Troubleshooting Your Offsite/Home Internet Connection
As many of us already know, your internet connection at home or offsite location can
be slow, intermittant or can drop out completely due to local conditions or trouble
at your Internet Service Provider (ISP). If this occurs, please follow the steps
below to troubleshoot the cause and hopefully improve your internet connection.
Get Closer to Your Router If you are using a laptop, it is most likely using WiFi to connect to the Internet.
The WiFi signal is broadcast through the air by your router. Just as it is hard to
hear music several rooms away from the speakers creating the sound, your WiFi signal
can be quieted by objects and walls physically between you and your router. Unfortunately,
you cannot turn a knob to make the WiFi louder. To allow a better connection between
your laptop and router, move closer and within clear sight of your router. That will
eliminate any blockage or dampening of the signal caused by objects and hopefully
improve your internet speed.
Connect Your Laptop to your Router with an Ethernet Cable (best choice !) Laptops and other wireless devices generally receive only half of the maximum speed provided by your ISP and sent through your router. If you pay
for 60mbps down/20mbps up service and your laptop only shows a speed of 30mbps, that is
normal. In order to get the maximum speed available, it is best to directly connect your
laptop to the router using an ethernet cable. This will allow you to reach and maintain
top speed, and cut down on latency (the delay between the signal being sent and being
Add A WiFi Repeater/Extender to Your Home Network If you cannot get physically closer to your router or directly connect to it, adding
a WiFi repeater/entender to your home network can help boost your wifi signal to areas
the router cannot reach by itself. These devices are easy to buy and configure, and can
nearly replicate the one half internet speed being given out by the router itself
Other WiFi devices on your network A big contributor to a poor internet connection or low or fluctuating speeds on a
home network is the number of devices accessing your router at the same time. Laptops,
smartphones, game systems, and even smart appliances are all looking for their share
of the Wifi and the bandwidth supplied by the ISP. By limiting the number and kind
of devices that are using your network, you may be able to improve the latency and
speed of your laptop’s connection, especially during a video class session.
Reboot Your Router Although it may seem daunting, a reboot of a your router can solve many internet issues.
Check your router's guide for specific reboot instructions (most are online at the
manufacturer’s website), but in general unplugging and plugging in the router again
will force a reboot. The entire process will take around 5-10 minutes depending on
how fast the router comes back on, and it reconnects with the ISP.
Update Your Drivers Every laptop relies on drivers to correctly identify, connect and use the WiFi signal.
If the drivers are out-of-date, your laptop may not be fully utilizing the WiFi signal
the best way it can. These updates can be done manually through manufacturer’s website
– for Windows usually Intel or Realtek. Macs will generally perform weekly checks,
but you can manually check within System Preferences -> Software Update.
Call Your Provider In some cases, you will not be able to improve your home internet connection on your own.
Your ISP may be performing maintenance on the lines in your area, or may be experiencing
a slowdown or outage. Call your provider to confirm that all systems are functioning
correctly, and that your router is communicating properly with the ISP. If not, a
repair or upgrade in service level may be required...