Broadband not working or very slow

Slow broadband speedThe reason why your broadband internet connection is not working or is slow varies depending on your broadband Internet Service Provider(ISP) and setup

We have compiled this guide with some troubleshooting steps to resolve the most common faults that could cause your broadband internet connection to stop working or run slow.

Basic checks

Restart your broadband router before changing any settings or configuration. As trivial as it sounds, it’s amazing how many faults a restart can clear.

The longer the uptime on your broadband router, the more likely that a restart will clear any issues in the software or device memory.

The next thing to check is that all the cables are connected securely to the back of your broadband router.

The rest of the troubleshooting is dependent on the nature of your problem.

Scroll down to the relevant section in this guide for the respective troubleshooting steps to help figure out why your broadband is not working or running slow.

I’m not seeing my wireless network

If you’re not seeing your wireless connection the issue could be either:

  • there is a fault on your broadband router that’s stopping it from broadcasting your wireless network SSID or
  • the wireless network SSID has been hidden.

You will need to connect to your broadband router and check the wireless settings.

If you don’t know how to do this you should contact your broadband internet service provider.

Depending on the make and model of your router and its setup, they will be able to either talk you through checking the Wi-Fi settings or more importantly, they may be able to remotely connect to your broadband router and check the settings for you.

I’m not getting any internet connection

Before following the troubleshooting steps below, check that your internet service provider is not experiencing issues.

When you connect to your home internet using a network cable or wireless, the first thing that happens is that an IP address is assigned to your device (PC, Laptop, Smartphone, etc.).

The IP address is given to your device by your broadband router.

Without an IP address, your device will not be able to access the internet.

Part of the IP address configuration contains:

  • A unique IP address for your device
  • The default gateway IP address is the device that your PC/Laptop/Smartphone, etc. needs to use to get out to the internet. The default gateway IP address is normally the IP address of your broadband router because it has a link to the Internet (Internet Service Provider).
  • A DNS Server IP address. The DNS server is a service that looks up website names to IP addresses.  When you type into your web browser, your DNS server does a lookup for the IP address of so that it can open the page.Computers/internet-enabled devices talk to each other using IP addresses.

IP addresses are long and it would be too difficult for us humans to remember them. Your DNS server does a lookup for the IP address of the website in the background after you type the website name and hit enter.

Without a DNS server, your device will not be able to talk to/open the website that you are trying to go to as it will not know its IP address.

As mentioned above, computers, phones and all other internet/network-enabled devices actually talk using IP addresses. If there’s no DNS server to translate the website name to an IP address, you will not be able to open any websites.

You can test your DNS server by doing an NSLOOKUP.

Does your device have an IP address?

The process to check if your device has an IP address is dependent on the make and model of your device.

Run a Google search on how to find and the IP address on your device make & model.

Once you have confirmed that your device has an IP address, the next troubleshooting step is to ensure that you can connect to the gateway IP address.

Do you have connectivity to your default gateway?

If you cannot connect to your default gateway, you will not be able to connect to the internet.

You can check connectivity to your default gateway by pinging the default gateway IP address (if your device supports this) or by entering the gateway IP address into an internet browser and it should display your broadband router’s login page.

If your device does not have an IP address you’ll need to log on to the broadband router and check the settings.

The DHCP service on your broadband router is responsible for distributing IP addresses.

If you do not know how to check that it is running and configured correctly, you should contact your internet service provider. They will be able to either talk you through or check the DHCP settings for you.

I’m connected to my Wifi Network but I don’t have an internet connection

The first thing to check is that your device has an IP address, DNS server, and default gateway and confirm that you have connectivity to the Default Gateway. Follow the instructions in the above section and how to do this.

Sometimes the Wi-Fi is not the issue and the problem could be with the internet connection from your internet service provider.

Here are a number of things you can check to troubleshoot this problem:

  • Check the LEDs on your internet broadband router to make sure that there are no red or Amber fault lights flashing.
  • Check that the WAN/Internet connection on the back of the router is connected and is plugged in securely.
  • Restart your broadband router
  • Contact your internet service provider to check that there are no known issues in the area
  • If you are running Windows,  right-click on the network icon in your task tray and select the “troubleshoot problems” option.
    Windows will automatically try to diagnose and fix the problem for you.

My internet connection is running slow

There are many factors that could be the cause of slow internet performance.

The problem could be with your Internet Provider, broadband router, Wi-Fi signal or strength, an issue with cables or the volume of devices you have on your network that are using up all your bandwidth.

Run a speed test to find out your current speed. How does this compare to the broadband speed that you have subscribed to?

Remember that the advertised Broadband speed tends to be the average speed so therefore depending on your location, your broadband speed may be lower or higher than the average.

Remember that depending on the time of day there may be contention on your broadband connection.  Contact your internet service provider to find out what sort of speeds you are to expect in your area.

Check that it is not one particular website that is running slow. Browse the same website from a different device on your network to compare the speed and performance.

Reboot your device to ensure that the problem is not with the device – PC laptop or smartphone,

Test the speed/performance of other websites to ensure that the problem is not with that one particular website or device.

Connect any device that has a network cable directly to your broadband router. This will help rule out your wireless network as the cause of the issue.

If you find that all websites from all devices on your network (on your Wifi and connected via cable to the broadband router) are running slow then the issue is likely to be the broadband router or an Internet provider issue.

Reboot your broadband router to help clear any issues with the software for memory.

Try changing your DNS servers. Your DNS servers are usually provided by your internet service provider and they may be slow or overloaded.

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