Internet Not Working? Here’s What to Do.

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Coronavirus outbreak affecting your internet?
With the COVID-19 pandemic, more people are staying at home and using Wi-Fi to work, remotely attend school, or stream their favorites. It’s more important than ever to optimize your internet connection, and we’re here to help.

Few things are more disruptive than an internet outage. When the internet’s not working, you can’t watch Netflix, read Forbes, or talk to Alexa. You can’t work remotely or attend your online class, and you can’t stay connected with friends and family on social media.

Luckily, you aren’t helpless. Here are some things you can do to potentially fix your internet connection.

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When nothing is working
It’s possible that you just have bad internet. If you constantly have a slow connection, here’s some info to help you figure out why.

Check your app

Disney+ isn’t working, but is that because of your internet, or is the app experiencing an issue? Services like Downdetector can tell you if a specific app or site is down.

If the app or site you want to use is down, then unfortunately, you’ll just have to wait a few hours and try again. If you can’t wait, try using a different app or site to do what you need to do.

Check your device

Turn your device off and on again, and check its internet settings for anything wonky. Look for system updates, just in case your device isn’t running the most current software. You can also test other devices in your home to see if they, too, are having a hard time connecting to your Wi-Fi network.

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Windows 10 network adapter
If your PC’s having internet issues but your Wi-Fi connection seems to otherwise be fine, you may need to update the driver for your network adapter.

If your other devices are working well, then the one with the lousy connection is the culprit. If our tips don’t fix the issue, your device might need servicing. It might also be too old. Either way, you can switch devices and try the struggling one again later.

Check your internet service provider

Check your provider’s website or app for an outage message.

Sometimes, an internet outage comes from the top. At Downdetector, you can see if your ISP is having a large-scale blackout. Also, check your provider’s website or app for an internet service outage message.

If your ISP turns out to be the problem, there’s not a lot you can do. It’s on your provider to get things up and running. But while you’re waiting, you can visit a public library for internet access. If that’s not an option, you can try something else, like asking your neighbors to borrow their bandwidth while you wait for your network to come back online.

Reset your Wi-Fi router

“Have you tried turning it off and on again?” There’s truth in this oft-repeated saying. If everything else fails, you need to restart your Wi-Fi router.

Catherine McNally, our senior internet expert, recommends the following:

  1. Unplug your equipment and wait.
  2. Plug your modem back into the wall. Let it power up.
  3. Plug your router back into the wall and the modem. Let it power up.
  4. Update your modem’s and router’s firmware and any related apps.

For more detailed information on restarting your Wi-Fi router, check out our router restarting guide.

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Ethernet cable
If you can’t get your wireless network working, you can try plugging your computer directly into the router using an Ethernet cable. But that fix only works for computers, not for phones or tablets, and the physical connection can be unwieldy.

Contact your internet service provider

If restarting the router on your own doesn’t change anything, it’s time to get your ISP involved. Reach out to your service provider through phone, email, app, text, or chat. (Your provider’s website or app should tell you the best way to contact them.)

Once you’re speaking with a customer service representative, follow their instructions to get your network back online.

Can’t get ahold of the customer service department and haven’t managed to get your internet running on your own? Try these ISP-specific guides. We’ve got troubleshooting help for the following providers:

Get a different internet service provider

If you can’t get your internet working, or if your service goes down frequently, it might be time to look into a new internet service provider.

Here are the top internet providers we recommend.

Recommended ISPs
ProviderMonthly priceDownload speedsData capLearn more
Xfinity Internet$34.99$299.95*152000 Mbps1 TBUnlimitedView Plans
CenturyLink Internet$49$6515940 Mbps1 TBView Plans
AT&T Fiber$49.99$50100940 Mbps1 TBUnlimitedView Plans
Viasat Internet$30$150^12100 Mbps12150 GBView Plans
Verizon Fios$39.99$79.99°200940 MbpsNot AvailableView Plans
Data effective 11/19/18. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* For the first 12 months. Some packages require a 1- or 2-year contract.
New customers only. Rate requires paperless billing and excludes taxes. Additional fees apply.
For the first 12 months with a 1-year agreement.
^ For the first 3 months.
° w/Auto Pay + taxes. Equipment charges may apply.

You can also look for providers by location using our ZIP tool.

Find the best internet providers in your area.