8 Easy Fixes for a Problematic Internet

8 Easy Fixes for a Problematic Internet

How often do you think about your internet connection? Hopefully, not very often. Whenever someone starts thinking about their connection, it usually means something isn’t working right.

Not only are internet issues a major pain; they’re also extremely costly. The last thing anyone wants is a poor internet connection flatlining their productivity. To help curb downtime, we’ve compiled eight tips you can use during the worst of your internet woes.

Of course, if you’re ever feeling unsure, never hesitate to reach out to your IT provider for guidance – they are the pros after all!

To begin our discussion, let’s clarify some terms.

Modem VS Router

You’ve heard of both devices, but what are they and what are the differences?

A Modem (stands for modulator-demodulator) is a device that connects your home to your internet service provider (ISP) through a physical connection. This is how you get your internet delivered to your house or office.

A Router is a device that creates a local area network (LAN) and connects your modem to your other devices, such as computers, laptops, smartphones, and tablets.

Long story short – you need a modem for your internet and a router to connect to said internet. Both devices make up your home/office network. Check out Verizon’s in-depth explanation here if you want to learn more.

With that out of the way, let’s get troubleshooting!

First Things First

First, check if your problem is shared across the office – if you’re a remote worker, we recommend looking up an outage map like this one. A widespread issue typically indicates a problem with your internet server provider (ISP). A quick call to your ISP can answer any service-related questions.

If your issue is localized to a single computer, test out your connection by loading multiple different websites or different web-based applications. If only a single website or application cannot connect to the internet, it usually means the website or application is at fault and not your internet.

If you can’t access anything or load times continue to crawl, it’s time to dive deeper.

The Basics

There are a few basic fixes we can try before our advanced solutions. Some of these may seem trivial, but they are always worth trying. Sometimes the simple fix is the best fix.

Restart Your Router and Modem

You were expecting this one, weren’t you? Turn it on and off again, the classic technique. But there’s a reason it’s a classic – a simple reboot can do wonders.

Similar to how a computer reboot can kickstart a frozen computer, rebooting your network can kickstart a slow or disconnected internet. Rebooting nudges your troublesome system back into shape by refreshing hanging processes and clearing its stored data (the cache).

To restart your router and modem:

  1. Unplug the router and modem.
  2. Wait at least 30 seconds, then plug in the modem and turn it on.
  3. Wait another 60 seconds, then plug in the router and turn it on.
  4. Give your devices a few minutes to set up, and then test to see if your connection has returned.

This fix shouldn’t be something you do often – but you should schedule regular reboots at least once a month. If you find yourself rebooting your router or modem every day or multiple times a week, you may need a new device. At this point, you should contact your managed service provider (MSP) or ISP for assistance.

Check Your Wires

Sometimes a loose wire can be all that stands (or hangs) between you and a stable internet connection. This cable may be connected to your modem, router, or computer.

Confirming that everything is plugged in and secure is as simple as it sounds. Wiggle your Ethernet cable, unplug and plug it back in, make sure it’s secure and not slipping out of its socket, and see if you’re back online. The cables at fault will typically be Ethernet cables which we recommend replacing if you continue experiencing issues.

Check Your Wi-Fi

Sometimes after a network outage, your system may try to connect to the wrong wireless network. That, or your Wi-Fi feature may even turn off!

To check, click the Wi-Fi or <strong”No Internet” icon in the taskbar and check if your Wi-Fi is switched on. If you are using an Apple device, you can check your settings by clicking Settings > Network & Internet > Wi-Fi and then move the Wi-Fi to the “On” position.

You can also test your Wi-Fi by plugging an Ethernet cable directly into your computer. If you get internet this way, this means your wireless network may need resetting (see above).

Digging Deeper

If this solution didn’t fix your connection issues, then it’s time to roll up those sleeves and try out some slightly more advanced fixes.

Run a Speed Test

If you are experiencing slower-than-average internet speeds, now is a good time to check your connection speed. We recommend running a speed test through a website like Speedtest.net to gain the number of megabits per second your computer is using. Next, take that number and reach out to your ISP or review a bill to confirm that these are the speeds you’re paying for.

If speeds match your internet bill, this means you are most likely reaching your maximum internet capacity and should consider upgrading to something faster. If the speeds don’t match, then it’s onto more troubleshooting.

Run an Antivirus Scan

Cybersecurity is our top priority here at The 20 MSP, and we can’t stress its

importance enough. Cybercrime is a threat to every business, no matter the size, with 61% of attacks in 2021 targeting small and medium-sized businesses.

Even with top-of-the-line cybersecurity, malware and viruses can still worm their way into your system. Running a virus scan is always a good idea when you’re experiencing computer troubles, internet or otherwise.

Power up your AV software (Windows comes preinstalled with Windows Defender) and run a full scan on your system. It will report any potential viruses and remove them if possible.

To run a scan:

  1. Open Windows Security app by searching the start menu for Windows Security
  2. Select Virus & threat protection
  3. Select Scan options
  4. Select Full scan
  5. Click Scan now

Flush your DNS cache

Similar to how your computer, router, and modem collects data in their caches, your internet stores data in its Domain Name Systems (DNS) cache. Think of your DNS cache as a virtual address book. This address book can become a victim of malware, causing slow internet performance or worse. A quick DNS flush can clear out any malicious tampering and get you back to smooth sailing:

  1. Click your search bar at the bottom left of your screen.
  2. Type Run
  3. Type cmd
  4. In the Command Box, type ipconfig/flushdns

You should now see a new text line confirming that you have flushed your DNS cache successfully.

Simple as that!

Network Diagnostics


For when you’re totally stumped, Windows comes with a handy tool called Windows Network Diagnostics. This feature will troubleshoot internet connection issues while offering potential solutions based on what it finds. To find it, go to Windows Settings > Network & Internet > Status. Under Advanced network settings select Network Troubleshooter. Windows will now scan your network to help determine what the problem is.

Call in the IT Pros

When you’ve exhausted all other options, it’s time to turn to the pros. Don’t fret about the work you’ve done to get to this point. In the wise words of Thomas Edison:

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

Letting your IT know everything you’ve tried will help them diagnose your internet issues even faster.

Slow Internet, Fast Fixes

You can’t escape inevitable internet issues. Remember – or bookmark – this page for when that time comes. Running through our suggestions shouldn’t take more than a few minutes, and after a bit of troubleshooting, you should be back up and running. Bye bye downtime!

Still Need Help?


The 20 MSP is a trusted and experienced expert on all things IT. So if you’re experiencing difficulties with your internet connection, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our super smart, always friendly, and preposterously hardworking team. Slow internet to no internet, we’ve got you covered!

Schedule your call today!