What to do when your broadband stops working

It’s frustrating when broadband stops working for any number of reasons. But there are some things you can do to make the process a little bit lighter, and hopefully meaning that you don’t have to call a call centre in India and be placed on hold for ages.

Firstly, and this is a real must, STAY CALM! Getting into a panic, stressing, putting your blood pressure up – however you want to phrase it, it doesn’t help anyone if you start going crazy. Sure, it’s irritating that your Internet connection was working fine ten minutes ago, or when you went to bed last night and now it isn’t, but it really does not help to go loopy!

If you skip steps or get impatient then you will only be making the process longer for yourself.

Right, now that we have established the mood we can get onto the more practical steps:-

1. The best place to start is close all your programs and shut down your computer. If your Internet connection comes through a router you should turn that off too. By ‘turn off’ at this stage, I mean turn them off for 30 seconds, but I do mean 30 seconds, not 5 because your impatient to send that email off, or check on your eBay auctions.

2. When powering everything back on, let the computer fully start-up, secondly you must allow for up to 3 minutes for your broadband modem and router to power back on and establish a connection. If you’re using a cable modem (such as: Virgin Media, Tiscali cable, Comcast etc) which is looped into a router, power the modem on first. Wait until 1 minute has passed, then turn on the router. Again you must allow up to 3 minutes for your broadband modem and router to power back on and establish a connection.

If you’re using a USB modem (such as Speedtouch, BT Voyager, etc) it is then also recommended that you defragment your PCs hard drive (click here for details). Once you have completed the defragmentation process restart your PC and see if you can get online.

Ok, admittedly if you’re still reading this and you have got this far then things aren’t looking great for you, but there is still plenty that can be done.

3. Next, check your connections (the physical kind). If things are dusty down the back of your PC then it would strongly be advised that your again turn off your computer to avoid a static shock, and maybe give it a little whip round with the hoover or duster. It would not be the first time that I have discovered that static from the back of a PC would be causing problems on a broadband connection. Make sure that all the connections are firmly but snugly in place, you don’t want to force them. Then repeat step 1 in this guide.

4. Turn everything off again. But this time, you should not only turn off the PC and router, but turn it off the wall switch or unplug it. Do this for at least half and hour.

5. If things are still not working, find out if your Internet Service Provider (ISP) has a service status number you can call. ISPs are pretty good keeping their customers up to date via their phone system with pre-recorded information bulletins, so call it and see if there is an outage in your area or the ISP is having problems with customers signing in.

6. Then things really aren’t right. Either get a professional to come and have a look at things, or, call your ISP. You can find a useful guide to prep yourself for calling an ISP by clicking here.