Troubleshooting Network Access

Is your internet access down or is the speed too slow? We can fix that for you and we love to help! Just contact us at for top professional tech support and outstanding customer service. If you’re feeling confident and want to try to solve this problem yourself, here’s some help to guide you through the process.

As is often the case with computer trouble, we start with a fairly simple process of troubleshooting to narrow down the problem by eliminating potential sources. Here I will walk you through that process of elimination. Hopefully this helps you identify and correct your connection problem so you can get back to work.

Before you call your Internet Service Provider (ISP) there are several questions you should try to answer:

  1. Are other people in your office or home able to connect to the internet? If so, your ISP is not the culprit. Rather, the problem originates from your computer or your connection to your own office network.
  2. If no one in your office can connect to the internet you need to determine if any other devices inside your network still work. For example, if you have a network printer, can anyone still print or scan documents? Perhaps you have a shared network folder where you store and share documents. Can you open files and folders there? If those still work, call your ISP. If they don’t then you have further troubleshooting to do. Keep reading.
  3. What if your internet access is slow or intermittent and you have already confirmed with your ISP that your service is working properly? That often points to a failing router or switch, which is a device you typically purchase at your local electronics store (think Netgear, Linksys, or DLINK for example). It’s also possible you have a computer on your network infected with a trojan or some other malware.

Now that you have narrowed down the problem you can begin troubleshooting network components based on your findings.

If your computer is the only one in your office or home with the internet access problem:

In the bottom right corner of your screen near the clock you will see several icons. All Windows computers have an icon that shows the state of the wired or wireless network connection. I’ll briefly walk through each:

Wired icon:

The red X on your wired connection indicates you have no physical connection to your network. Confirm your network cable is properly plugged into the back of your computer and the wall port. If you reseat the cable and still have the same icon your network adapter may need to be replaced, or your router or switch could have a port failure.

If your wired icon includes this small yellow triangle surrounding an exclamation point, your computer is not getting a proper IP address or gateway address from your router. Try rebooting your computer and your router.

If your wired icon looks like this and you still cannot access the internet or other network resources you need to call a local IT professional like TekMe. This icon is in a working state, so it’s possible you have a malware infection blocking your network access.

Wireless icon:

The red X here indicates your wireless adapter is in the off position. Laptops typically have a physical switch on the side of the machine that allows you to toggle the wireless on or off. Check that first to be sure it’s in the on position. Sometimes it helps to toggle the switch which will restart the software that operates the wireless adapter.

The wireless icon in this state means your computer is not connected to any wireless network or there is no wireless network available within range. Click the icon to see available networks, then click the network name you want to join.

The exclamation point on your wireless icon is the same as above on your wired connection. Your computer is not getting a proper IP address or gateway address from your wireless router. Try rebooting your computer and your wireless router.

If your wireless icon is constantly in this state your computer is unable to properly join the wireless network. Toggle the wireless switch off and on again. If that does not help, click the icon, open Network & Sharing Center, click Manage Wireless Networks, and delete your network from the list. It should show up again so you can click and join.

This is the same as the wired network from above. If your icon looks like this and you still cannot access the internet or other network resources it’s possible you have a computer infected with malware which will need to be removed.

None of the computers in your office can access the internet:

Fortunately this one is pretty easy.

If all of the computers in the network have a wired or wireless icon with a red X then your router or switch has failed. Check power to either device. If you don’t see lights on the device try plugging it into another power receptacle that you know is working. If you still have no lights it’s time to replace the equipment.

If all of the computers in the network have a wired or wireless icon with a yellow exclamation reboot your router. If that does not work then it’s time to call your ISP.

Your internet access is slow or intermittent and you already confirmed with your ISP that your service is working properly:

First, try rebooting your router. Hopefully that simple step resolved your problem. If the problem becomes frequent you may need to replace your router.

If rebooting your router improves network access for a minute or so and the problem returns quickly it’s highly likely you have an infected computer on the network. Computers infected with trojans typically consume as much of the network bandwidth as possible while sending out spam messages or attempting to infect other unprotected computers on the internet.

Sometimes it’s easy to identify the infected machine because it’s suddenly very slow or has unrecognized software installed. Unplug it from the network immediately and either begin the malware removal process or call a tech support professional.

Another way to identify the infected machine is to disconnect all computers from the network, then reconnect them one at a time, say 5 minutes apart. It’s a simple process of elimination. Make a note of network performance after each is reconnected. An infected computer will almost immediately start consuming all the bandwidth again after being reconnected.

If you still haven’t managed to get your computer back online and would like the help of a tech support professional to get you going again, call TekMe! Our techs are the best in the business and true professionals. We will send a tech to your home or office immediately. Before you know it, you’ll be back online with this frustration behind you!

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