“Stay Home, Work Safe” rules are in effect. You’ve cleaned your tech devices and set up your home office space. You’ve started to grasp the change into a work-from-home lifestyle. However, have you evaluated your home’s network connection?

Network issues are already frustrating enough without being away from the office. The last thing you need is for your internet connection to fail while you are on a video conference call with the boss. If you’re having network connection issues, here are 13 Ways to Troubleshoot your Network While Working from Home.

  1. Verify that it’s actually a network problem. If you are browsing the web and you find that the page you’re visiting is not loading, it may not be a network issue. Try visiting another website and if that loads, then that particular site may be down. Keep in mind that many websites are experience higher traffic volumes than normal with an increase of working from home. If that still fails, then visit another website in an alternate web browser.
  2. Try connecting with another device. Your device may be having trouble connecting to your home network. You can confirm this by connecting another device to your network such as a smartphone, tablet, or another laptop and try browsing the web on it.
  3. Your Internet Service Provider (MSP) may be having an outage. Most ISPs have apps or pages on their websites to alert users if they are experiencing an outage (or is “down”). For example, Comcast’s “My Account” app alerts users upon logging in if there is an outage in their home’s area and provides an estimated time of recovery.
  4. Reboot your devices. A full device reboot is generally recommended, especially if it has been a while since your last power cycle. Fully shut down and restart your workstation or other devices that are having trouble connecting. If you’re still having trouble, unplug your modem for at least 60 seconds to let it power cycle. If your router is separate from your modem or if you have any additional network switches in your network, power cycle them for 60 seconds as well after your modem has rebooted.
  5. Check all of your physical connections. Make sure all the wires that are connected to your modem/router are plugged in firmly and are undamaged. This includes:
    1. Modem power cable
    2. Router power cable
    3. Internet line from the wall to your modem
    4. Ethernet cable from your modem to your router
    5. Ethernet cables that may be connected to any network switches or hardwired devices
  6. Ensure your modem is receiving a signal. Check your light indicators on your modem and/or router are on and are flashing green, which typically indicates that is receiving a signal. Some modems may vary from this, such as Xfinity’s XFI modem that has one solid light that changes colors.
  7. Make sure your devices are not in Airplane Mode. Airplane Mode turns off all network connection capabilities on your wireless device, including Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Make sure that Airplane Mode is turned off and that your Wi-Fi is turned on when you want to connect.
  8. Run the Windows Network Troubleshooter. If you are using Windows 10, after you check your cabling, open your Windows Settings on your PC. Either type “Network & Internet” within the search bar (or use Cortana search) and choose “change my network settings” or choose the Network button in the bottom right corner of the Start Bar and choose “Network & Internet Settings.” Then choose “network troubleshooter” and follow the instructions to diagnose the issue.
  9. Check to see what is using up your device’s bandwidth. Open your Task Manager (Windows) or check the Network tab to sort your processes by what's using the most bandwidth and either close or restart the program. You can also do this on Mac devices in the Activity Monitor.
  10. See if anyone else on your network is utilizing too many resources. Unless you are the only one on your network, depending on your ISPs bandwidth capabilities, if another user on your network is downloading a large file or streaming Netflix in 4K in another room, that could be the cause of your internet woes. Most official ISP smartphone apps (or potentially your router’s app) allow you to evaluate the devices on your network and give you options on either limit access or even boot them from the network. You can even see if an unknown user may be leeching off your Wi-Fi (which we’d highly recommend changing your network password ASAP).
  11. Boost your Wi-Fi signal. Your router’s location is a big factor in how well your Wi-Fi network performs. Walls and actual proximity are key factors in how well your devices connect to your router, though other physical objects may block your access as well. Check the Wi-Fi icon on your device when you are connected to see how strong your connection signal is. If the signal is low, move to a location closer to your router or consider purchasing a Wireless Access Point (WAP) or a Wi-Fi extender.
  12. Survey how many Wi-Fi networks are available around you. When you try to connect to your Wi-Fi network, how many available networks do you see? There may be too many available networks in your vicinity, which could cause signals to become congested. Changing the channel of your Router or using the 5GHz (AC) band may relieve some of that signal congestion. Check your router’s instructions or your ISP’s smartphone app to see how to change your Wi-Fi network’s channel.
  13. If all else fails, call your IT department or service provider. If you are still having internet connection woes after these steps, call your IT team or ISP customer support line. Let your IT team know of your issues so they can assist you in getting back up and running.

Every minute you lose from internet connectivity issues causes you to lose productivity. neoRhino can help you set yourself up for success in remote work, while transitioning into a new type of lifestyle. Contact us or call 281.779.4850 and we can assist your business in an efficient, remote lifestyle today.