This is a self-help document for home networking. The Help Desk does not provide phone support for home networking but this page provides basic troubleshooting steps and information on how and where users can receive additional help.
|NOTE: These products are not supported by the Help Desk. This document is provided for self help purposes only. Please contact the manufacturer or system developer for help.|
If your connection has worked in the past but recently stopped working, try power cycling or restarting the modem and/or router. This is especially important if you have just made a change to your network. Simply unplug the power cord for the device, wait a few seconds, and plug it back in. It may take several seconds for the device to restart and restore connectivity.
Note: Many broadband modems have lights to indicate proper operation. You should contact your internet service provider after power cycling the modem if any of the following lights remain off: send, receive, internet, or DSL.
When troubleshooting a wireless connection, begin by making sure your computer is connecting to the proper network. With the popularity of home networks growing, your computer may be getting signals from other wireless networks.
If Windows is not configuring the wireless connection, use the software provided by the manufacturer of the wireless card. There may be an icon in the lower right-hand corner of the screen.
A check mark will appear next to the name of the connected network. When using a wireless adapter that is not AirPort compatible, use the software provided by the manufacturer. There may be an icon in the menu bar.
If your network includes a router, it also needs a valid IP address. Consult the router manual (sometimes included on a CD-ROM) or the manufacturer's web site for information on checking the router's IP address.
Computers connected through a router (including most home wireless networks) should receive IP addresses in the range 192.168.x.x or 10.x.x.x. Computers and routers connected directly to a cable or DSL modem should have an IP address outside these ranges. Some broadband modems have built-in routers and issue IP addresses in one of the router ranges. If a computer's IP address is 169.254.x.x, 0.0.0.0, or it has no IP address, there is a problem with the connection. This could be a problem with the computer or the network. If multiple computers are affected, troubleshoot the network. If a router has no IP address, the problem may be the router but it is more likely to be a problem with the broadband connection.
For router problems that are not solved by power cycling or when you have made a change to the router's configuration and can no longer connect, you may be able to reset the router to the factory settings. Most routers include a reset button, usually on the back, which must be held for several seconds while the router is on. Consult your router's manual for additional details.
If you are having trouble with all computers connected to a router, try bypassing the router and connecting a single computer directly to the modem to determine whether the modem or the router is the cause of the problem. The modem should be power cycled after doing this. If a computer still cannot get online while connected directly to the modem, contact your internet service provider.
If you setup your own wireless network, you should take steps to ensure that unauthorized users are not able to connect to it. There are three basic ways to secure wireless networks and they can be used alone or in combination with each other:
Of the three security types, encryption is the most effective single method. Consult the support web site for your wireless product for information about securing your network.
For manuals, software, and troubleshooting or configuration information for routers and wireless cards, consult the support pages provided by the manufacturer. These are some popular brands:
If you believe there is a problem with your broadband connection and not your home network, contact your internet service provider. These are some Madison area broadband providers: