Internet down? Troubleshooting tips for remote users

As more users work from home, IT must handle more calls from those remote workers. One of the common issues: a lost Internet connection. In this guest post, Debbie Allen offers some tips to pass along to telecommuters so they can troubleshoot web problems on their own. 


Helping others troubleshoot problems with Internet connectivity is often a routine part of managing daily IT business. As IT professionals, it can be easy to forget that many users are technically challenged.

Besides not understanding technical terms, many of these individuals may need simple, step-by-step instructions to guide them through basic processes.

These tips can be passed along to Internet users who are having Internet connection problems so they can cover their bases before calling their ISP or your company’s help desk.

Step 1:

Check Power and Connections

  • Ensure that all connections are snug and that the outlets work.
  • Attempt to access multiple websites – the problem could be with one server or site.
  • Is there account current with payments?
  • Has any software been installed recently that could have had an effect?
  • Has all software been updated?

In many cases, these simple fixes can resolve problems and the work is done. But if the problem continues, move on to Step 2.

Step 2:

Part A: Internet not accessible on a single computer

  • Has the firewall or anti-virus recently been upgraded or changed? If so, disable it. If this fixes the problem, the software manufacturer should be contacted.
  • Windows firewall should not be running if system is upgraded to Windows XP.

Part B: Internet not accessible on multiple computers

  • Reboot: The computers will need to be shut down, and you will need to unplug and turn off the modem. The router should also be turned off – check the back for a power button. The modem should be plugged back in and turned back on. Wait for at least one to two minutes before turning the router on again. Wait at least two minutes before turning the computer on.
  • If the connection isn’t restored, you can try a direct connection from the modem to your computer: Begin by unplugging the modem and the router from their power sources. Wait for about a minute or two before you restore power to the modem. Modems typically are always ‘on.’ Plug the modem and router back into their power sources. Internet connectivity should be restored.

Step 3:

IP address

You may need to release and renew your IP address to fix an Internet connectivity issue. This is rare but it sometimes becomes necessary after a power outage, if you have a new router, or if you reconfigure your home network.

  1. Click the ‘Start’ menu button.
  2. Click ‘Run.’
  3. Type cmd in the text box. A command prompt will appear.
  4. Type ipconfig/renew

If you have other simple guidelines that could be helpful for a service desk representative, please share them.

About the author: Debbie Allen is an online marketer and content writer with a background in Organizational Development. She often shares information about small business management, including issues related to reputation management and online marketing strategies.

Make Smarter Tech Decisions

Get the latest IT news, trends, and insights - delivered weekly.

Privacy Policy