Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

Top 5 Ways to Troubleshoot Your Broadband Internet Connection

        Tech | How-to Tech

4
Power Cycling
When you power cycle your modem, wait until all the status lights are lit before powering up the next component
When you power cycle your modem, wait until all the status lights are lit before powering up the next component
© iStockphoto/davidp

Power cycling might sound exciting, but it just means turning your modem off, waiting a few seconds, then turning it on again. This works regardless of your connection type, whether you get your Internet via cable, DSL or satellite. The easiest way to turn it off is to disconnect the power cord where it plugs into the modem itself (they don't always have on/off switches, but if yours does, that should work, too). Wait about 30 seconds, and then plug it in again. Sometimes, that's all it takes. Once the modem has cycled through its usual boot-up sequence, you may find your connection works again.

If this doesn't do the trick, a more elaborate power cycling sequence might. You'll have to turn off every device on your network, then power them on again in a particular order.

First, shut off your computer, then unplug the power cords from your modem, router, access point and hub.When you turn things on again, follow the signal from the modem toward the computer. In other words, power up the modem first, then power up your router or hub, then turn on your computer last. As you turn on each device, wait for it go through its boot-up sequence before powering up the next device in line. You can determine the status by watching the lights on the device itself.

Still no connection? If you use a satellite Internet service, we'll troubleshoot your unique problems in the next section.