Why does my internet keep disconnecting every now and then?
If your internet keeps disconnecting every now and then especially when you are to use your browser every few minutes, it is really a matter of great frustration. Moreover, if the issue is not fixed and allowed to continue it can also lead to system errors and ultimately result in windows running slow and even crashing. ‘Why does my internet keep disconnecting frequently for no apparent reason’ is a question I have often come across from many people. There could be several possible reasons behind such connection problems. With so many different types of hardware and software involved, troubleshooting of Internet connection issues can be quite challenging. Nevertheless, with a little patience and know-how, it is possible to find out what is actually going wrong when you notice that your internet keeps disconnecting continually.
When you encounter a problem that your internet keeps disconnecting now and again, the strength of the local connection needs to be checked first. In the early days phone lines were the only connection used to access the internet. With the passing of time, technology has advanced rapidly and better ways of connecting to the internet are available. Broadband as opposed to the old ‘Dial-up’ is an advanced technology regarding the way you connect to the internet. The most common types of such Broadband connections are DSL, Cable and Wireless.
Internet keeps disconnecting off and on – common reasons
The issue is usually caused by one of three things:
- Settings on your router;
- The firmware version on your router (essentially the driver for the router);
- The driver for your wireless card;
Other common causes that need checking in case your internet disconnects frequently are,
- There is Radio interference with your wireless signal;
- Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) is going through some sort of temporary outage;
- There may be emergency maintenance or some kind of server reset at your ISP;
- Layer of dust inside your dusty PC is causing overheating of chips resulting in unwanted reset of the system;
- The ‘default gateway’ address has abruptly altered at your ISP;
- ‘DNS tables’ need to be flushed for updating DNS records and name servers of your website;
- Dynamic reassignment of your computer’s IP address, could not be done correctly by ‘DHCP’ server;
- The wireless router is old and defective and needs replacement;
Internet keeps disconnecting – steps to fix
- The first thing you should do is to test if you have a connection issue or a computer issue. To check this you need to connect to your network, another computer or a tablet or any Smartphone that can be connected to the same Internet connection. If you find all the devices run into same disconnection problem after connecting to the network, you have a connection issue, probably with your Cable/DSL modem, network router, or your ISP. But, if only your computer is having the problem when connected, then the issue is likely with your PC. In such a case check your PC for possible hardware failures or issues with the operating system, which can result in such Internet disconnection;
- Your broadband modem’s connection to the Internet may once in a while become erratic due to internal programming issues, and restarting it can fix that. The same fix also occasionally works for the connection between a broadband modem and a router. In order to fix a probable cable modem or router issue, you are to reset them. To restart your broadband modem and router, turn off your computer and then unplug the power cables from the back of the modem and router and leave the modem and router off for 30 seconds (just pressing the power buttons to turn off power can at times put modems or routers into standby mode only rather than totally killing the power). Next, reconnect the modem’s power cable to restore its power. Wait a few moments for the modem to carryout self-checks and renegotiate its connection to the Internet and establish a solid link. Then plug in the power cord back to your router, wait for a few moments and then turn on your computer. Now check if the Internet connection on your PC has become steady. If not, try the next step;
- One of the most common causes for a connection drop is your wireless Router. Unless you’re using a really old wireless Router, it’s more than likely that an old wireless card driver is the culprit. So you have to update the wireless card. Check for any available firmware upgrade of the Router by opening its interface. Update the firmware, if there is one and also update the wireless card drivers. This should solve the connection problem in most of the cases. While updating the firmware or the card driver, make sure you are retrieving the updates directly from the manufacturer’s website. Now check the Internet connection for its stability;
- If your computer is still experiencing an unstable connection and the Internet keeps disconnecting as before, your ISP may be a good source to check. The ISP’s technical support team can determine if there are any issues between your ISP and your computer by running system checks and line check up. After making sure that the problem is not between your ISP and your home computer and if other devices on your network are working fine, continue with the steps below;
- There is a possibility that the Network Card in your computer is having issues if you find your internet disconnects every now and then. You can try the following two things to fix this:
- Re-seat the removable PCI card in the motherboard by removing and reinstating it back into the PCI slot making sure that the card is firmly seated into the slot;
- If the connection still remains unstable, try to delete the network card from your computer’s Device Manager and re-install the card and its drivers. This can sometimes solve any device driver issues like corruption etc. and stabilize the Internet connectivity of the network card. Test the stability of Internet connection on your computer after the device is re-installed on rebooting Windows;
If the internet connection problems still persist and Internet keeps disconnecting even after trying all the above suggested fixes, you may try few additional troubleshooting tips as given below to make your Internet connection stable,
- With the range of Wi-Fi signals growing with the improvements of the technology, it’s easy for your signal to cross paths with your neighbors. It is quite possible that there are several networks in your vicinity that are operating on the same channel which are conflicting with each other. Good news is, setting Modem/Router to a Specific Channel is not difficult. If you are using a router (especially a dual band router), go to the wireless settings under ‘setup’ and look for channel, and specify a channel. Use a channel other than the default and try setting a higher channel (i.e. if it was 1 change it to 2 or if it is 5 change it to 6), and if that doesn’t work, try different channels. It should work after a few goes. Never use the “auto” setting. Then save your settings. The process is similar for most routers but will differ slightly depending on the make and model.;
- Sometimes your computer’s Internet Protocol settings can configure improperly or become damaged or corrupted. If your Internet connection is unstable and keeps disconnecting and you have tried all the above fixes to the problem, resetting your TCP/IP settings might help. To reset TCP/IP manually, press Windows+R on the keyboard to open the Run window, type ‘netsh int ip reset resetlog.txt’ (without the quotes) and restart the Computer. When you run this command, it’ll rewrite your computer’s registry keys used for TCP/IP settings. This achieves the same result as removing and re-installing the protocol.
Make sure to create a system restore point and to backup your registry before trying this reset;
- Power-cycle your hardware: Another thing you can try is to Power-cycle all your hardware on the network. Simply shut down all the hardware i.e. Laptop or PC, Modem, Router etc. and then power them back in the order given below. It is found that power on-off reset works and fixed connection issues most of the time if the internet keeps disconnecting intermittently:
Modem > Router > PC (wired) -> Laptop (wireless) and see if that fixes the issue;
- Reset wireless router to factory settings: Reset your router by inserting a pin in a little hole at the back of the router, and hold it down for about 10 seconds. All the lights on the front of the router would flash indicating that the router has been reset to default factory settings. After the reset, power-cycle all your hardware on the network as shown previously;
Hopefully, after reading this post everyone of you should have got the answer to your frequently asked question – ‘ ‘why does my internet keep disconnecting every now and then’ and you should now be able to fix most of the the internet connection problems yourself. If your internet keeps disconnecting even after trying all the above suggestions, there is a strong possibility that your Cable/DSL modem or the Router or the Network Card is defective and needs replacement. However, before you try with new devices to resolve the problem you need to be fully satisfied that your Internet connection issue is not with your ISP or somewhere in between them and your home network. If you are experiencing problems, you can always try calling your Internet Service Provider who will be able to tell you whether it’s an issue that other users are also having or whether it’s a problem at your end.
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