Have you been caught in an Internet outage and didn’t know what to do? Internet outages can be severe disruptions that affect your job or business. Unfortunately, these outages are only increasing as Internet demands increase and bad actors continue to attack the infrastructure.
While getting outside and enjoying some Vitamin D is an excellent solution for what to do during an Internet outage, it isn’t realistic when connectivity loss could disrupt your business. We’ll offer some realistic solutions to combat Internet outages so you can get back to business.
Top 5 Causes of Internet Outages and How to Troubleshoot Them
Here are the top five causes of Internet outages and how to recognize them:
1. Modem/Router Malfunction
Unfortunately, your modem or router is generally to blame for your Internet service failure. This can be caused by outdated software, heavy usage, or glitches in the system. If your Internet goes out, you should troubleshoot this first to rule it out as the cause.
How to Troubleshoot an Internet Outage from a Modem Malfunction
If you suspect your modem or router is the problem, you’ll want to restart the equipment to reboot it back to life. You can do this in several ways:
- Consult the modem/router manual for the best way to restart.
- Press and hold the start button.
- Unplug the power to your modem, give it a few seconds to power down, then replug the device to restart. This method won’t work if it has a battery backup.
Related Link: Best Internet Plans for Streaming TV Shows and Movies
2. Inadequate Speed or Equipment
Sometimes the Internet isn’t out, but your Internet plan isn’t fast enough to process all your applications. Your equipment can also be outdated or need software updates to run smoothly. If you notice constant buffering, long lag times, or if you have dead zones for your WiFi, then it is probably inadequate speed or equipment.
How to Troubleshoot an Internet Outage from Inadequate Speed or Equipment
To troubleshoot this type of connectivity issue, you’ll want to:
- Run speed tests on your devices, WiFi router, and connectivity plan.
- Upgrade your Internet plan to a high speed.
- Update your equipment software or hardware.
- Reduce the number of devices or applications running simultaneously on the Internet.
- Relocate your router to an optimal spot to improve connection and reduce dead zones.
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3. Cyber Attack or Network Issues
If your WiFi network gets attacked, the hacker can hold your connectivity and possibly your devices hostage. Depending on the attack, you’ll notice you can’t get on, there will be suspicious activity on your devices, or you’ll notice suspicious devices on your network.
How to Troubleshoot an Internet Outage from Cyber Attack or Network Issues
If you suspect an attack, you’ll want to:
- Disconnect any suspicious devices off the network through the management settings.
- Change the router password and network name immediately.
- Disconnect your devices and reconnect with the new network name and password.
- Install antivirus software and possibly a firewall to protect your network.
4. Terrible Weather
No one or thing is immune to terrible weather. Mother Nature can be a beast that can interfere with your Internet connection. If your location experiences bad storms, extreme weather, or heavy cloud cover, your Internet signal may struggle. You’ll experience signal disruption from weather often if you have satellite Internet.
How to Troubleshoot an Internet Outage from Terrible Weather
Unfortunately, if bad weather disrupts your signal, you’ll have to wait out the weather. Installing a rain or snow guard can help in some cases. But if the weather takes out your power but not your signal, you can install a router with a backup battery for power.
5. ISP Service Outage and Network Congestion
Your Internet service provider will plan for network congestion and have backup plans to handle outages, which are fairly uncommon. But there are black swan events that even they can’t plan for severe congestion or a cyber attack.
How to Troubleshoot an ISP Service Outage
If you’ve tried troubleshooting all the other causes and the connection is still out, your ISP may have a service outage. In this situation, this is what you can do:
- Call customer service.
- Check the ISP’s website or socials using your data plan on your phone.
They should be able to ballpark when connectivity is back online.
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How to Access Emergency Services During an Internet Outage
If in an emergency and your Internet connectivity is out, like in the case of extreme weather, there are still ways to access emergency services like 9-1-1. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission requires that all service providers ensure their customers can contact emergency services regardless of connectivity or plan.
If your Internet is out, your Android or IOS phone can still call 9-1-1 in an emergency. To enable emergency services, you need to:
- Remove your phone’s SIM card.
- Turn your phone back on to access emergency calls.
Your phone will then reach for any service, regardless of the provider, to establish a connection. But not all municipalities provide 9-1-1 service. You can check your carrier for more information about their 9-1-1 services.
You Can Mitigate Most Internet Outages Through Troubleshooting
Most Internet outages are manageable, and you should be able to get your connection back online fairly quickly. Except for extreme weather conditions or ISP service disruptions, that may take longer, and you simply just have to wait them out. Upgrading your Internet plan and hardware is a preventative measure that can reduce your susceptibility to Internet outages.
One of the best ISPs in Canada, VMedia caters our plans to a variety of Internet needs to ensure optimal performance and customer satisfaction. We offer some of the best high-speed Internet at amazing pricing. Compare our plan terms to find the best plan for you.
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