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Troubleshooting your internet: Are you sure it's plugged in?

If you still call the internet the “world wide web,” pay attention, because this is most likely for you.

Long gone are the days where dial-up rendered your landline useless and pierced your ear drums with the most obnoxious noise known to man.

Sit still, close your eyes and listen closely, you can still hear its haunting shriek.

Our day to day lives have become dependent on the internet, taking it almost everywhere we go.

Over the last couple decades, the internet has changed in many ways and can be accessed virtually anywhere in the world. Former President Barack Obama, in 2015 said, “Today, high speed broadband is not a luxury, it’s a necessity.” In fact, the UN has created a non-binding resolution that has deemed the internet as a basic human right.

It’s nice to know that we live in a world where our urge to watch cat videos is right on up there with our right to food and clean water.

But what happens when you boot up Google Chrome expecting to update your Facebook profile, and you are instead met with a cute little dinosaur saying “Oops! No internet connection.”  

Take a deep breath, there are two things you could do at this point. You can either A) call your internet service provider or B) keep reading and figure out how to do this yourself.

As fun as it is to waste an entire day on hold, hoping that your ISP will actually fix your problem, it is suggested that you try the latter option first.

But before we begin troubleshooting, look at your router… and make sure it’s plugged in. If you don’t see little LED’s flashing, it’s off, and it’s amazing how you figured out how to access this article. If it is plugged in and still not working, here are a few simple tips to help troubleshoot.

Ping It

If you can’t connect to a website, figure out if the problem is on your end or theirs. One of the first things you should do is ping a website to see if there is a connection. To do this open your Start menu > Command prompt > type in “ping google.com” > hit enter.  This will send “packets” or signals from your computer to a website’s server and if the packets are received, there is a connection. However, if it shows that the packets are lost, this indicates a network problem. Try to do this with multiple websites and if none of the packets are received, the problem is on your end.

Check Your Router

It’s pretty easy to tell if your internet is experiencing problems based on the colors of the lights on your router or modem. If you see a row of flashing green lights, everything should be good to go. However, red or orange lights indicate that there is some kind of problem.

Simply unplugging your router and plugging it back in again will most likely fix the problem. Also, hitting the small reset button on most routers will restore it back to its original settings can do the trick as well. Checking your router or modem will indicate whether the problem is with your computer or your internet service provider.

Install New Updates

A common problem many people have with their internet connectivity is outdated firmware in their router. Fortunately, most vendors give their customers access to downloadable updates that help restore performance and even add new features. Make sure not to download these updates from third-party websites, otherwise you might end up worse off than you were before.

Call Your ISP

If none of the aforementioned tips resolved your problems, it’s time to call the big guys: your internet service provider. At this point, the problem is most likely on their end and they’ll have to come out and fix the problem themselves. All you can do is sit back and hope that the process is as painless as possible. Regardless, soon you’ll be back pinning, tweeting and googling, and balance will be restored.

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