Ever feel like the Internet hates you? There you are just trying to check your email, update Facebook, get that last minute eBay bid in, or maybe streaming music on Pandora. But it seems like every thing you do takes forever. Just staring at that loading icon spin around only to get server errors at every turn.

Before your frustration gets the better of you and that hammer in the garage is applied liberally to your computer, try these simple troubleshooting steps.

Turn it off and on again:

As we mentioned in our last blog post, sometimes simply turning your devices off and on will clear a glitch in the system.

It may not just be your computer. You’ll also want to try rebooting or power cycling your router. Simply unplug the power cable from the back for a few seconds, plug it back in, and test your connection by opening your browser and navigating it to any web page. If you find this is something you have to do often, you will probably want to replace the offending router.

While you can get routers from your Internet Service Provider, we recommend picking up one at a local retailer. Some small locally owned tech businesses carry them or you can drop by big box stores like Staples or Wal-mart. For home or small business use, Netgear or Linksys routers found at these retailers will work just fine. If you are a large business with a higher volume of Internet users or want to double check your needs, give us a call at (706) 253 6362 and talk to our Business Network and Server expert, Justin.

Wireless Connectivity Issues:

If you connect wirelessly and power cycling your router hasn’t worked, you will want to check your network and sharing. In the program tray, usually located next to your time and date stamp, you should have an icon that says Open Network and Sharing Center when you right click on it. It will look like the wireless antenna or stair steps and will probably have a red X over it or be grayed out if you are having problems. Once your Network and Sharing Center is open, select the “Change Adapter Settings” option in the left-hand menu. From there you can right click your adapter to turn it off and on, just like the above step for routers.

You can also open your Start menu by clicking the Windows or Start button usually located in the left corner of the task bar. In the search bar or by clicking ‘Find,’ type Network Connections. This will take you to the same menu.

Similarly, by searching for Device Manager, you can check the drivers for your network cards. When you open the menu, if you see anything with a yellow warning symbol next to it, the drive may need to be updated or reloaded. If you cannot access the Internet at all, this step will require a second computer to find and download the driver and a USB thumbdrive to transfer the new driver to your computer that is having the connectivity issues.

Laptop Wireless Issues:

Laptops are an entirely different beast when it comes to connecting wirelessly. This is because some models will have a tricky little button or switch located somewhere on them that will switch your wireless card off and on. It can be hard to see and easy to bump. Look around the edges of the laptop, above the keyboard and around the mouse pad for a tiny switch or button with a symbol that looks like an antenna with parenthesis around it or similar icon.

Low or No Bandwidth:

Slow Internet may not have anything to do with you. You may not have enough bandwidth to support your browsing. Go to Speakeasy.net’s Speedtest, choose a city that is fairly far away and run the test. If you’re not sure how much bandwidth you should be getting, check your monthly billing statement or online account from your Internet Service Provider (ISP). If the numbers don’t match up or they do and you find it to be too slow, be sure to call your ISP to check on your account status or upgrade your bandwidth.

Server or Host Errors:

Like issues with Low or No Bandwidth, server or host errors popping up on web pages may not have anything to do with you. Sometimes a specific website may be having a problem or an entire hosting service is down for maintenance. That means no one is going to be able to access it.

Just to be sure, visit Down for Everyone or Just Me and type in the URL to check if its up.

Temp files or cookies can also bog down your connection. Visit our Helpful Software Page to find links to CCleaner. Choose to download the free version. When you open it, it will ask if you want to have it intelligently detect cookies. Click Yes. CCleaner will automtically start in cleaner mode for Windows. In the bottom right corner of the screen, click ‘Run Cleaner.’ A pop-up will tell you that you are about to permanently delete files. Click Ok. You will have to close all of your browsers for CCleaner to complete.

Still having Internet connection issues? Our techs are available to answer your questions and resolve any problems you are having. Contact Us Today or come by our office located at 88 Burnt Mtn Rd Ste D in Jasper, Ga next door to Domino’s Pizza in the same shopping center with Deb’s Bakery. We’re open Monday through Friday from 8:30am to 5:30pm.

PC Co-Pilots is a comprehensive computer and web services company located in Jasper, Georgia founded in April 2008 by Justin Bowers. If you have any questions, comments or need any assistance with your computers or web presence, call (706) 253-6362 or email info@pccopilots.com. Ongoing tech tips and tidbits can be found on our Facebook page.

Jessica runs PC Co-Pilots with her husband, Justin, as an Office Manager and head of Marketing. She graduated in 2009 with a Bachelor’s in Sociology from Kennesaw State University and regularly participates in local business and non-profit events. To contact her directly, email Jessica@pccopilots.com.