The causes for this problem could be many and to troubleshoot internet connection problems it is important to have a guide or methodology in diagnosing the issue, so that you can fix internet connection problems in the shortest amount of time, so I decided to put together a step by step guide on how to approach this problem. It is important to know that internet connectivity issues may be software or hardware related.
Step 1: When you troubleshoot internet connection problems, the first thing you should check is if your modem and router are online and check the lights to make sure they are, this step is often overlooked and sometimes all you have to do is power cycle the modem and router and you are back online.
Step 2: If they are offline, just unplug them from the power and wait a few minutes, then plug the modem first and let it get online, once the modem is online then plug the router, it has to done in this order, because it takes the modem longer to get online and if the router gets online first it will assign itself it’s own IP address and you won’t be able to connect to the internet.
Step 3: If your modem and router are online, the next thing to check would be the cables themselves and make sure everything is connected properly and that there is no damage to the cables, I like to do this first, because it doesn’t take much time and it could very well be the problem. Also if you have a laptop make sure the switch for the wireless is on. It is important to check for simple things first, because you can do it quickly and do it just before you start playing with all the settings, it might save you a lot of time.
Step 4: Open up your browser and check if you can get online, if you can’t connect; try connecting a different computer and see if it works. If you can get online with the other computer that means that modem and router are working fine and the problem is with your computer. Also try a different browser like firefox or chrome and see if you can get online that way. If you do, that means that you have a browser problem. Now if you have an internet security suite or antivirus installed, sometimes they turn off your internet connection for whatever reason, so it’s a good idea to check the settings and make sure your internet is not being halted by those programs.
Step 5: Troubleshoot internet connection in Internet Explorer by resetting all settings to default, that usually fixes the problem, just open Internet Explorer go to Tools\Internet Options\Advance and click on reset. Once you do this, all your add-ons will be gone so you’ll have to reinstall them, but your internet should be working now.
Step 6: If this fails, check if you are getting an IP address, just go to Start Menu and on the search bar type cmd, that will bring the command line and type ipconfig/all and see if you’re getting an IP address, if you do then do a loopback ping test to see if your network card is working properly on the command line type ping localhost If this checks out ok, next thing you could do is to check your DNS service, in the command line type ping 22.214.171.124 this is a well known DNS server on the web. If you get a reply back, that means your problem may be that your DNS service is down.
Step 7: If you have a problem with DNS, make sure your network card is set up to DHCP so that it can connect to the proper DNS servers, you can access this feature on control panel\network connections and double click on the network adapter icon, then click on properties and highlight where it says Internet protocol (TCP/IP) and hit properties and make sure the Obtain an IP address automatically is selected.
Step 8: Try uninstalling the network card driver and reinstall an updated version if possible, also you can try uninstalling your browser and reinstalling it, that could also fix your problem.
Tip for windows XP: One last thing you could do to troubleshoot internet connection problems is to use a free software called Winsockxpfix, this tool works only on Windows XP, this is something you could do first if you like, because it doesn’t take long to run and I had great success with it in the past.