Troubleshooting Your High Speed Internet Connection

This tip needs to come back to the front page again. I’ve helped many more people the last few weeks with this issue.

Please print it and hang it by your computer…and send it your friends as well.

I posted this tip many moons ago, but wanted to bring it back to the front page because we have so many new high speed Internet users. Click the Printer Friendly option at the bottom of this tip, print it out and post it next to your computer…you will be glad you did.

Routers take high speed Internet signals and then distribute the signal (route) to multiple computers. Sometimes, however, the signal gets lost and an Internet connection cannot be made. This can be due to multiple reasons, but most can be rectified the same way. Before you reach for the phone or grumble under your breath, follow this simple and highly effective procedure to get your system(s) up and running again. It can also solve some speed problems with your Internet connection.

  1. Shut off all computers.
  2. Unplug the power from the high speed modem.
  3. Unplug the power from the router (if you have one).
  4. Wait at least 3 minutes.
  5. Plug in the high speed modem.
  6. Wait at least 90 seconds.
  7. Plug in the router.
  8. Wait at least 90 seconds
  9. Turn on your computers
  10. Open your browser (Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, etc) to test your connection.

This method works to restore your Internet connection a vast majority of the time.

IF, you still don’t have an Internet connection after performing this procedure, AND you haven’t added or subtracted any software or hardware on your computer, it could be just a temporary problem with your provider. Wait and try again in an hour or so.

IF you have changed settings or added/subtracted software or hardware from your computer, that could be the culprit. Try and reverse what you did, then test your connection.

For you impatient types, you can try simply unplugging the router and/or modem while leaving the computers on, but I find the above method works more consistently.

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  1. John Wilkenson August 15, 2009 Reply

    Your initial advice to me worked fine, Rick. I did nothing at all, but just waited. Today (Saturday) Bresnan is back on, and everything appears to be normal. Of course I will organize your and Adam’s articles and Adam’s video so I can get to them immediately and easily from now on! I even subscribed to Adam’s relatively new YouTube channel and “favorited” his video. (I hope he uses his “Talking Digital” channel to do more computer videos along the lines of the videos, instead of walking the dog type stuff, which, IMHO might be better located on another channel, since YouTube is free.)

  2. Dave Violette November 10, 2009 Reply

    We use Cox cable for our high speed Internet service and I have learned that the first step I should do if I am not getting a connection is to check the Cable light on the front of the cable modem.
    – If not lighted then the problem is with the Cox service.
    – If lighted then I would use the steps you described.

    • Author
      Rick November 10, 2009 Reply

      Awesome…using your noodle instead of panicking. Not sure why we get so emotional over computer problems?

  3. Charles Simcox November 10, 2009 Reply

    Had Qwest DSL for a few years & @ one time had problems with it dropping more & more frequently.

    They sent a new modem overnight but no better & it turned out to be the plug in cube transformer was flaky not maintaining the proper voltage/amperage& a new transformer Brick took care of that.

    Just last week My son had the same problem with the same cure.

    Poor quality Chinese product!!!

    • Author
      Rick November 10, 2009 Reply

      It’s amazing how often we look over the simple things like power supplies…glad you found the problem!

  4. Claare Rasmussen November 11, 2009 Reply

    When I try to print the item I get pages and pages but not the item I am asking for.

    • Author
      Rick November 11, 2009 Reply

      Print which item?

  5. USSROVER November 12, 2009 Reply

    also open a command prompt window
    type ipconfig (ifconfig for linux) don’t know the
    MAC command
    look at gateway eg
    then type ping
    if you get a response then check DLS modem
    if not then check router & computer
    and double check ethernet (cat5) connections
    the connectors might come loose (very rare) but check anyway


    • Author
      Rick November 12, 2009 Reply

      Thanks for the comments Rover…and good tip!

  6. Computer Repair November 17, 2009 Reply

    This method has worked for me many times before. I find it humorous when users think there is some software or complicated process that needs to be done to speed up there connection. You have offered up and easy solution and its free!

    • Author
      Rick November 18, 2009 Reply

      Yep…keep it simple, or at least start simple! Thanks for stopping by.

  7. murman November 28, 2010 Reply

    This works great. My computer and internet connection just flys immediately after. But, I find I have to do this about twice a week. What do you think is causing this?

  8. Beverly Tennant September 12, 2011 Reply

    Hi Rick,
    My house hold is using one hard wire computer and two wi fi computers on a qwest pk5000 ( 2 dells and 1 apple). we also have a dell lap top in the house.) We just switched from a motorola router of similar capacity. the motorola
    quit working but before it did the speed got very slow and now we have the new router and can’t get back up to the speed we had before. Century link checked it all and said there is nothing wrong as far as they can tell. Our three college students want to switch to optimum but I am not sure that is the problem. Are other people having trouble with century link slowing down since taking over from qwest? We were running quite well before including wii netflix.

    • Author
      Rick September 12, 2011 Reply

      Try a test at and see what speed you can get from all your computers. Then disconnect the wireless router and connect one of your computers DIRECTLY to the DSL modem and run the test again. If there are significant differences, then hold their feed to the fire. One other thing to always check with DSL is to make sure you have DSL filters on ALL phone lines EXCEPT the one going to the modem. Cable will usually always yield a faster connection than DSL…unless you are paying for the higher speed DSL. Good luck.

  9. Beverly Tennant September 13, 2011 Reply

    we all did what you said rick and quest/century link was not the problem. We have the highest speed DSL (which we had before) and now it is all working great, they re-entered all the codes and it brought it up to speed. thank you, you are awesome.

  10. Ralph March 30, 2017 Reply

    Note that if your modem has an internal battery backup, you would need to unplug from AC power as well as remove the battery.

    • Author
      Rick March 30, 2017 Reply

      Good point! There are some of those modems out there. Thanks for the comment!

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