I know that these steps may seem elementary but eventhe pros make these mistakes from time to time. Makesure that your router, modem, and laptop are pluggedin and appear to be working before going through thislist. You may spend hours trying to find the problemwhen you’ve overlooked the fact that your ethernetcable is not plugged into the router or port.
Configuration settings can be both the easiest andmost difficult route to solving your networking woes. From something as simple as a static IP left in the settingsmenu, to discovering a DNS hi-jacking, it covers awide range of possibilities.
A. IP Addressing ProblemsIP address conflicts and misconfigurations are the mostcommon source of network connectivity problems.Inexperienced users and network gremlins have a nastyhabit of going in and changing settings that can havea strong impact on how networks operate and perform.
IPv6 is a new IP addressing scheme designed to allowfor more computers on large networks. Unfortunately,IPv6 has yet to be widely implemented and has majorcompatibility problems. I generally start troubleshootingby disabling IPv6 because it is a simple, two secondfix that solves the problem around 30-40% of the timein my experience. To disable IPv6, go to Control Panel,Network and Sharing Center, Change Adapter Settings,Right Click the Connection You’re Using, Properties,Uncheck IPv6, OK.Try to connect again and see if that works.
2. Static IP Address:
Another common problem with network connectivityis almost as simple as disabling IPv6. Some people (orprograms) will setup a static IP address which forces thenetwork to give your computer a certain address whenthe router refuses to (either because of network policyor because another system is using that address). Goto: Control Panel, Network and Sharing Center, ChangeAdapter Settings, Right Click the Connection You’re Using,Properties, IP Version 4, Properties, Automaticallyobtain an IP address, Automatically obtain DNS serveraddresses, OK, OK.Try to connect again and see if that works.
3. Winsock fix:
Sometimes settings behind the scenes are changed andneed to be reset. The winsock fix provides this capability.Go to Start Menu, Run, Type “cmd”, OK, type “netshwinsock reset catalog”, Enter.Try to connect again and see if that works.
4. Make Sure That Your Adapters are enabled:
Sometimes adapters will become disabled for no apparent reason. It just happens, go to Control Panel, Network and Sharing Center, Change Adapter Settings, Right Click Your Connection, Enable. If the menu says “Disable”, your adapter is enabled and requires no further action for this step.
5. Disable Your Firewall:
Your firewall may have something to do with the reason that your computer cannot connect to your network. Unfortunately, this guide would have to cover every single firewall in order to be effective. Contact your security suite’s manufacturer to receive instructions on how to configure your security software to allow you to connect to your network.
DHCP allows your router to assign IP addresses automatically. Go into your router’s settings and make sure that this feature is ON.
B. Wireless Troubleshooting
If you’re trying to connect with a wireless network, there are a few other steps that you can try in addition to the ones above (yes, go through those FIRST) to try to connect again.
1. Distance From the Router:
A very common problem with wireless networking is that, people tend to think that just because they have one bar of service, they can connect to the router. This is not always the case. Simply try moving closer to the routerand see if you can connect.
2. Power Savings:
Another common problem with wireless networking is with power savings features on some WLAN adapters. Disabling these power savings by changing your power management policy in Windows is another basic step to take. Go to Control Panel, Power Settings, HighPerformance Power Profile, Save.
Make sure that your router is sitting/mounted somewhere high away from all sources of EMI (Electromagnetic Interference). Sources of EMI include (but are not limited to): Microwaves, Other computers, Other routers, Cell phones, Speakers, Monitors, Headphones, Little Sisters. Also, include it in a central location in your house where you have to transmit through as few walls and obstacles as possible.
4. Router Heat:
Routers can become quite warm and ventilation is always a concern. This affects wired performance, but absolutely murders wireless performance. Feel the bottom of your router with your hand. It is permissible for it to be slightly warmer than room temperature, but if it’s toasty or on fire you may want to consider better ventilation or positioning. Carpet, heater vents, etc are all sources of heat that should be kept far away from your router.
Bad cables are very hard to diagnose for the lay user. The best solution is just to go out and buy a brand new cable. If that doesn’t work, it’s ruled out.
B. Bad Ports
Ports may go bad on devices and are very hard to diagnose. Best way to diagnose this is to see if activity lights on the port itself come on when another device or port is used.
A lot of times the problem doesn’t even begin with YOUR network. High latencies and overall crappy service can sometimes be the cause of your problems. If you can get an IP address from your network, but can’t get out to the internet and have followed all of these steps, it’s time to harass your ISP. I hope this helps.