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Whether you’re working from home, watching Netflix or shopping online, chances are you rely on your internet connection. So it can cause major issues if your internet suddenly goes down.
Here, we look possible solutions, and how you can safeguard against future problems.
Check your devices
Can you connect to the internet on any of your devices, such as a smartphone or iPad? If so, you may simply have an issue with the machine you’re currently using. Turn your device off and on again to see if this helps recover the connection.
You might need to reconnect by clicking on the Wi-Fi icon, finding your particular network and entering your password. Alternatively, when you’ve time, try network diagnostics or troubleshooting options on your device to see if that flags any particular problems.
Reboot your router
Try turning the router off, and waiting a few minutes before turning it on again. Often, a quick router reboot will fix a dropped connection. Similarly to any piece of hardware, your router may have suffered a minor crash, say, or overheated and simply require a restart.
Move closer to the router
Check the Wi-Fi icon on your device and see if the signal strength has dropped or is particularly weak. If you have a single bar, for example, this may not provide a strong enough connection to get online. So if you can, move closer to your router and see if this helps.
Use an ethernet cable to boost your connection. You can plug this directly into your router and link with your laptop or computer. In theory, this should give you a more reliable connection rather than relying on Wi-Fi, and may resolve the problem.
Contact your service provider
If nothing seems to be working, you may want to call your provider. A representative can always talk you through any other steps to get back online.
Alternatively, you may find that there is an outage in your area, and details of when this will be resolved.
Some providers offer apps that may help before resorting to a call. For example, Virgin Media’s Connect app enables you to check your Wi-Fi signal strength, and reboot your hub.
Use a mobile hotspot
If you face a wait to get back online, you may be able to use your smartphone’s data connection to create a Wi-Fi hotspot, known as ‘tethering’. This option is available on most smartphones.
Simply choose your phone from the Wi-Fi settings on your computer or other device, and enter your personal password when prompted. But beware, this can guzzle your phone data, and you may face extra charges.
Upgrade to a faster package
If your connection keeps dropping, you may want to consider boosting your speed by upgrading to another package. Or if you’re not getting the speed you were promised, complain to your provider for a resolution.
You can check what speed you’re getting using regulator Ofcom’s mobile and broadband checker.
Replace your router
If your router is old, or isn’t as powerful as some other models on the market, you might want to get a new one. Ask your provider if it can provide a better quality router, without having to sign up for another deal.
Alternatively, you might want to consider buying one elsewhere yourself as a replacement. Prices start from around £65 rising to hundreds for the most powerful on the market.
Reduce your household’s reliance
Most of us have more than one device in our home that’s connected to the internet, and if you have several, this may be impacting on your connection. This is particularly likely to be the case if you’ve a household full of people all trying to get online at the same time.
If you can, stagger usage. But if this isn’t possible, research online or speak to your provider about possible options to boost your connection’s capacity.
Consider switching provider
Finally, if you’re unhappy with your internet service, you might want to switch provider. It’s easy to compare broadband packages from a wide range of providers just by entering your postcode.
If you don’t already have fibre broadband installed, now could be the time to switch if it’s available in your area. And you could even opt for a package that offers unlimited data.
The majority of broadband deals are contracts spanning 12, 18 or 24-months. But it’s sensible to wait until your minimum contract period has expired before changing providers to avoid hefty fees.
You may also find your existing provider offers you a better deal, so it may be worth getting in touch as part of the research process.
If you haven’t already done so, you can bundle together phone, TV and broadband in a single package. Once you’ve decided on the right option for you, your new service provider should take care of the process, including cancelling your existing contract.