wiki:faq/cannot-connect-to-internet

Version 2 (modified by Daniel Kahn Gillmor, 13 years ago) (diff)

--

Help! I cannot connect to the Internet

Unfortunately, if you are unable to connect to the Internet at all, our ability to help is really limited. The problem could be your local area network (the cables that connect your computer to your modem) or your Internet Service Provider (for example, Verizon, or Speakeasy, or Timewarner) who maintain your office or home's connection to the Internet.

We do have the attached help document that will help you in the event that you lose your connection to the Internet. Please download and print it and (before you lose your connection to the Internet) - write down the name and phone number of your Internet Service Provider so you can easily call them in the event that your connection goes down.

Trouble Shooting an Internet Problem:

Determine whether it is a problem with the web site you are visiting or your Internet connection

Go to www.google.com, www.yahoo.com, and your own web site. If all three sites give you the same error message, then it is probably a problem with the Internet connection (go to number 2). If these sites work fine, then it is probably a problem with the web site you are visiting and you should wait an hour and try again.

Determine whether it is a problem with the computer you are using or whether it is a problem affecting all the computers in the office

Try visiting the same web site on the two other computers in the office. If all three give you the same error message, then it is probably a problem with the entire office (go to number 3). If the other computers work fine, then it is probably a problem with the computer you are working on. First, restart the computer and try again. If that doesn't work, then check the computer's TCP/IP settings (see below). If that doesn't work, use a different computer .

Determine whether it is a problem with the Internet (TCP/IP) or with the physical network (Ethernet).

Try to access the file server. If you cannot access the file server, then it may be a problem with the physical network. Check the computer for an Ethernet cable (like a phone cable, but a little bit bigger). If should be snuggly plugged into the computer and there should be either an orange or a green light next to it. It is plugged in, but there is not green or organge light, then the problem is that a cable was unplugged. Follow your cable and see if it is properly plugged into the wall jack or another “switch.” If the cable is plugged in and the light is on, then check the computer's TCP/IP settings (see below).

Determine whether it is your problem or your ISP’s problem.

Check to make sure the router and Cable/DSL modem are plugged in (you should see lights on the front of both of them if they are plugged in). If there are no lights, make sure the power cables are properly plugged in, then wait 5 minutes, and try again. If there are lights, then unplug the power cables for both the router and the modem, wait 30 seconds, and plug them in again. Then, wait a full 5 minutes and try the Internet again. If it still doesn't work, then it's probably a problem with ISP (see below).

Checking your computer's TCP IP Settings

  1. Click Start -> Run...
  2. Type: cmd and click OK
  3. You should see a black screen with a command prompt. Next type: ipconfig

You should see something like:

Windows IP Configuration
Ethernet adapter Local Area Connection:
         Connection-­specific DNS Suffice.........:
         IP Address .............................: 192.168.1.115
         Subnet Mask ............................: 255.255.255.0
         Default Gateway ........................: 192.168.1.1

If any of the numbers come back as 0.0.0.0 it means that you have not been properly assigned an Internet Protocal (IP) address. You should try restarting your computer and then repeat this process.

Contacting Your Internet Service Provider

If you've printed out this page for offline reference, please write down your provider's name and number below.

  • ISP Name:
  • ISP Phone Number: