Five Quick Fixes for Internet Connection Hang-Ups

Today's Best Tech Deals

Picked by PCWorld's Editors

Top Deals On Great Products

Picked by Techconnect's Editors

1 2 3 Page 3
Page 3 of 3

The Ping Thing

Meanwhile, back at the DOS command prompt, another essential network troubleshooting tool is the Ping command, a great utility for verifying your PC's network connectivity. Pinging sends data packets of a specific size to a host (a Web address or any IP address). Just as submarines use sonic pings to measure distances to underwater objects, this command estimates the round-trip time to echo the packets back, and lists any packet loss.

A smart first step is to ping your computer's local loopback address ( At the command prompt, type ping and wait a few seconds for a response. Windows will attempt to ping your system's network card, to see if it's working. If you receive packets back, you know your network adapter is okay. Now ping a specific external address by typing, for example, ping (Click the image here to see a detailed view of typical ping activity.) If packets return, your Net connectivity is established, and you should be able to surf once more.

If, however, you can't get a response from an external site, try pinging the IP address of your default gateway. (You can obtain this address by using the Ipconfig command.) If you ping the default gateway and don't receive a response, it means Windows can't communicate with your router, your modem, or both. And in that case, you need to do a hardware check of your modem and/or router, and of the cables connected to them.

A Physical Checkup

If software troubleshooting commands don't restore your Internet connection, the problem may be physical. If your PC is connected directly to your DSL or cable modem, make sure that all of the cables are attached tightly and all of the modem lights are lit. Also look at the ethernet port on your PC to verify that the link light is on; this will be a solid or blinking light positioned where the ethernet cable from the modem connects to the PC.

If the link light is off but the ethernet cable is plugged into a powered-on PC, that's a clear indication that you need to replace the ethernet cable.

If the link light is on and you don't have connectivity, power off all of your network devices, wait a minute, and then power them back on. It is important to do these steps in the correct order:

  1. First turn off your PC, then unplug the power cord from your modem. If you are using a router, remove its power cord as well.
  2. Restart the modem next. After it has reset and its lights indicate online connectivity, power up your router and wait for it to reset.
  3. Once that is done, turn on your PC, open your browser, and check to see if you are connected.

If all of that fails, you've done what you could, and it's time to call your ISP's tech support. Explain to the representative what you have previously tried so you don't have to do it all over again (although some support technicians will insist on starting from square one). The rep can then proceed to apply more-advanced tech muscle to your problem, or possibly track the trouble to something on the provider's end of the line.

Note: When you purchase something after clicking links in our articles, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate link policy for more details.
1 2 3 Page 3
Page 3 of 3
Shop Tech Products at Amazon