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Lost Connection

Posted By On May 19, 2006 @ 3:50 PM In System Tune-Up Help | No Comments

Q:
I seem to lose my Internet connection quite often. What could be causing this?

A:
There are different reasons why an Internet connection fails and it also depends on the Internet connection type you have. If you have a dial-up connection, the cause could be extra noise running through the phone line, you let your computer sit in idle mode too long or maybe you have some type of call waiting. All of those things will hinder a dial-up connection. Read here for more on a lost dial-up connection.

Many of you may have a cable modem, so we’ll move on to that type right now. Sometimes a cable modem can lose a connection simply because it gets tired. If you leave your computer on for several days at a time, your modem may start to build up, causing it to stop at random times. If this happens every so often, the best possible thing to do is unplug your modem, wait about 30 seconds and then just plug it back in. You may not like having to resort to that, but sometimes a good “unplug and replug” is all it needs.

Now, if your modem seems to be crashing every day, it’s possible that the modem is going bad and it’s best just to replace it. There could be other factors going into the modem problem, such as a software issue. You don’t really want to mess around with those types of things.

The problem could also be your firewall. If you have more than one computer in your home set up on a home network and yours is the only one having trouble connecting to the Internet, it may not be a problem with the modem; it just might be your firewall. Firewalls do a good job of blocking Internet connections, depending on the settings you have on it. You could have a setting that is stopping the connection or there could be a bug within the firewall software.

To check on this, open up your firewall to the configuration screen (this will be different for each firewall program) and look through the list to see what programs are being blocked from connecting to the Internet. If you don’t really catch anything, try turning off the firewall or even uninstalling it. After you do that, reboot your computer and see if the connection problem is still there. If it’s not, you may want to consider getting a new firewall. (If you have a router between your computer and the cable modem, your router might already have a firewall built in anyway).

You can uninstall the firewall program by going to Start, Control Panel, Add/Remove Programs. Once you find it, highlight it and click Remove to take it off your system. Note: Your firewall may have come with your antivirus software, so make sure you select only to have the firewall removed and not the whole package).

Lastly, if none of the above guidelines solves your problem, you may need to contact your Internet provider and see if they can do anything else to help you. The problem could lie in your neighborhood cabling and if that’s the case, your neighbors could be affected too.

~ Erin


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