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Almost everyone, from kids to working professionals, uses the Internet for various things. In today's modern world, right from research to shopping, everything can be done online. No wonder, Internet users have shot up into billions. With even the average Joe using it for many things, it can be really irritating and frustrating when it does not work. Connection problems are something that affect almost all users at some point of time, and while a few of the problems are serious enough to deem the need for professionals, many of them can be simply solved with the help of a few tips and basic knowledge.

Connection Problems

Troubleshooting connectivity problems should be the same regardless of the type of connection you are using. Almost all the users have moved on to broadband or cable Internet. There are many reasons why your computer might not be connecting to the World Wide Web and when you find that this is the case, the only thing to do is search for the solution.

Troubleshooting

Most people tend to miss the obvious and go about calling professionals for help, only to find that a wire was left unconnected, or some setting was wrongly done. To avoid the embarrassment caused by such incidents and to save yourself a lot of money, here are things you should look for before you even think of calling for professional help.
  • The first thing you should absolutely do is check if all the relevant cables are connected properly. Usually, loose or unconnected cables is one of the major reasons why problems arise. Checking the cables for any physical damage is also a good idea.
  • If the cables are connected and not damaged, the next step you should take is to check for connectivity. This means, you should check with another computer or laptop to determine if there is a wrong setting in your machine or if there is an issue from your ISP itself.
  • Use the Windows troubleshooting assistance on your computer and try to solve them, if any. Running 'Microsoft's Network Diagnostics' for Windows XP or using the 'Diagnose & Repair' option in Windows Vista and Windows 7 can help solve some connectivity issues.
  • Installation of new hardware or software can also cause connectivity issues in some cases. Restoring to a previous date or uninstalling the software or hardware can provide a solution.
  • At times, even something as simple as a reboot can help. This is something that should be done before trying out any other complicated solution.
  • If you are connected through a modem, then checking the lights on the modem is another good way of getting to know connectivity issues. All lights on the modem should be green, and a red light indicates something is wrong. If there is a red light showing on the modem, ensure that everything on your end is correct (cables) before calling your ISP.
If all the aforementioned measures have been tried and you are still unable to use the Internet, then chances are that you might have to call in a professional to have a look. Before you do that, however, there are some quick advanced fixes you can try.
  • You will need to check and confirm your IP setting. For this, you will have to call the ISP (Internet Service Provider) and get the IP address and check if it matches with the one on your computer.
  • You should also confirm if you are using a static or a dynamic IP address, and mark the appropriate box in the network settings.
  • Sometimes, a wireless router can cause issues with connectivity. If you use a wireless router, try connecting to the Internet directly, i.e., without the wireless router. If you are successful, then the problem lies in the wireless settings
  • If everything fails, then it's time to get professional help.
Wireless Connectivity

A Wi-Fi connection can be of great help and convenience when on the road. However, these days, with most people working from home, Wi-Fi provides portability and comfort to work from any part of your home. Internet sharing problems can arise when there are more than two computers using the same connection over Wi-Fi. Most of the problems arise as a result of different computers using the same IP address and creating a conflict on the network. Here's what you can do:
  • As usual, the first thing to do is check the cable and the wires. Ensure that the cables are plugged in the right sockets and that the cables are not damaged.
  • If the cables are fine, then it's time to check the lights on your Wi-Fi router. The power and Wi-Fi status light should be steady, i.e., they should not be blinking. Some routers might also have a light for the ISP connection, if present, that should also be steady. Everything else should be either blinking or off.
  • Try restarting the router and check if all the lights are as they should be. Usually, it is wise to wait for at least 10-15 seconds afer you turn the router off. If the lights are still not normal, then you can try resetting the router. Most routers have a small reset button somewhere on the back.
  • If even after resetting, there is no connectivity, then you should check the router settings. In a browser window type 192.168.1.1 and the resulting page is the homepage of your router.
If all seems right and you still can't connect, then it is time for the professionals to take over.

Most connection issues can be solved by following the aforementioned tips. Usually, it turns out to be either a cable problem or some setting which needs to be changed, and this can be completed in a couple of minutes. However, there are cases where the problem just cannot seem to get diagnosed. For such cases, let the professionals do their bit.