Diagnosing Internet Connection Issues - Be One Step Ahead In The Battle Against Internet Problems! | Rob Pember | Skillshare

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Diagnosing Internet Connection Issues - Be One Step Ahead In The Battle Against Internet Problems!

teacher avatar Rob Pember, Multi-Instrumentalist and Music Educator

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Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

14 Lessons (21m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Types Of Internet

    • 3. Connectivity Diagram

    • 4. Internet Problems - What Devices Are Affected?

    • 5. When All Devices Affected

    • 6. Initial Actions

    • 7. If Problems Persist

    • 8. Testing and Diagnostics

    • 9. Internet Equipment

    • 10. Ask Your ISP

    • 11. If Slowness Persists

    • 12. Summary

    • 13. Wifi Issues

    • 14. Having a "Backup" Internet Connection

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About This Class

We rely so much on the internet that when our connection goes down, or behaves very slowly, it is not only very frustrating but has an impact on our business and personal lives. It's even worse if internet connection problems are intermittent or ongoing!

Getting to the bottom of WHY the problems are happening can be "a needle in a haystack", but having some basic understanding and things to test can help to identify whether the problem is with something at your premises, the Internet Service Provider or (in the case of Broadband/Fibre) the underlying phone network. This also saves time (and frustration!) when contacting your Internet Service Provider, as you can try things ahead of speaking to them, instead of having to start from scratch. 

This course is technical by nature, but I've tried to break it down so you don't need loads of technical experience to make at least some progress. It is focused on Broadband and Fibre (as these are what I had to deal with during my time working in IT infrastructure), but some of the principles could be applied to other forms of internet such as cable.

Later in the course, I touch upon issues relating to Wifi and also the idea of a "Backup" Internet Connection (so you can keep working when you main internet connection goes down).

Ultimately, no one wants to waste more time and energy than they have to dealing with internet problems, which is why I'm sharing my experience through this course.

Meet Your Teacher

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Rob Pember

Multi-Instrumentalist and Music Educator


Hi, my name's Rob and I'm a multi-instrumentalist, music enthusiast and educator.

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1. Introduction: hi and welcome to this course on diagnosing Internet Connection issues in this course are guided free some of the steps you can take to diagnose why your Internet is either going down or is much slower than it should be. The aim is to narrow down where the problem is that your premises with hardware or something that your Internet service provider is responsible for. This is by no means straightforward on resolving the problem is not always a one size fits all solution. However, I hope that I can equip you so that you are more prepared for when Internet connection issues arise later on. In the course, I touched upon issues relating to WiFi and also discussed the idea of a backup Internet connection so that you can keep working when your main Internet connection goes down. Thank you for watching, and I do hope that you'll sign up to this course 2. Types Of Internet: Let's first look at types of Internet, so we have broadband off wise. Notice a DSL, and this has maximum speeds ranging for about eight megabit per second to 20 megabits per second, depending on the capability of your phone line and what your Internet service provider offers. Secondly, there is fiber avoids Nola's VDs cell, and this could be split into two types. Fiber to the Cabinet, which is the most common. Offering a maximum speed off somewhere between 40 megabit per second and 80 megabits per second, and fibre to the premises, which offers much faster speeds. However, it requires a fiber optic line installed to your premises, which, as it's quite a lot of work to install, is quite costly and may not be available in your area. Thirdly, there is cable, which has similarities with fiber to the premises in the O line has to be installed directly to your property. Availability is more limited, so I haven't had experience with cable for this reason. Fourthly, there is mobile Internet using cellular data. This is geared for using the Internet on your mobile phone went out in about rather than as your main connection at your premises, however, it can serve as a backup Internet solution. As I'll discuss later in diagnosing Internet connection issues, I'll be focusing my attention on broadband in fiber, where phone line is used as thes of the most common. 3. Connectivity Diagram: So here is a connectivity diagram. The World Wide Web. It's made accessible to you via your Internet service provider or I S P. They say fuel using broadband or fibre will then come down your phone line. Therefore, using the phone network provided by your telecoms provider. Often times the I S P on the telecoms provider are two separate companies, although that 1 may only ever the phone line enters your premises at the master socket on. This is where your Internet equipment should be connected to. From the master socket. There should be a DSL filter, which separates the phone calls from the Internet data. The filter has two sockets. One for DSL on one for the phone on the DSL socket should then have a cable running to your modem router. This handles the Internet connection and is typically supplied by your I s pay. Sometimes the modem and router are two separate devices, but they work together to perform the same function. Although you can buy better hardware that offers more functionality, it's worth using the I S P supplied kit wherever possible, as they are more likely to help when things go wrong. Finally, you have computers and devices connected either via wired networking of Westerners, Ethernet or wirelessly using WiFi in order to connect more devices, you might have more network hardware such as network switches, firewalls, access points and routers, but warned to roll these out when we're diagnosing Internet connection problems in cases. Actually, a network issue on the Internet itself is fine. 4. Internet Problems - What Devices Are Affected?: So the first question when you have Internet connectivity issues is what devices are affected. Is the Internet down or much slower than usual for all devices on the network? That would indicate that the problem is the Internet connection, assuming that the devices are connected over by wired Ethernet or wirelessly, to the modem router itself. If you have, say, for instance, a network switch in between, that could potentially be the problem. But what we want to do in that case is tested device connected to the modem router on. See if that gets the Internet. If it doesn't, then it's likely the Internet connection itself. If, however, only wireless devices air affected, so your PC that's plugged in by a network cable is okay, then that indicates that the problem is the WiFi functionality in your premises rather than the Internet connection. And just to make the distinction, WiFi is the connection from your router to the wireless device, not the Internet to the wireless device. So the Internet goes to the married M router, and then from the modem router. You have the WiFi connection to the device, but if that WiFi connection is broken, you won't be able to get to the Internet from the wireless device. Thirdly, you also need to consider any other network hardware that you have such a za network switch , another router or firewall, something that is between the modem router on the specific computers or devices that are experiencing problems. If the problem is one of slowness, it may be that the hardware only supports megabits networking. Roffman Gigabits networking gigabits is 10 times faster and therefore can handle more data and activity. Finally, if only one devices having problems. So you've got other computers and devices that are working with the Internet quite happily , then that suggests the problem is with the particular device rather than the Internet or the network, although it could be something as simple as a dodgy network cable. 5. When All Devices Affected: when all devices air affected and you can't get Internet on any off them. That suggests that the Internet is down or there is a problem with the connection at the modem router. Now, most modem routers will have lights on them, and they will indicate that status of the connection. These vary by making model of the device, but usually if there's a red or orange light, that means it's detected a problem and can't connect to the Internet for some reason. Commonly a line problem or an issue at the I S. P. The next question to ask is whether the phone line is still working, as if there isn't a dial tone than that would affect both phone calls and Internet. Furthermore, if there's noise or crackle on the line, that can cause the Internet to drop out. Also, it's worth asking neighbors if they are experiencing problems with their ins. Nesta's well finding out which I SP they use if their Internet is also down, but they use a different I S P. This would point to a problem with the underlying phone network on Unfortunately, apart from making your I S P aware of the issue, there's not a lot else you can do. In this instance 6. Initial Actions: So what initial actions can you take? Well, first, you can try restarting the modem router by powering it often back on again to see if this reestablishes the connection. As sometimes a problem occurs and it requires a restart before the router picks up that the connection is okay. Secondly, note the day in time of the outage as keeping a record helps to build up a picture of when outages and slowdowns occur on whether they are a regular problem. Slowdowns can be due to a think all contention where the Internet slows down as more people in your area or on your I S P actively using the Internet for things like streaming, downloading files and playing games, which typically happens there evenings and weekends when people are at home. Thirdly, your I S P should have a service status page on their website, which indicates if there are any known problems. If your Internet is down, you'll need to use mobile Internet on a smartphone to check this page. If a problem is reported, you then know that you're not the only one affected and hopefully the I S P or phone network, whoever is responsible is investigating and working on effects, if not over the issue. Just effects u or the I. S P is not yet aware of the problem. 7. If Problems Persist: if you're still facing Internet outages or slowdowns, but your neighbors and I SPR not reporting any problems, it may be an issue with your specific connection. Diagnosis requires testing thes shortest possible routes between you and the Internet. So a computer with a wired Ethernet connection to your modem router would be the best way to test this as it takes everything else out of the equation. WiFi other devices on the network firewalls, network switches and so forth, which is necessary for diagnosing whether there's a fundamental problem with the Internet as it enters your premises. Here is a basic testing diagram, So I took the connectivity diagram from earlier on, and the only difference now is that we have just one computer connected, viral wide network Ethernet connection to the modem router. This means there are no other devices to interfere or get in the way 8. Testing and Diagnostics: Here's a testing checklist. So, firstly, has anything being changed or configured prior to the outage or issues, it's worth checking if anyone else is altered anything without your knowledge. Secondly, check if any cables are loose or damaged, such as the cables running from the master socket TV filter from the filter to the modem router on, then from the modem router Teoh, the computer connected via Ethernet. If any of those connections a loose all damaged that will have an impact, thirdly, are using the equipment supplied by your IRS pay as unless they are aware of an issue. Their tendency is the first assume The problem is with the equipment. So by using the kit that they have supplied over, they will be satisfied that the kids is not the problem, in which case they will investigate other avenues. Or they should replace the kit if they believe it to be faulty. Fourthly, is the modem router connected via the filter to the master socket in your premises? This is considered best practice on for diagnostic purposes. There is a diagnostic socket under the faceplate of the master socket. This takes all over phone sockets and phone wiring in your premises out of the equation, which is necessary to prove there is an issue with the phone line as it enters your premises. To access the diagnostic socket, you need to remove the faceplate on the master socket, which are mine is a case of pulling away the lower section held in by two screws. Please be careful whilst doing this as there are delicate wires that you do not want to be strained or broken. With access to the diagnostic phone socket, I put the filter that's normally pumped into the front of the master socket into the diagnostic socket. If when plugged into the diagnostic socket, a basic phone has no dial tone or there is ah, audible noise or crackles, it suggests there is a problem with the phone line, which may be impacting your Internet connection. The next step is to speak to your I S P. He should then run some line tests on If they are satisfied that there is a problem, they should send an engineer Now. The only thing to be aware off with this is that if the engineer doesn't find fault with your line, then the I S P may charge for the cost of the engineers visit. If, however, you do get dealt. Oh, and there's no sign of audible noise or crackles on the line, then that suggests that the problem could be with the internal phone wiring and sockets at your premises. As this is not the responsibility of your phone provider, they would charge you for making any changes. Therefore, it's worth seeking the advice of a local professional. 9. Internet Equipment: Now that's looking Internet equipment problems if the phone honesty and okay, but the Internet is still failing. E g. The modem retiree shown red orange lights. The problem could be with the equipment over the filter DSL cable, all the modem router itself. Assuming the equipment was supplied by your I s pay, the next thing is to speak to them. They may 1st talk you for resetting the modem router just in case the configuration has gone wrong. But otherwise they should send you replacement kit, especially if what? You have his old unless you have a specific reason not to. It's always advisable to use the I S P supply kit as they're better equipped and more likely to help. When things go wrong by using their kids, it makes it easier to demonstrate that there is a problem that they need to fix. Lastly, make sure Elektronik equipment is well ventilated so that it doesn't overheat as overheating will cause electron ICS to fail 10. Ask Your ISP: Here's some things to ask your I s P. In addition to line checks, ask your I S P for stats on line speed on Internet usage E g. How much streaming downloads and Web traffic you use if they report a lot of streaming and downloads on your Internet is slow. It may just be due to usage rather than a technical problem, however, if the speed of your connection is considerably slower than what you're paying for. So if you're paying for up to 20 megabits per second and getting no more than eight megabits per second, it may be that the line is banded. Abandoned line is where the allowed noise fresh hold is increased, which makes the line more stable but reduces the possible speeds you can get. You're I S P should be up to reset this. But if there is noise on the line or a problem with the Internet equipment such as the modem router frequently dropping the Internet connection, the line will just get banned. It again. If this is the case, you're I S P should arrange an engineer to fix the line and or send your replacement equipment. If it was originally supplied by them when speaking to them. Also see what alternative packages and options they could offer you, such as parts moving from broadband or fibre if speed is the issue. 11. If Slowness Persists: If slowness persists, firstly, run a speed test without anyone else using the Internet. For example, speak her stop net offers such a test. This will indicate what your current download and upload speeds are, which, if no one else is actively using your Internet connection, should be close to your maximum speed. The next thing to do is repeat the speed test periodically to see how it varies across different days and times. What's people are using the Internet streaming, watching videos and movies will negatively affect connection speed, especially if multiple people are streaming at the same time. Thirdly, PC and device phone and tablet updates can be quite large if they download during the day this com'on impact speed. So try leaving computers on overnight, which should allow the updates to download whilst you aren't using the Internet. Also, try different Web browser, for example, Firefox or Google Chrome in case the one you're using is contributing to the slow behavior . Finally, if the Internet is slow on a specific PC, it may be worth running. An anti virus scan in case of virus or malware has infected the machine, causing it to run slowly 12. Summary: to summarize. Reduce the set up to a simple as possible. Use the IRS P supply kit clubbed into the master phone socket at your premises. Your eyes P should be quicker to help if you use kit that they are responsible for. Secondly, have a basic non Cordless phone to check. The phone line has a dial tone on that. The line isn't noisy. Use the diagnostic phone socket located behind the face plate of the master sockets to rule out issues with internal phone sockets and wiring. Thirdly, keep records, days and times of outages and Internet slowness, as well as correspondence with your eyes pay. It's also worth noting the names of whom you speak Teoh. The more details you have and the more persistent you are, the better the chance that your I S P will help finally use a mobile device to check your I s Peace service status page when there are outages or issues. If there is an issue affecting multiple customers, then you know the problem is over the I S p r. Underlying phone network rather than it urine 13. Wifi Issues: Let's briefly look at WiFi issues if only wirelessly connected devices are seeing Internet dropouts or slow speeds. This points to a problem with the WiFi rather than your Internet connection as it enters your premises. WiFi signal strength is critical to a good wireless connection. How many bars of wife fight is the device, the computer phone or tablet show? How far is the device from the router on our their thick walls or ceilings that your premises as thes can obstruct or weaken WiFi signals? Also, is your WiFi password protected to prevent unauthorized access? If not your wife, I could be used by anyone nearby, which is not only a security issue but can affect performance if lots of people are using it. Let's look at a few WiFi issue solutions. Firstly, if the WiFi signal is weak in areas of your premises where wireless devices are needed, consider installing a wireless access point or use power line adapters, which extend networking via the power cables in your premises. Secondly, why D Fernet is faster and more reliable than wireless to use wired network connections instead, wherever possible. Also gigabit 1000 megabit per second. Ethan, it provides faster speeds. The megabits are 100 megabit per second, which is particularly beneficial with multiple users, as bottlenecks are less likely to occur. Essentially, if you need your Internet access in another room, do not move your modem router. Leave it by the master phone socket. Use a combination of network cables, power line adapters and access points to extending Internet access to wait. You need it. Consult a local networking professional about your requirements. Try to keep the set up a simple as possible as this makes it easier to locate, isolate on diagnose issues. 14. Having a "Backup" Internet Connection: with increasing reliance on Internet, especially with cloud services. If your main Internet connection goes down, it can be very disruptive. If you regularly face outages, which a Duits issues at your IRS peel phone network, then it may be worth having an alternative for the circumstances. If, however, altitudes a rare say, a once in a year occurrence lasting no more than 24 to 48 hours, you need to decide whether having a back up Internet connection solution is cost effective . Taking into consideration lost productivity and impact of business notes that if you have a fixed i p with your current alas P, I need this for hosting a server or accessing services locked down by I. P. Address. This won't be available whilst using a back up Internet situation, so you'll need to investigate alternatives. A fixed like P with your chosen back up Internet or a VPN The offers one. Let's look at some backup Internet options. Firstly, on equivalent connection, I have a broadband or fibre on a different I S P. This will work if a now tages due to an issue with your main I S P. But not if the phone network is the problem. Secondly, there's tethering to a phone or tablet with mobile Internet connectivity. Generally, this only allows one device, a computer or laptop to connect. Unless you're on a contract with unlimited data, it gets expensive for more than light usage, such as email and Web browsing. The third option, maybe a dedicated mobile Internet device. This is a portable device that provides Internet using mobile data on allows multiple devices, laptops and tablets to connect wirelessly. They're fast and normally off a cheaper data usage than the mobile, but can get expensive very quickly beyond light usage. They don't normally offer Y. It's networking, but it is possible to get around this using an extra router and wireless bridging. However, this can be complex to set up. The fourth option would be to have a cable Internet connection. The advantage is that this is not reliant on any phone network, but the limited availability and high cost means it's probably a less viable option