The 6 Different Ways to Troubleshoot a Modem with Tips
You may have found yourself a stressed mess while doing some home work or work at home where your internet decides to be difficult. These issues are time sensitive. You need to get your work done, so waiting for a technician to troubleshoot your system may not be your best option. Do not worry though! You have other options that can fix your internet woes. Below are our 6 tips and tricks to trouble shoot your modem!
1. Check the Lights!
The lights on your modem indicate status and issues. Check your manual for what each color refers to. Technology can often times be intuitive which means that it tells you what the problem is. System lights have been around for a long time to indicate problems, so dig through the documentation to determine what color corresponds to what issue. Sometimes the solution is right in front of your face!
2. Ping your modem
Using the CMD prompt screen to ping a website can bring up information pertaining to your problem. This technique allows you to see if you have connectivity at all. There will be a difference in problems/solutions depending on what you are seeing in this step. If you ping a website and it gets through, but it takes awhile to populate the information, there may be something disrupting signal. Signal leakage in the system is usually the culprit. This happens when water gets into your lines or one of the lines has been slightly cut, etc. If you are unable to ping a website, you may have no connectivity which may be a result of a completely severed line or other blockage in the internet system.
To ping a website, click the Windows button and type CMD in the search bar. You should see an option for “CMD.exe”. Select that option and the black command prompt will appear. Type “ping www.awebsiteaddress.com” (you can choose the website) and press enter. The ping will generate a listing of information that includes packet sent/packet received statistics. Check those out first. You should see the same amount of packets sent that are received with a 0% loss. If you have lost packets, there is a problem in your connectivity. If you have a 100% packet loss, you have no connection.
3. Router Interface
For the more tech savvy users, you can always turn to your specific router management interface to manipulate frequency settings to try and solve your issue. Here is an example of a router management interface for the ASUS RT-AC88U router. Remember, this is a more advanced technique that will require some up-front knowledge about how routers work, so we recommend doing some research. Most routers/modems come with a manual as well as online tutorials from trusted industry professionals. Definitely take the time to learn the ins and outs as it will enhance your trouble shooting ability!
Firmware is the software that allows the modem to run correctly. Firmware is something that may not be accessible to you via the router interface so you may have to contact the manufacturer of the modem or your internet service provider to determine if your firmware is up to date.
5. Use a WiFi extender
WiFi extenders will add to your router/modem’s ability to broadcast its signal. Think of the extender as a miniature cell tower. Remember, cell towers allow cellular phone signal to be broadcasted across wide distances where the signal bounces off of other cell towers in the area to extend its reach. Extenders do the same for your WiFi. If your issue involves low signal in certain parts of your home, and you have strong signal in others, this solution may be your best fix! There are many types of WiFi extenders to choose from so do your research to determine which one will be the best fit!
6. Check the Connections
Sometimes the problem to a technical issue is not obvious. Signal leakage in your internet/cable system can come from many different types of issues that may need specialized equipment to determine the cause. Things like signal meters, toners and leakage meters help Installation Technicians see unseen issues. You may be able to identify things in your system by taking a look. For instance, check each of your cable outlets for loose fittings or connections to the TV/outlet. Make sure the fittings are tightened. You can also check each cable line (this may require you to hop up in your attic) to determine if there is any damage to your lines. Rats and other pests can eat through the lines with relative ease, so that is something to keep in mind.
Once you check your inside connections, step outside and check your outside connection at your wall box and drop. You will either have an underground or an aerial drop. Check to see if there is any damage to these lines. Ultimately, you will need to contact your internet service provider to solve the issues you might find when looking at your infrastructure.
Hopefully by now you were able to get back to your homework or work. If you were unable to solve the problem with your connectivity, the best bet would be to contact your internet service provider. As mentioned, technicians have specialized tools that help solve these problems quickly and efficiently. To see further information on this, check out the original article related to modem troubleshooting. There, you can also see notes from our veteran installation technicians about finding solutions.
If you are interested in applying for a position as an Installation Technician at one of our offices, you can check out our Career Page.