My internet isn’t working, can you help?

Posted on August 18, 2015

cable and internet problems bloomington indiana elkins apartments

You bet! Although Elkins Apartments is not your service provider, we have a lot of experience troubleshooting internet connectivity problems. Here are some useful ways to start troubleshooting….

Note, these are for trouble shooting a CABLE internet connection (i.e. Comcast). If you have a different type of connection, then the basic idea applies but some steps are not relevant. In the end, however, its up to your service provider to make sure you are getting the service you are paying for. If they say your modem is a-okay, then its likely a problem with how you have chosen to distribute the signal in your place (hubs, wi-fi routers, etc).

Some initial internet troubleshooting steps:

Is your cable tv working?

So, I know I know… you are interested in internet, but if you have cable tv, and the tvs are not showing channels, or some channels, especially HD, are badly pixellated, then you have a connection problem. About the only thing you can do is check the wiring to make sure it is all snug. Call the provider. If they get the tv sorted out, the modem will likely work again.

OR check for a Comcast service outage in your area, online!

Is your modem connected to the internet?

Got tv but still no internet? Do you in fact have a connection to the internet at the modem. Check its lights. You should have several blinking lights. These vary by modem. But generally you should have at least 4 blinking or lit. These would be power, receive, send, online, and activity.

If something doesn’t seem right, the first thing to try is resetting the modem.

Once the modem comes back up, are there more lights? Yes? Then try your connection again (you might have to reset any wifi routers or other hubs by power cycling them). No? Call Comcast and have them “ping the modem.” They can quickly tell you whether the modem is connected to the net and what the signal looks like.

If Comcast says your modem is okay (ask them to double check that the signal is neither too weak OR too strong, known as “hot,” (this happens, and its often overlooked) or if they see any intermittent failure, just to be thorough. All that checks out? It’s your internet set up, my friend, and that’s up to you. Send us a note and we may be able to provide some advice, but again we aren’t your network provider, just trying to be a friendly landlord :)

If the service provider says your modem has a signal problem, then they will have to fix it. Note, Comcast is generally responsible for anything up to the box outside the building. You are responsible for any service inside the building. However, if they installed it initially and said it all checked out, AND you have checked all the connections, then I would argue that it perhaps wasn’t installed appropriately in the first place. Or the modem has gone bad (this does happen), or any number of other things that they can easily check.

“Its the wiring.” If, when they perform the service call, they say its a problem with the wires, then you should consider two things: (1) you cannot have new wires installed without written permission from the office (just send us a note), and (2) you really should ask why the wiring wasn’t a problem when it was installed (assuming it worked). They can, and should, replace connectors, splitters, etc. I’m not claiming its never the wires–it can be! However, in the last 2 years alone, I have personally troubleshooted 2 locations with rather upset tenants where Comcast claimed it was the wires, and in neither case did this end up being true. In fact, at one location I let them drop in a new wire and, whammo, fixed? No, still messed up. Go figure. It took me physically swapping the outside cables to two units (and showing that the other unit was then messed up) to prove that it wasn’t the wiring.

Does the provider still think you need new wiring?

You’ll need our written permission for new wires, but we are happy to provide it with a little details.

Troubleshooting BEYOND the Modem: Just you and the modem, nothing else!

Signal seems okay, and the modem is all lit up? Then the best thing to do is take a WIRED internet device that you KNOW works on another network. That is, you take it somewhere, you plug it in, and it works in that other location.

  1. Disconnect everything from the modem (even power and cable)
  2. Leave it for 5 minutes.
  3. Plug the cable cable in (coax)
  4. Plug the power in
  5. Take an ethernet cord and plug that into one of the ethernet jacks (technically, RJ45) of the cable modem
  6. Plug that into the wired device
  7. Do you have an internet connection?

If yes, then start adding things, like a hub, and a wifi router, until it breaks again. That is, put the hub it, connect to the hub, do you still have a connection? This way you are isolating what device isn’t working.

Wifi issues?

This is too big a subject for this post, or supporting your personal wifi is well beyond our scope, though perhaps we will write a fuller job aid in the future. BUT if you connect the wifi router to the modem and are able to connect to the network though the wifi router from a device when the device is close to it, but not in many places in the house, then there are several possibilities: interference, bad configuration choices, poor location, and a weak radio/older wifi technology. Reset/reconfigure it, move it, replace it.

Finishing Touches, Check Your Speed

Want to know how your speed is? Check out the Comcast speed test (provided by Ookla). Though speed isn’t everything. High latency, regularly about 60ms, or latency that is very random and/or includes a lot of dropped packets, is a sign of a bad connection.