, you can view data for specific cities, helping to pinpoint potential problems. There is little you can do about this sort of problem other than to wait it out.
- If your email works fine but your problem appears to be related only to your web browser, have a look at Browser Problems.
- If you can surf the Web OK, but you have difficulty sending or receiving email, have a look at Email Problems.
Check to See if the Problem is the Computer
If you have more than one computer, see if both computers are experiencing difficulties accessing the Internet. If the second computer has full access then your problem is localized to the first computer (you can skip any tests that don't deal with the computer itself).
Reboot the Computer
Try rebooting your computer to see if that fixes the problem. You'd be surprised how often that simple step resolves issues.
If restarting Windows doesn't work, you'll have to verify each potential problem to verify that it is or isn't the problem until you restore acess.
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