For one reason or another you may find that you’re not able to connect to the internet or even the network at home or work. For internet access to be possible in the first place there are several elements that are involved. Some of these include the user's understanding of the PCs operation, passwords, network devices, IP configuration and the Internet Service Provider. A problem at any one of these points can result in internet service being inaccessible.
To put it simple terms, internet connection issues may occur for a number of reasons.
1. Your Wireless antenna is turned off.
2. Your LAN/CAT5 cable may not be inserted properly into the appropriate port.
3. Your LAN/CAT5 cable may be damaged.
4. Your Ethernet port on your PC, Router, modem, switch or hub could be damaged.
5. Your wireless access point is turned off.
6. The administrator may have changed the network password.
7. Your automatic updater has installed updates that cause conflict with your network adapter.
8. A third party software is denying you access to the internet.
9. There is an IP address conflict.
10. Your network Interface Card (Network adapter) maybe disabled.
11. Your internet service has been suspended by your Internet Service Provider (ISP).
To turn on your wireless antenna
NB. This step primarily relates to those who are using laptops or other PCs that use wireless technology.
How would you know if your wireless antenna is turned off in the first place?
a. There is an indicator on almost all modern laptops that often shows green or blue if your wireless antenna is on or
b. The indicator will display amber or won’t light up at all if the wireless antenna is off.
NB. These indicators are often located near or on the wifi switch itself, at some place above the function keys or below the touch pad.
c. The network icon that normally displays your wireless signal strength displays the wired connection symbol only and there is a yellow exclamation affixed to it.
The steps for turning on your wireless antenna may differ from PC to PC, but this task generally includes the following steps:
1. Press and hold the “fn” button on your keyboard (that is usually located beside your left “ctrl” button).
2. While holding the “fn” button click on a wireless symbol that is locate on one of your function buttons. On an Asus laptop the wireless symbol is located on the f2 key. NB. This location differs depending on the brand PC you use.
3. There are some models however on which the wifi switch is a special button that may be located at the top, front or on either side of the laptop.
How to ensure the LAN/CAT5 cable is connected properly.
The LAN/CAT5 cable is simply a cable that is plugged into the Ethernet port (Commonly also called the internet port) of your laptop or PC. A common feature of this port is a set of two LED lights. Whenever the computer is turned on, the LAN/CAT5 cable is plugged in, and the network device is powered up, one LED is green when lit while the other is amber.
You can tell that the LAN/CAT5 cable is not connected properly or is damaged if:
a. None of the lights are lit when the computer is turned on and connected to the network devices via the LAN/CAT5 cable;
b. Both LEDs stay on constantly without any flicker in the amber;
c. Only one LED lights up;
d. The cable wiggles at the back of your PC or at the back of the network device. (It should be firmly inserted);
e. The LAN/CAT5 cable’s eight internal wires are exposed showing that one or more of them are disconnected, ruptured or pinched;
To resolve a cable connection problem:
a. Pull out and properly re-insert the LAN cable on both ends until the ends snap in place;
b. If this action does not result in an internet connection then examine both ends of the cable to see if any wires are disconnected, ruptured or pinched;
c. If cable fault cannot be confirmed through observation, try using another cable that you know for sure is working. If the new cable is working throw away the first one.
d. If you do not have another cable to use as a substitute, you may use a network cable tester.
e. If the tester shows that the cable is faulty then you will need to use a crimping tool to remove then re-connect two new RJ45 ends to it.
RJ45 ends and crimping Tool
f. Test the cable again.
How to check the port of your PC, Router, modem, switch or hub
There are times when you cannot gain internet access because a port is actually faulty. Sometimes this problem may occur after a power outage or lightning strike. Another way in which this port could be faulty is if the contacts are coated with dust or corroded.
To check these ports:
a. Check to see if the LEDs light up and are flashing when the devices are powered up and connected;
b. Inspect your port to ensure that the contacts are not corroded;
c. Check if the LEDS stay on even without anything being plugged into the port.
To resolve this issue:
a. Use another port if it is available;
b. Try different LAN cables until the amber LED flashes intermittently;
c. Remove any dust deposits;
d. Use an appropriate cleaning solvent to CAREFULLY remove any corrosion that you may observe;
e. If the Ethernet port on the PC has malfunctioned then you may need to purchase a USB to LAN card.
USB to LAN card
A wireless access point is turned off
To solve this problem simply:
a. Plug in and power up your wireless access device;
b. If you do not own the device seek, out and try to connect to another wireless device.
The network password had been changed
You may find that you have been using a password protected network for a time but suddenly, you do not have any access. This may be a result of:
a. Someone pressing the reset button on some part of your router, causing the password to be reset to the default. Even if there is no default password you will be denied access as a password would still be stored for that network on your computer.
b. Someone has intentionally changed the network password.
To resolve this issue:
a. If you do have an administrator, make a request for the new password.
b. To change the password click on the network icon on the bottom right of your desktop.
c. In the upcoming popup window, double click on the network that you wish to log on to.
d. After you have double clicked the required network input the new password.
If you do not have an administrator and you are sure the password that your entering is correct, but it’s not going through, you may need to delete the network from your computer's list of networks then re-scan for it.
To do this:
a. Click on the network icon;
b. In the popup window click on “Open Network and Sharing Centre”;
c. At the next popup window click on Manage wireless network.
Manage wireless network
d. Then click on the network you wish to delete, click remove.
e. After this is done then you can follow the steps outlined above to insert the password again. However, pay keen attention to the capitalization of the letters of the password.
f. These steps would fix your password problem.
Your automatic updater has installed updates
Automatic updater is a windows feature that enables the operating system to automatically update itself at specific times once you go on the internet. Automatic update affects your system’s security, your system's genuine status, and software updates for the hardware that are installed to your computer. To make things worse, the Automatic Update feature crashes frequently. System Update should basically make your computer more secure by providing the most up to date software. In actuality, this is not always the case. There are times when you may encounter negative effects on your graphics, sound and possibly even your network.
To resolve this problem, you can use system restore, but you should be advised that this option may result in the loss of your personal files, photos, music and anything else that is on your computer. You will want to back up all of your personal files before starting this process.
To use system restore:
a. Click on the start button and type restore in the search box;
b. When system restore is displayed in the search results click on it;
System restore in search box
c. Once the popup window is displayed, click on next;
d. Choose the windows update that you would like to undo;
e. Click next;
f. Click on finished when you are sure that you are ready to proceed.
g. Once you have clicked finished the system restore process cannot be aborted. It must run its full course before you can regain control of the computer.
Third party software denying access to the internet
There are instances in which you have installed software to your computer, but you have noticed that after a while you’re not able to access the internet. This occurrence is more popular with the installation of Antivirus software. This event may occur especially if the copy installed to your computer has expired.
To resolve this problem you may need to update or remove your antivirus software.
To remove software that may be causing conflicts:
a. Click on the start button, Control panel;
b. Click on “uninstall a program”;
c. Double click on the outdated or conflicting antivirus;
d. Click on Ok;
e. Download and install a new or updated version of an antivirus.
NB. You should not operate your PC without an antivirus installed. Ensure that any antivirus that is installed is up to date.
IP address conflict
Before you can surf the internet, you must have an IP address assigned to your device. Every device that logs unto the internet must have an IP address assigned to it. These addresses can be assigned automatically (dynamic) or manually (static). Most often your PC is set to dynamically accept an IP address from a network device (switch, router or modem).
How do you know you may be having an IP configuration problem?
a. If you see a yellow asterisk at your network icon.
Yellow asterisk at network icon
b. If your computer has not been assigned an IP address or;
c. A default gateway cannot be detected.
How do you find your IP address and adjust any conflict?
a. On the keyboard press the Windows key and the “R” key together to open the run box.
b. If your computer’s keyboard doesn't have a windows key, click on the start button, type run in the search bar, when the result is displayed click to open run.
c. When the run box is opened type cmd and click on OK.
d. When the command prompt screen emerges type IPCONFIG. You should see three numbers that have been sectioned by 3 periods(.).
i. IP address
ii. Subnet Mask
iii. Default gateway.
IP address display
e. If you see an IP address and subnet mask but NOT a default gateway then you need to reset your connection.
f. To reset your connection type: ipconfig /release
g. Type: ipconfig / renew
h. Wait for a few seconds and you should see all three sets of numbers re-emerge.
i. This should do it.
However, if after you typed ipconfig the first time and receive a message at the bottom of the command prompt screen that states “Windows IP Configuration”, it means that the drivers for your PCs networking hardware are disabled.
Windows ipconfig command
Network Adapter is disabled
The easiest way to know if your network adapter is disabled is to look at the network icon at the right and bottom corner of you screen. A red X means that this device is disabled.
To enable your PC’s network devices:
a. Click on the start button;
b. Right click on Computer and click on manage;
c. At the upcoming popup window click Device Manager;
d. In the device manager go to Network adapters;
e. If you see a black down arrow affixed to any of the devices listed under network adapters, surely that device had been disabled. To enable it simply right click then select enable.
Suspension of internet service
If none of the measures listed above solves your internet connection problem then you may need to contact your service provider as your service may have been suspended. There may also be some obstacle that cause an interference between the company and the network device, or the network device itself may be faulty.