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Problems with your Wi-Fi? Basic Troubleshooting steps to try before calling your ISP provider

September 24, 2018

Internet connection is so ingrained in our everyday activities that it becomes like electricity: You notice when it’s gone. Whether you utilize the internet for running a smart home, gaming online or streaming movies, if connectivity is disrupted, these simple troubleshooting checks can regain your connection.

Resets work

Often, when your internet goes down, it’s due to a faulty network router and not necessarily your internet service provider (ISP). A soft reset to your router will fix many connection glitches.

To do a soft reset, go beyond turning the router off. Go all the way and unplug the router from the power outlet. Wait for 15 to 20 seconds before plugging the router back into the power source. The wait is necessary as routers need time to resume operations after power is restored. .

Slow or dead zones in your home

Look around and make sure you place the router in the best location for your home. Think of the router as a lightbulb. The location of a lightbulb improves the strength of the illumination. The same process happens with the router. Place the router at least 5-feet off the floor, away from appliances and not encased in any metal such as shelving or a file drawer. Move the router to a more centralized location in your home to increase your home’s coverage area. Place the router in the room of your home that you use the Wi-Fi most frequently as signals bounce off walls.

Adjust the external antennas on routers that have them. By alternating the antennas vertically and horizontally you can help improve the reception in your home.

Random, dropped connections without explanation

Is there a pattern that you are noticing when your connections fail? Does the internet connection drop when multiple devices are trying to connect online? Or when you use the microwave? If a pattern starts to emerge, there is the possibility of interferences coming from other networks or devices.

A change to your router’s channel might help. You can use NetSpot—a Wi-Fi analysis app—on Mac and Windows and Wi-Fi Analyzer app for Android, to show you every wireless network nearby. If yours overlaps with nearby networks, switching to a less congested channel in your router settings can help.

If you use an older microwave, try switching the router from the 2.5Ghz frequency to a higher one. To do this, you’ll need to log into your router’s configuration interface. On many routers, you’ll need to enter the IP address, 192.168.0.1 or 192.168.1.1, in your device’s internet browser. If the router login prompt pops up, enter the username and password for the router. If you don’t know these, the default values can be found on the back of the router. Once you’ve gained access to the router configuration, navigate to the Wireless settings from the menu. In the 802.11 band selection field, you then select 5 GHz. Click on the Apply button to save the higher frequency settings.

Router crashes often and only restarting it helps

If your router needs frequent soft resets, it’s possible that your device may need a hard reset or be on its way out. A hard reset might delay replacing the router. On most devices, you’ll find a “Reset” button that you can hold down with a paperclip. Hold down for 30 seconds and the router should default to factory settings. Use this guide to setting up a wireless router to get everything properly configured.

If that doesn’t work, your router is experiencing the death knell. There is no other way to say this: Buy a new router. Or, return it if the router is within its warranty period.

Too many people need access to your router information

Create a temporary guest access to your Wi-Fi instead of giving visitors permanent access to your network. Guest Wi-Fi networks offer your house guests easy access to the internet without also giving them computers, printers and other devices.

Newer routers have options to host temporary network users similar to when you go to a hotel or other public place that enables multiple devices to connect to the internet. Some routers enable you to have a guest password set up while other routers are directed to a Web landing page.

When in doubt, contact us

If the problem persists, please contact MaxxSouth Customer Service & Technical Support at 1-800-457-5351. Help is available 24/7. Click here for the address and working hours of our convenient customer service locations.