Troubleshooting Your Home Internet

Before calling your Internet Service Provider, try troubleshooting your home Internet connection.

If You Have Internet Slowness, Freezing or Other Quality Issues

  • Unplug the power cord to your router — and the modem too, if it's a separate device. Wait two minutes. Then reconnect the power.
  • Reduce the number of smart devices, online gaming and video streaming on your network. Extra network traffic will cause slowness.
  • If you are near your router, consider plugging your laptop into the router with a Cat 5 Ethernet cable. This direct connection will provide the highest speed based on your router and your Internet Service Provider limits.
    • Search online for your laptop model to confirm that the laptop has an Ethernet port, so the laptop can plug directly into the router. (For example, newer Mac laptops lack Ethernet.)
    • If your laptop lacks an Ethernet port, you would need an Ethernet adapter for your laptop to make the direct connection to your router.
    • Cat 5 cables and Ethernet adapters are available at retailers such as Amazon, Best Buy, Newegg or Staples.
  • If your Internet Service Provider issued you network equipment that is more than three years old, reach out to your provider to inquire about updated equipment.
  • Do you own an older router — that is, one that did not come from your Internet Service Provider? Consider upgrading to a newer, more powerful one, especially if you have multiple devices competing for bandwidth. Be aware that older devices may not be able to use the newer and faster Wi-Fi. If you have older devices, you may want a dual-band router — available from retailers such as Amazon, Best Buy, Newegg or Staples. If you need help identifying the right router, inquire with your Internet Service Provider.
  • If you are vying with others for bandwidth on your home network, your data package may no longer meet your needs. Your Internet Service Provider often holds the key to your household bandwidth. Even though a newer router can give you greater speed, this is useless if your provider has allocated only 20 Mbps to you. Contact your provider to explore a data package with more bandwidth.

Still Slow or Low-quality Internet Connection?

  • If you are using Microsoft Teams for an online class session or a meeting and having trouble, switch to your phone.

    To join the online class session and meetings via phone call:

    Option 1: Access Email from Your Instructor for an Online Class Session
    1. If your instructor sent you an email message with details about the online class session, locate the email message.
    2. Note the call-in number and Conference ID in the email message.
    3. From your phone, dial the call-in number then enter the Conference ID when prompted.
    Option 2: Access Your Calendar for an Online Meeting
    1. If you received the online session as a calendar invitation, go to your calendar in Outlook on the Web Calendar, Microsoft Outlook calendar or Microsoft Teams calendar.
    2. Double-click to fully open the specific calendar event item for your online class session/meeting. If you single-click, a pop-up preview of the event may appear, and the preview may not show you what you need.
    3. From the event item in your calendar, note the call-in number and Conference ID.

      Conference ID and call-in number
    4. From your phone, dial the call-in number then enter the Conference ID when prompted.
  • If you're a student using Microsoft Teams for remote learning, contact your instructor to see if the video session will be recorded and available later as a link on your D2L course site.
  • In Microsoft Teams, you can switch off the incoming video feeds and listen to just the audio.

If You Have No Internet Connection

  • Are other devices connected to the Internet working? If the problem only happens on one device, you can safely assume the problem is your laptop.
  • Check if Wi-Fi is enabled on your laptop.
  • Make sure you are connected to the correct Wi-Fi network, and you have the password.

If you've tried everything and are still experiencing Internet trouble, it's time to call your Internet Service Provider for assistance.

For advanced network troubleshooting tips, see 12 Tips to Troubleshoot Your Internet Connection from PC Magazine.