Common Router problems and their solutions
Currently, home internet runs most of the smart devices, online gaming platforms and streaming video services, making the need for a strong intent connection, a basic need.
However, problems with your router can sour up your day, especially if you work from home and more often than not, most households end up contacting their Internet Service Providers to solve the issue, without carrying out the basic checks on their router.
Causes of slow Internet
- Your Router
Routers provided by your service provider can be limited in functionality and buggy, Our experience shows most problems are caused by the software on the router. Check out our Guide to the best routers to find out more.
- Network Congestion
On shared DSL and cable you are effectively sharing the same bandwidth with your subscribers. Network congestion may be the cause of your slow internet.
- Environmental Factors
Suprisingly bad weather can also cause the your internet service to become interrupted. It may be cabling running to your house or some outage at the service provider
- Wireless Problems
Wireless signals are the cause of most internet users complaints. Most reported problems are failure to connect with the network, signal strength and slow speed. It would be better to diagnose ISP problems connecting directly to your network with a cable by eliminating wired connection first. Issues relating to wireless could point to your router and wifi signal.
- Stolen Bandwidth
If your wireless has no encryption or using an old encryption scheme (WEP), anyone with a bit of knowledge can connect and use your network, slowing your internet connection down. The result; slower browsing experience for you, the risk doing illegal activities using your Internet account, your address and your name or even watching your cctv cameras without your knowledge.
- Other Devices in your home
Where else could your bandwidth be used? Think of the devices that you have connected around your house. Your Satellite STB, your TV, your DVR, speakers, computer, phone, laptop, CCTV – These could be using some bandwidth or if they’ve compromised, like the recent Mirai IOT Botnet which created record DDOS traffic you could be a bot sitting in the middle of a warfield.
Troubleshooting Your Router
- Restart the Router. The number one culprit, the router. Power down your router from the plug, wait 10 seconds and power it on again. Make sure all cables are afixed firmly. Wait up to 5 minutes for your router to boot up and make connection with the service provider.
- Check if you have 2G and 5G. Wifi operates on the 2.4khz and 5.0khz bands. Often by default router transmits 2 wifi signals with seperated SSIDs as -2G and -5G this usually indicates that the router is transmitting on both frequencies, 5G frequencies are great when you are close to the access point (router) and offer superior speeds in Wireless AC but the signal and throughput deteriorate greatly as the distance between the device and access point increases or if you are behind walls. The 2G network however slower than 5G offers better signal through walls and at greater distances. So be sure to connect to the 2G network if you are experiencing signal problems.
- Change your Wi-FI Channel. As you add new devices in your home they connect to your network and some for example wireless cameras and speakers operating on the same wireless band, can interrupt your signal strength. On your router’s admin settings you can login and change your routers wireless channel to a band which has less congestion. Speak to your ISP to help you do this if you do not know.
- Go Wired. If you are using a wireless connection and have access to the LAN ports on your router, disable the wireless connection and use a LAN cable to connect the internet to your PC. Wireless signals can easily be disrupted and it is not advisable to use them for critical tasks. Try to wire up for maximum speed and reliability
- Reset your Router. Check your Router settings and reset your router using the hardware reset switch on the back. This will restore your router to factory defaults and eliminate any problems caused by corruption or bad settings.
- Update Router Firmware. Check the manufacturer’s website for firmware updates to your router. Updates make an incredible difference in performance especially if you are using older router models. However, update process varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, but all of them have a place to accommodate router settings upgrade. Some routers can check for an update automatically and some you have to manually choose a file. After updating firmware be sure to restart your devices.
- Contact your Service Provider Normally, this is the last resort especially after trying everything, but if you are still experiencing Internet connection issues contact your service provider to check your service status as there could be a problem from their end.
Useful Telephone Numbers
- BT (Residential) : 0800 111 4567 or 0330 123 4567
- BT (Business) : 0800 800 154
- Virgin- Tel: 08000643836.
- Sky Broadband- Tel: 0800 031 6608.
- Talk Talk Business- Tel: 0800 083 3003
- Plusnet Residential : 0800 432 0200 or 0345 140 0200
- Plusnet Business: 0800 028 0282 0330 123 912