Help! I Can’t Connect to the Internet
Have you ever tried connecting to your favorite social networking site by clicking on your browser and nothing happened? You try to connect to a search engine and still nothing happens. All you can see is a message on your browser that might say “cannot display the webpage” or “server not found”. Chances are, your computer is offline and not getting any Internet signal. If you have an important file to send or are about to finish that last stage in your online game and you get disconnected, don’t panic.
It can be frustrating when you have an important online task to do and your computer suddenly goes offline. There are many reasons why this can happen but we can break it down to two reasons. First reason, it could be a problem on your ISP side. In which case there really is not much we can do but report the problem so that it may be resolved immediately. Second, it could be a problem on our side. This means that it could be hardware or a software issue on our end that is causing us not to connect to the Internet. In this case there is something we can do before we start calling the technical support department of our ISP and say “I can’t connect to the Internet!”
Reboot Equipment. This is one of the easiest ways to get you online. Most issues that deal with no Internet connection can be properly resolved by simply turning your equipment off and on. Let’s say you have a modem, a router and a computer. Turn them all off in no particular order but when you turn them on, modem should be on first followed by your router and then your computer. This is what we call sequenced power cycling and is important to establish a good connection.
Check Cabling. Usually, a loose network cable can cause your computer to go offline. Check the network cable on your modem first and see if it is properly secured. Check on your computer side as well if it is tight. It would be good if we took them out and then reconnect them, this way we can verify if they have been indeed securely connected. If you have a router, check the connection on your router side as well.
Do an IP check. We have rebooted the equipment and all cabling seems to be good but we still can’t get online. We then proceed to check our computer. Every computer has a valid IP address that identifies them on the network. If you are using a router then chances are your IP address would start with a 192.168.x.x. If your computer is connecting straight to the modem you may have an IP provided by your ISP which could be 10.x.x.x or 121.x.x, etc. What we have to avoid is the IP that begins with 169.254.x.x. A good IP address would mean that you should be able to get online.
To check on our IP address on XP click on START then RUN. In the open field type CMD and press enter. A black window should appear. Type on the black window “ipconfig” then hit enter to get your IP address. If you get a 169.254.x.x then call your ISP. If it says “media state media disconnected” then there is something wrong with your network cable or network card. Try to replace your network cable, the one connected at the back of your computer going either to your router or modem. We have to refresh our network card as well by typing on the black window “ipconfig /release” then hit enter. After you get a value of 0.0.0.0 type in “ipconfig /renew”. This should get you a valid IP, if not then there is a problem with the network card.
Do a Ping Test. You have a valid IP address so it’s time to do a ping test. A ping test actually sends out packets of data to a particular site to check on our connectivity. If we get an error message then it means we do not have connectivity. A normal ping test should have a 0% loss in packets. To do a ping test type on the black window “ping yahoo.com”.
Turn Off Firewall. Most firewalls are accidentally set to maximum protection by users. Try to disable your firewall and see if it is blocking your Internet.
After doing all of these basic troubleshooting procedures and you still can’t get online then it’s time to call in technical support and say “I can’t connect to the Internet!”
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