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How do I Troubleshoot my Network Connection?

By Carol Francois
Updated May 16, 2024
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A network connection is a method of transmitting data from one computer or related device to another. There are four key steps required in order to troubleshoot a network connection: to check physical connectors, confirm software settings, clear resources problems, and check the original specifications. Common uses of network connections are connecting a computer to printers, the Internet and other computers.

The first step in troubleshooting a network connection is to check all the physical connectors. Look for loose connections, exposed wires, and plugs in the wrong outlets. The network connector looks just like a telephone connector, and it is easy to put it into the wrong outlet. If you are using a wireless router to manage the network connections, check that the unit is functioning properly. Power surges can cause the operating system for the router to freeze, resulting in a network connection failure.

Check the settings on your network management software. The types of software vary, but they all record the Internet protocol (IP address) of connected computers, track data transfer rates and indicate which network hub or switch the computers in the network are connected to. Write down the settings on the main network operating system and check each individual computer to confirm they are correct.

Look at the list of current jobs or activities running on the network. A job that is using all the resources will stop the network from processing any other requests, mimicking a problem with the network connection. If you see a job that requires a significant amount of resources, stop the job or turn off that computer.

Review the original specifications for your network system. Ensure that the maximum load has not been exceeded and that the correct type of wires and software are in place. These items may not cause network problems on a small network, but as a network expands, there is no longer the capacity to manage these issues, resulting in a performance problem.

The most common suggestion to quickly resolve a network connection problem is to turn the computer off and then back on. This process ends any existing connection or job and requires the computer to reconnect. This may temporarily resolve the issue, but is never a long-term solution.

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Discussion Comments
By anon1003244 — On May 27, 2020

Why is my network connection slower lately?

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