How to tell if your Internet was shut off

Updated at 17 Jun 2022

It can be highly frustrating to have your internet stop working. We'll help you identify the problem quickly and get you back online, regardless of whether you have Wi-Fi access but no internet or are experiencing problems with your wired Ethernet connection.

Drawing with a tired hamster

We recommend you stop and restart your modem or router; instructions will be provided later. This page will help you determine if you have an internet signal or Wi-Fi issue.

Once you know the problem, you can continue to the Wi-Fi troubleshooting Section. For more difficult situations, you can use the advanced troubleshooting section.

Are you having recurring internet issues? You could benefit from a different provider or package to improve the quality of your service. Use the zip code search to see what is available in your area.

Here is another our interesting article Why is my download speed so slow.

Are you experiencing a problem with your Wi-Fi or Internet signal?

These key steps will help you identify the cause of your internet signal problem. Internet signal issues can have different solutions than Wi-Fi problems. Therefore, it is essential to determine which problem you are dealing with to get online again as soon as possible.

Make sure you have the right lights on your equipment

Nearly all routers and modems come with LED status lights. A combo unit or gateway can be an all-in-one modem/router. The LED status lights on any equipment can be handy for diagnosing network issues quickly.

The internet signal light

You can identify the internet connection light by looking at the modem. It is usually marked WAN, Internet, or with a globe icon. If the light is solid (typically green or white), you will know it is on.

If the light turns red or is not on, your modem is having trouble connecting to the Internet. Please skip to the internet signal troubleshooting section if this is the case.

The Wi-Fi light

If you have a combo modem/router unit, the Wi-Fi light(s), if any, will be located on your router. Wi-Fi lights have different labels, but they will usually read "2.4G", "5G," or "Wireless" and blink.

Therefore, your router may not be broadcasting a signal if the red or off Wi-Fi light(s) is not blinking. To troubleshoot your router, skip to the Wi-Fi troubleshooting section.

If the equipment lights are not revealing your internet problem, please continue reading.

Pro tip:

Restarting your router and modem can quickly fix many internet problems. This is a quick fix and well worth the effort.

For modem or router restart, unplug the power cable for 10 seconds, then plug it back in. It will take some time for the equipment to restart.

To test your connection, you can use an Ethernet cable

You can connect your computer directly to your router using an Ethernet cable if you are connected to Wi-Fi. This is the best way to distinguish signal problems from Wi-Fi issues.

The Ethernet cable should be connected to your computer's port. The other end of the Ethernet cable should be connected to one of the LAN ports in your router (these are usually yellow).

The router's security features are bypassed if the computer is connected directly to the modem's single port. To remain online protected, you must connect to a router/modem/router combination unit.

Broken cable connection icon

If you get the Internet back after connecting to a wired Ethernet, you may have a Wi-Fi problem. Please refer to the Wi-Fi troubleshooting section.

The problem may be more severe than the Wi-Fi issue, but your device might be the culprit. You might try accessing the Internet on another device. To resolve the problem, visit our internet signal troubleshooting Section.

For more information, visit the Internet.

You might not be the only one experiencing an internet outage. Information about internet outages can be found on the website Up Detector. Also, you can contact your internet service provider (ISP) to inquire.

You might also experience problems accessing the site or service you are trying to access. Try different websites. If they load correctly, it is possible that the original website you visited was not accessible to all visitors. (You can confirm this by entering the URL at downforeveryoneorjustme.com.)

Pro tip: You may be able to use your phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot to connect to the Internet if there is no internet access in your area. You can also search for a public Wi-Fi hotspot outside.

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Wi-Fi is available without internet access

There may be an issue with your internet signal if you are connected to your Wi-Fi but don't have internet access. If you cannot connect to the Internet via a wired connection, your signal is likely not strong enough. These are the first steps.

No internet connection icon

Restart your router, modem, or device

If you experience an issue with your internet signal, the first thing to do is to restart your router and modem. This is a crucial step that you should not skip! This is what tech support almost always asks you to do first. It often solves the problem.

For equipment to be restarted, unplug it for 60 seconds, then plug it back in. It will take some time for the equipment to restart. It is also a good idea to restart the device.

Make sure you have checked your wires and cables

Wires and cables often become loose or damaged from repeated tension stress. Your modem's internet connection is made by either a coaxial cable, an Ethernet cable, or a telephone cable. If you have any extra cables, swapping them all is the best way to troubleshoot.

If you don't want to, connect the cables to your modem and wall outlet. When fully inserted into a socket, Ethernet and phone cables will click. Coaxial cables should not be tightened.

Also, check for damage. Because the copper wires within phone and Ethernet cables are thin, they are more susceptible to damage.

Pro tip: Ethernet cables come in different types. So, you must choose a suitable Ethernet cable for your job.

When is it best to contact your provider?

Before you contact your provider, it's a good idea for you to do some basic troubleshooting. Tech support will ask you to restart your modem and check the wires. It is worth contacting your provider if you cannot solve the problem.

If there is no outage at your ISP, they can perform a diagnostic of your modem to verify that it is communicating with the Network. For example, you might find a low signal, device registration issues, or obsolete equipment, even if it's rented from an ISP. Also, it is possible that you forgot to pay your internet bill.

Many large ISPs offer online or chat support through their apps and websites.

If these solutions don't work, continue to the advanced troubleshooting section.

Wi-Fi troubleshooting

You have discovered the problem with your Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi can be tricky. These are radio waves that are broadcast by your router. Many things can interfere with these waves. However, these are the most common solutions.

No wi-fi icon

Restart your router

This solution works so often that it is worth trying. It's the same process as restarting a modem. First, unplug the router/gateway, wait for 60 seconds, then plug it back in. Rebooting can take several minutes.

Switch Wi-Fi bands (2.4GHz and 5GHz)

Most likely, your router transmits Wi-Fi in two frequency bands: 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz. Switch from one frequency band to the other. This will prevent temporary interference and reset the connection between your router and device.

The 5 GHz network should have a label of "5G" after the network name, such as "Jane's Wi-Fi [5G]"). Your network name is often used to label the 2.4GHz band (e.g., Without a frequency label, "Jane's Wi-Fi" is commonly used.

Each frequency band has strengths and weaknesses. For example, 5 GHz Wi-Fi is faster but doesn't travel nearly as far. While 2.4GHz Wi-Fi is not so rapid than 5GHz, it travels further but is less reliable and susceptible to interference. If you are far from your router, you can try the 2.4GHz. However, the 5GHz is faster and more reliable.

Test your Wi-Fi on different devices

Also, you can use your tablet or phone to check if your laptop is connected over Wi-Fi. If the connection works on both devices, the internet Wi-Fi works fine.

You might try a different Ethernet cable

You can try swapping out an Ethernet cable with your router or modem to see if the difference is there. Unfortunately, cables are not meant to last forever. Your current Ethernet cable may need to be replaced.

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Increase the position of your router and/or device

The key factors for router placement are distance, elevation, and obstructions. When choosing a location for your router, ensure it is centrally located and high enough to be easily accessible from your devices. Also, avoid placing your router in close proximity to any electronic devices (especially microwaves) and any other disruptive surfaces.

The distance Wi-Fi radio waves travel less effective. Therefore, your device should be within the router's broadcast range. Your device's Wi-Fi signal meter allows you to determine the strength of your current Wi-Fi signal.

Also, it is vital to position the router as high up as possible. This is because the signal broadcast from the router is not a straight line to your device. Instead, the signal beams like light from a bulb and creates a Wi-Fi dome. As a result, higher routers will provide better coverage and a more comprehensive range of broadcasts.

Specific devices and obstructions can hamper Wi-Fi signals. For example, Wi-Fi can easily pass through wood and drywall, but tile and concrete, as well as water, are all known to cause interference with Wi-Fi signals. Wi-Fi killers include baby monitors and cordless phones when they're in use.

Advanced troubleshooting

You can do many other things if none of these quick fixes work. Remember that there may be more to your problem than one. We recommend starting with the steps above as these are the most common solutions to internet problems.

Here are some rarer internet problems. These issues can be challenging to diagnose, so you should try them all until you find the right one.

Use the Internet Troubleshooter (for Windows)

Run the Windows built-in troubleshooter program if you are using Windows. Windows 10 users can go to Start > Settings > Updates & Security > Troubleshoot and then choose the troubleshooter Internet Connections.

Apple Diagnostics and Apple Hardware Test (for macOS users)

Most Mac computers have a built-in diagnostic tool that scans your computer for problems like Wi-Fi issues. Apple Diagnostics is available for models older than 2013 and Apple Hardware Test for models older than 2012 with at least OS X 10.8.4.

Apple Diagnostics can be run by disconnecting any Ethernet cables or external drives. Then hit restart and hold down the D key as the computer reboots. Choose a language, and the diagnostic will launch automatically.

The Apple Hardware Test can be launched in the same way. You should press the Return button or the right-arrow button as soon as the screen for the Apple Hardware Test appears. This will allow your computer to restart and prompt you to choose a language.

Clear your DNS cache

Your browser's DNS cache is a shortcut to load previously visited web pages. However, if you have uninvited URLs or a glitch in your cache, it can cause technical problems.

Here are some ways to clear your cache from different devices.

Windows

You can go to the Command Prompt and do one of these:

Option 1 : Enter "cmd", into the search bar

Option 2. Search the shortcut for Command Prompt in the Windows System folder.

Option 3. Type "cmd" into the Run window.

To flush the cache, enter "ipconfig/flushdns" once you are in the Command Prompt.

Mac

Start the Terminal app. It can be found in these ways:

Option 1. Open Terminal under the Utility folder.

Option 2. Find "Terminal" using the Spotlight feature.

Enter the following command in the Terminal app to flush your cache. Depending on the Mac OS (Operating System), the command you type may be slightly different.

Yosemite after - Sudo Killall -HUP MDNSReponder

Yosemite 10.10-10.10.3 - sudo discoveryutil mdnsflushcache

Mavericks Mountain Lion, Lion - sudo Killall -HUP MDNSResponder

Snow Leopard - sudo dscacheutil -flushcache

The administrator password will be required for your account. In addition, your cache will be flushed, hopefully, any glitches.

Smartphones

There are two simple ways to clear your DNS cache on an iPhone or Apple device:

Option 1. Turn on and then turn off Airplane Mode.

Option 2. Restart your device.

Here's how to clear your DNS cache on Android devices:

Step 1. Enter "chrome://net-internals/#dns" into the URL bar in Chrome.

Step 2. Tap on the DNS menu.

Step 3. Clear Host Cacher.

Once you have cleared your cache, check your connection to confirm it is back online.

Are you getting the connection speed that you require?

Drawn snail on the modem

To test your internet speed, you can always use this speed test.

Scan for malware and viruses

Run a scan to check if your computer is infected with malware or viruses. Malicious programs may eat up your bandwidth and block your internet connection.

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Your antivirus software should be turned off

It is a good idea to keep your antivirus software active on your computer. Misconfigured antivirus protections can sometimes cause problems with your internet connection. Turn off your firewall or antivirus software to test if your internet connection is back.

Use a different Wi-Fi channel

This is particularly important for people living in apartments or other situations with multiple routers. The routers will automatically choose a frequency channel to broadcast your Wi-Fi. These channels may become overcrowded if there are many routers and devices nearby.

A Wi-Fi channel analyzer is required to determine the best channel for your home. You can use many Android apps that are free (iOS does not allow it, unfortunately).

The channel analyzer will show you which channels are most popular. Change the channel settings of your router once you have found a relatively open channel.

Check out what's happening on your Wi-Fi Network

Your Wi-Fi network may have a device hogging bandwidth or causing connectivity issues. For example, your router may limit the number of devices that can be connected simultaneously, or it might be blocking devices from joining the Network.

Log in to your router's interface and search for a list with a term such as "DHCP clients," "connected devices," or "attached device." The list will usually include the names of the devices that are being used (examples: "Peter's iPhone," "Rebecca's Macbook," or even "Computer 1".

This will allow you to identify who is using Wi-Fi and then ask your family members if they are doing anything that could be limiting internet speed.

Many routers allow you to kick devices off Wi-Fi. For example, you can reset the Wi-Fi password to prevent them from logging back in.

You should ensure that you have an active IP address

Your computer may be having difficulty configuring an IP address. To get online, your computer must have a unique IP address.

However, you will not be able to access the Internet if multiple devices have the same IP address or if your computer has been unable to assign one. Although it's not an issue that is very common, but it does happen.

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For public Wi-Fi force opens the Network's login page

Free Internet is often available at hotels, airports, or cafes. Usually, you just need to open your browser and log on to the Wi-Fi network via a login screen. What if the login page doesn't load?

These codes can be used to force the login page to open by entering one of these codes in your browser's address field:

  • 127.1.1.1
  • 1.1.1.1
  • 192.168.1.1
  • http://localhost

Get fiber internet

Fiber internet offers the most reliable and fastest Internet. We recommend that you get a fiber internet package if you can. It will significantly reduce the chances of service outages and annoying slowdowns that can be more common with other internet connections.

Fiber connections offer speeds up to 100 Mbps and 1,000 Mbps, respectively. This gives you enough bandwidth to do a variety of tasks and also supports other Wi-Fi users. Prices start at $35 per month and go up to $100 per month.

Unfortunately, fiber is not available everywhere. It is worth considering switching providers or upgrading your internet connection if you experience frequent problems.

Enter your zip code to see which internet options are available in your area. If you are experiencing frequent technical problems, it may be worth switching internet providers.

Upgrading your equipment

Suppose your equipment is older than the current wireless standards, such as 802.11ac (Wi-Fi 5) and 802.11ax (6 (Wi-Fi 6), you may have connection problems. You will also need to ensure your modem supports DOCSIS 3.0 protocol (Wi-Fi 5) or 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) for cable internet.

Some issues may arise with older routers, computers, or Wi-Fi devices that don't conform to current wireless standards. You may need to buy a new router in this case. You may also need a wireless adapter, which allows you to connect to Wi-Fi networks.

Here are some ways to test the wireless standard on your computer.

Mac

Step 1 : Hold down Option and click on the Apple menu at the top left of your screen to select System Information.

Step 2 Scroll down and click Network in the drop-down menu. Next, look for the display for Supported Phy Modes. This will show you the wireless standard for which your computer is equipped.

Windows

Step 1. Right-click the Start menu button, then click on the Command for Device Manager. You can also type "Device Manager" in the Start menu search bar. Either way, it works.

Step 2 After logging into Device Manager, click the menu "Network adapters" and search for your wireless adapter's listing and the wireless standard it is set to.

Reset your equipment back to factory settings

If you have tried everything, it may be time for your router/gateway to return to factory settings. This is a big step as it will reset your router/gateway to how it arrived in the box.

Resetting your router will erase all your passwords and create a default password (which you'll need to change for security purposes). In addition, it will erase all memory associated with custom features and guest networks you have created through the router. Additionally, it will activate all devices signed on to the Network.

It will take some time to get everything up and run again. This is why it is essential that you only do this if there are no other options.

Here's how it works. First, use a paperclip or safety pin to push the button at the router's back. You will need to hold it down for a while until the status lights turn off. Then, you can reset.

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Reset the network settings of your computer. The nuclear option

If all else fails, it is time to reset your computer's Network completely. This resets everything to the default settings. This is not the best option, but it may be the solution you are looking for to get rid of all the Wi-Fi bugs.

This is unlike turning off your computer and then turning it on again. Resetting your router will restore it to its factory settings. However, restoring your Network completely wipes out all of your Wi-Fi settings and brings it back to how it was before you set it up.

Your computer will lose all your network settings, including passwords and VPN settings. This should be done only in an emergency. Before you do the reset, make sure to save all your passwords and any other information.

OK, then. Ready? Let's get started.

How to reset Wi-Fi networks on Mac

Step 1. Click Apple menu > System Preferences > Network.

Step 2. Select Wi-Fi from the drop-down menu to the left

Step 3: To remove it, hit the minus (+) button. Next, click the plus button (+), and select Wi-Fi from the Interface options.

Step 4 - Click Apply to close the Network Settings.

How to reset Wi-Fi networks on Windows

Step 1: Click on Windows Settings > Network and Internet > Status.

Step 2 Click the Network Reset button.

Step 3 Click Reset to confirm.

Step 4 - Click Yes to confirm again. Again, this is only for Windows 10. Microsoft's Support Page provides information about previous Windows operating system versions.

Step 5 Turn on your computer and follow the prompts to set up your home network. Good luck!

Check out this complete list of solutions if your Internet stops working

You can skip the troubleshooting step and just get to work. This is a list of all the internet solutions we have.

Restart your equipment

Restart your router, modem, or gateway by unplugging the power cable. Please wait 60 seconds before you plug it back in. The reboot will take several minutes. You can also restart your device.

Use an Ethernet cable to connect

Your Wi-Fi network will be unaffected if you connect via Ethernet. You can connect via Ethernet if you are unable to get online.

This will get you back online immediately. To fix the problem, you can refer to our Wi-Fi troubleshooting section.

For more information, visit the Internet

Your area may have internet problems. To see if other people are experiencing issues with their internet connection, you can visit downdetector.com. In addition, many ISPs offer outage alerts through their apps and websites. You could also contact your ISP to determine if there is an outage.

Use a different device

Try to connect with a different device. For example, your router might not be able to connect to your device.

Make sure you have checked your cables and wires

Disconnect icon

You might have damaged or lost cables. For example, coaxial cables must be securely fastened and phone and Ethernet cables fully inserted into sockets. You should also look for signs of damage, such as kinks or complex twisting.

If you have any extra cables, you could try swapping them all. You may have seen no apparent damage to the copper lines or connectors.

Use the internet troubleshooter to diagnose your computer

Your computer's operating system may be malfunctioning. Both Mac and Windows computers come with troubleshooters to help you solve the problem.

Reposition your router/gateway

The location of your router can have a significant impact on Wi-Fi coverage in your home. Remember to consider elevation, distance, and obstructions when choosing a site.

To provide more excellent range, elevate your router. To cover your entire home, choose a central spot. Be aware of obstacles like concrete, metal, and concrete blocking Wi-Fi signals.

You could also move your device closer to the router to avoid obstructions.

All things should be updated

To update your OS, firmware, and network software, you will need access to the Internet. You need internet access to update your OS, system firmware, and network software. You can use your phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot or connect to a friend's or family member's Internet connection.

It is crucial to ensure that your OS and apps are up-to-date. It would help if you were attentive to OS updates, firmware (especially network and wireless adapters), and antivirus software updates.

Make sure your equipment is not obsolete

Even if you rent equipment from an ISP, your modem, router, or gateway may be outdated. Although your provider will notify you if you rent obsolete equipment, it is easy to forget this warning.

For cable internet, ensure your modem supports DOCSIS 3.0 or higher. In addition, your router and device must support Wi-Fi 5 wireless standards or higher.

The ISP usually updates the firmware of your equipment automatically.

Verify the signal strength of your modem

To function correctly, the signal between your ISP and your modem must be at least a certain level of strength. A low signal from the modem can easily cause a slow or even slow internet connection.

Previously, only a specialist with a high-end meter could determine your signal strength. But now many routers, and some ISP apps, can give you a reading.

Your ISP can also run a diagnostic of your modem. A technician will be needed to repair your modem if there is low signal strength.

Get in touch with your ISP

An ISP can diagnose your connection issues by running diagnostics on your equipment. All problems can be solved by customer service via chat or phone.

It is worth trying. You can make an appointment with a technician if your issue is not resolved over the phone.

Your antivirus software should be turned off

Although this is not something we recommend, it can be done. If you turn off your antivirus software, your system is more susceptible to malware and cyber-attacks.

Your antivirus software is still a critical link between your computer and the Internet. After identifying the probable causes, it is worth investigating the possibility of an issue.

If your antivirus software is still active, you can turn it on or contact the technical support team.

Reset your equipment back to factory settings

Resetting your router, gateway or modem will restore all factory default settings. It is important to note that all passwords and networks will be lost. Reset your network name and password, and connect all devices.

The login credentials you use to access your equipment's settings can switch back to the default username/password (usually printed on the sticker attached to your equipment). This is different than your Wi-Fi password and name.

Before attempting this step, make sure you call the manufacturer of your equipment or your ISP (for rented equipment). Otherwise, you could be locked out completely.

You should ensure that you have an active IP address

Your computer may be having difficulty configuring an IP address. Your computer must have a unique IP address to get on the Internet.

However, you will not be able to access the Internet if multiple devices have the same IP address or if your computer has been unable to assign one. Although it's not an issue that is very common, it does happen.

Please refer to our instructions for more information on verifying an IP address on Windows or Mac.

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Reset the network settings on your computer

Resetting your network settings works the same way as resetting equipment. Resetting your computer's network settings to factory defaults will cause them to return to the original state. You'll have to enter your network information again.



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