Internet Not Working? Here’s What to Do.

Let get you back online.
Brianne Sandorf
Staff Writer, Home Security & Smart Home
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Published on December 09, 2020
3 min read

Are you stuck on your phone's network because your internet's out? We feel you.

Few things are more disruptive than an internet outage. Luckily, you aren’t helpless. Here are six things you can do to potentially fix your internet connection.

Is your internet slow and not out?
Heads Up

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.

1. 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.

2. 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.

Windows 10 network adapter
Light Bulb

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.

3. Check your internet service provider

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.

Light Bulb

Check your provider’s website or app for an 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.

4. Restart 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.

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.

5. 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, and we've got phone numbers for larger ISPs in our guide to calling customer service.)

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:

6. 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.

Best internet providers in the US
Monthly price
Download speeds
Data cap
Learn more
Xfinity Internet$19.99$94.99501200 Mbps11.2 TB
Verizon Fios Home Internet$39.99$89.99200940 MbpsNot Available
CenturyLink Internet$50$65100940 MbpsUnlimited
AT&T Fiber$35$60300940 MbpsUnlimited
Viasat Internet$30$169.9912100 Mbps12300 GB

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

Find the best internet providers in your area.
Now that you know how to fix your internet, here are your next steps.

Try these easy tips to get faster internet.

Look for better internet providers in your area.

Brianne Sandorf
Written by
Brianne Sandorf
Brianne has a degree in English and creative writing from Westminster College and has spent 6+ years writing professional, research-based content. Before joining, she wrote safety and security content for Her pieces and quotes are published across the web, including on, Social Catfish, and Hobbies include wearing a seatbelt, wearing a life jacket, and keeping her arms and legs inside the ride at all times. Contact her at

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