When you try and get online, and you find that your router is acting like a silly bugger and won't let you look at pictures of cats, nipslips, or whatever floats your boat on the internet, there's nothing more frustrating. Sometimes, your service has gone down and there's nothing you can do, other than wait or use your phone for a bit.
However, sometimes, it is your router that's the problem, and there's things you can do to test it, to make sure it is working alright.
For know-it-alls, you're well covered and will be able to do all manner of things, and then not tell anyone about them or, when you do, you'll use such impenetrable language that people won't listen to you, but nod politely so you can feel ever so clever.
For the rest, this is good stuff to know and easy to do.
Anyway, these are the things that are most likely to be making your router act up, or messing with your connection, so feel free to save this article somewhere, or passive-aggressively send it to someone who uses you like IT support every time anything goes awry.
Have You Tried Turning It Off And On Again?
Now, this is usually used as a joke in IT circles, but quite often, it works. Is your mobile being slow? Restart it. Laptop being weird? Try rebooting it. Same goes for your router. Either unplug the thing or, if it has a reset button, hit that. Usually, it is worth unplugging everything from it and giving it a few seconds, provided you know where everything plugs back in. Essentially, any minor issues can be sorted by this method.
Is Your Router The Problem, Or Your Device?
It might be your computer that is acting up, not the internet. So, if your phone is working with the WiFi and your laptop isn't, trying rebooting the thing that is being stupid. If you have an ethernet cable, plug that in and see what's what. If nothing is getting online, then it is likely to be your router. Or, your internet provider might be having a nightmare. Most companies have service lines you can ring, which tell you if there's an outage in your area. Or, use the 4G (or whatever) on your mobile, and see what the company's Twitter feed is saying. Basically, find out if the problem is just for you, or for loads of people. You can Google 'Is BT down?' and you'll get some answers, provided you've got minutes and a signal on your phone.
Did You Move Something Next To Your Router That Is Messing Everything Up?
Routers don't like certain things near them. We're talking about microwave ovens, cordless phones, baby monitors, and things like that. They can bork your signal, so you need to move things away from your router, to make sure it is working properly.
Is Someone Hammering Your Bandwidth?
There's no point yelling at your phone, because it keeps signing off your WiFi connection, if someone elsewhere in the house is watching Netflix and stealing all that lovely connection from you. Some packages allow you to be signed-in to everything, but others don't. If someone is hogging everything, go slap them on the forehead and stop them from dragging the speed of your connection down. Or just wait for them to finish.
Are Your Cables Knackered?
You might have cables that have given up. You can usually get your provider to send you new ones, if you ask them nicely, at no extra cost (seriously - try it and be a bit cheeky). If you can't wait, get down the shops and buy some replacements. Obviously, there's a bunch of different cables, so if you don't know what they're called, yank 'em out of the back and point at them in your hand down the shops and say "I want new ones of these please." If you're ordering them off the internet, ADSL cables are the skinny ones, and an ethernet cable is the chunky one. If you're reading this right now, then you can familiarise yourself with them both by utilising the ability to search Google, or another search engine if you prefer.
Have You Paid Your Bill?
Well, have you? If not, they might have switched you off.