Satellite & Internet Solutions
Copyright 2011 by Satellite & Internet Solutions

How to Troubleshoot

A Wireless Router 

Are you having a problem with your Internet connection or Wi-Fi? Whatever the problem — from a flaky connection to Wi-Fi troubles or even no access to the Internet at all — some router troubleshooting could fix things. Some of this also applies to your modem, although many Internet service providers are handing out combined router-modem units these days. Your wireless router and modem may actually be the same device. Have you tried rebooting it? Yes, once again, the lowly reboot is the solution to many network problems. Whether websites are failing to load, everything network-related seems slow, connections are dropping, or your wireless is flaking out, you may just want to try rebooting your router. This shouldn’t be necessary, but many routers seem to need an occasional reboot to keep working well. The reboot process is simple on most routers — unplug your router’s power cable, wait a few seconds, and then plug it back in. If you have separate modem, you may also want to try unplugging your modem’s power cable and plugging it back in after a few seconds. Some devices may have a power switch, but the unplug-and-plug-back-in method applies to all routers.

Check for Overheating

Like any other electronic device, routers can fall prey to overheating. This overheating can damage the router over time or just make it unstable. Check your router’s temperature to see how hot it is. If it seems very hot, ensure that it’s getting enough airflow. If the vents are blocked or you have the router in a hot location — like on top of a tower PC that heats up — overheating could be causing instability. It’s also possible that past overheating may have damaged the router.

Verify Cables Are Securely Connected

This may sound like a no-brainer, but we sometimes forget to check the most obvious solution before moving on to more complicated ones. Someone may have accidentally pulled on or kicked a cable, causing it to unplug or become loose. You should check all of the cables involved and ensure that they’re securely connected.

Reposition the Router

If you’re having trouble with your Wi-Fi signal, you’ll want to try repositioning the router. Ensure nothing is blocking the wireless signal, particularly large metal objects or devices that can interfere, like microwaves and some types of cordless phones. You should also ensure that the router’s antenna is positioned vertically rather than horizontally — a vertical antenna will give you the largest coverage area.

Change the Wireless Channel

If you’re in a location with a lot of wireless routers nearby, like an apartment building, there’s a good chance your router is subject to interference from other wireless routers sending signals on the same wireless frequency. Determining the optimal wireless channel for your area and changing your router to operate on that wireless channel instead of a more congested one can reduce this interference, improving your wireless signal.

Wireless Signal

If you live in an apartment complex you’ve probably noticed more than just the passive-aggressive network IDs that your neighbors use—very likely you’ve had problems with your wireless connections dropping out, or just not being as fast as you’d like.

Reset Your Router to Factory Default Settings

You may want to try resetting your router to its factory default settings if there seems to be a serious problem with its configuration. This shouldn’t be necessary in most cases, but it’s worth a try if you’re at your wits’ end. It’s possible that you’ve changed certain settings on your router that you shouldn’t have, and it may be easier to revert to a clean slate rather than changing the individual options back.

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Satellite & Internet Solutions

How to

Troubleshoot A

Wireless Router 

Are you having a problem with your Internet connection or Wi-Fi? Whatever the problem — from a flaky connection to Wi-Fi troubles or even no access to the Internet at all — some router troubleshooting could fix things. Some of this also applies to your modem, although many Internet service providers are handing out combined router-modem units these days. Your wireless router and modem may actually be the same device. Have you tried rebooting it? Yes, once again, the lowly reboot is the solution to many network problems. Whether websites are failing to load, everything network-related seems slow, connections are dropping, or your wireless is flaking out, you may just want to try rebooting your router. This shouldn’t be necessary, but many routers seem to need an occasional reboot to keep working well. The reboot process is simple on most routers — unplug your router’s power cable, wait a few seconds, and then plug it back in. If you have separate modem, you may also want to try unplugging your modem’s power cable and plugging it back in after a few seconds. Some devices may have a power switch, but the unplug-and-plug-back- in method applies to all routers.

Check for Overheating

Like any other electronic device, routers can fall prey to overheating. This overheating can damage the router over time or just make it unstable. Check your router’s temperature to see how hot it is. If it seems very hot, ensure that it’s getting enough airflow. If the vents are blocked or you have the router in a hot location — like on top of a tower PC that heats up — overheating could be causing instability. It’s also possible that past overheating may have damaged the router.

Verify Cables Are Securely Connected

This may sound like a no-brainer, but we sometimes forget to check the most obvious solution before moving on to more complicated ones. Someone may have accidentally pulled on or kicked a cable, causing it to unplug or become loose. You should check all of the cables involved and ensure that they’re securely connected.

Reposition the Router

If you’re having trouble with your Wi-Fi signal, you’ll want to try repositioning the router. Ensure nothing is blocking the wireless signal, particularly large metal objects or devices that can interfere, like microwaves and some types of cordless phones. You should also ensure that the router’s antenna is positioned vertically rather than horizontally — a vertical antenna will give you the largest coverage area.

Change the Wireless Channel

If you’re in a location with a lot of wireless routers nearby, like an apartment building, there’s a good chance your router is subject to interference from other wireless routers sending signals on the same wireless frequency. Determining the optimal wireless channel for your area and changing your router to operate on that wireless channel instead of a more congested one can reduce this interference, improving your wireless signal.

Wireless Signal

If you live in an apartment complex you’ve probably noticed more than just the passive-aggressive network IDs that your neighbors use—very likely you’ve had problems with your wireless connections dropping out, or just not being as fast as you’d like.

Reset Your Router to Factory Default

Settings

You may want to try resetting your router to its factory default settings if there seems to be a serious problem with its configuration. This shouldn’t be necessary in most cases, but it’s worth a try if you’re at your wits’ end. It’s possible that you’ve changed certain settings on your router that you shouldn’t have, and it may be easier to revert to a clean slate rather than changing the individual options back.

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Copyright 2011 by Satellite & Internet Solutions