Here’s your problem: “My broadband has stopped working and I can’t get it going again. What can I do”? Believe it or not, but that’s not an uncommon problem and there are a few tips I can give you to solve this annoying problem!
But, troubleshooting should really be called “trouble prevention,” because there are a number of steps you should take now before disaster strikes, which will make the whole process a whole lot more painless. So, first of all, let’s list some prevention methods.
Take a pen and a pad of paper and take a tour of your installation, making notes of the following:
1. Router: What lights on the front are on when the broadband is working? Which blink and which are steady?
2. Connections: Which cables go from where to where? (For example, computer, router, telephone or satellite connection, etc. (Draw a diagram or two if you need to).
3. Go into your router settings (see Appendix below) and write down all the settings under the various headings.
4. Open up your network connections on your computer (see Appendix below) and make a note of the modem/adapter settings and the TCP/IP settings. (You don’t need to know what they mean, just make a note of what they are).
5. Go into your browser and check the connection settings there (see Appendix below).
Having done all of that, you are now in a much better position to check out what is happening when you have problems without making disastrous changes to your setup, which could make matters worse and not better.
So, now disaster has struck. Everything is at a standstill. What do you do?
Problem Solving – Hardware
Let’s start with eliminating potential problem causes one by one.
1. Is it just a power cut? Are other electrical appliances working?
2. Is it a faulty telephone connection if you have ADSL broadband? Pick up your telephone. Can you hear a signal? If not, trace all of the connections and see if anything has become loose or disconnected. If this is the case, once the telephone is working again, your broadband will too. (Although, you may have to reboot in some cases).
3. Are the same lights on or off on your router as before? If not, which ones are different? They could give you a clue as to the source of the problem.
4. Are the connections in to the computer secure? Take them out one by one and put them back in again. Does this solve the problem?
Problem Solving – Software
Let’s move on to possible settings and software problems.
1. Are all of your broadband connections down? (For example, is it both your e-mail and the Internet?) If it’s only one, suspect the settings on the non-functioning one. It’s unlikely to be much else.
2. Go to your router and run through all the settings you have previously noted down and check and/or rectify any that have been changed.
3. Go to the modem/adapter settings and check these out (especially the channel selected and any passwords. You should have them written down from when you got the equipment).
4. Now, let’s move on to the TCP/IP settings. Have there been any changes. Can you rectify?
5. Next, check the Internet connection settings in your browser.
6. If still no solutions are forthcoming, go to the little Network Connection icon in your system tray (bottom right of screen) and right click. You should see an option to “Repair.” Select that and let Windows try to solve the problem for you.
If you have found settings that have changed and you have been able to change them back, make sure you save everything before exiting. Then reboot your computer before trying again.
If all this fails, it’s time to call your broadband services supplier.
You may find that you are greeted with a recording telling you that there is a breakdown of services in your area. At this point, you are permitted to throw the computer through the window or you may get through to your friendly helpful technician who will talk you through the various checks on their side (don’t be surprised if he goes through many of the steps you have already taken above, but doesn’t it sound impressive when you say, “Yes, I’ve already done that”?!)
Now, here are some more detailed explanations of how to do some of the things listed above.
Your instruction book should give you detailed information about how to access the settings of your router. Usually you have to enter an address in your Web browser, enter a username and password (often admin and admin or admin and 1234 by default, but do change this as soon as possible).
You will then see something like this (varies according to manufacturer):
So, as we suggested, take down all the settings and keep them safe somewhere.
You access your settings via Control Panel / Network settings.
If you right click on the icon, you will see a little box in which you can select Properties (see picture).
This will lead you to a page like this:
Take the top part first: “Connect using” and click on Configure.
Again, what you see will vary from one supplier to another, but basically you should work your way through all the tabs and note down the various settings.
Exit this and then move down to the bottom box and highlight the TCP/IP line (often the last row). Click Properties, which will then bring you to a box like this:
Make a note of the numbers on this page (or maybe the box “Obtain an IP address automatically” is checked. If so, make note of that too).
Fire up your browser, click on Tools and then Internet Options, which will lead you to this screen:
Select the Connection tab and then write down all the settings here too.
There you go! Hopefully now you are out of the broadband blues and back on the right track!
~ David Woodford