This solves the problem of diagnosing why an internet connection is no longer working. It also helps identify the likely cause of the lost connection if the procedure fails to re-establish your internet connection. It helps to pinpoint the likely component or service that needs further attention, be it the Router, Cable/DSL Modem or issues with your (I)nternet (S)ervice (P)rovider.
To save time, this issue is frequently caused by a computer and Modem that are not communicating. One quick step may resolve the issue without going through all the troubleshooting below. Turn off your computers. Remove all electrical power from the ISP Modem for 30 seconds. Re-power the Modem and let it cycle for about 1 to 2 minutes. If the Modem LED's do not indicate a connection to the internet, you should call your ISP Tech Support. If your Modem LED's appear normal, restart the computer and try to connect. If you still cannot connect, try the 10 steps below. (Note: If you are getting any kind of Pop-up Messages regarding Virus, Malware or Spyware on your system, this will not help you. Your connection is being hijacked by Malicious software and you need to address the issues of Malware Removal.)
Directions to re-establish a lost wireless/wired internet connection:
This is both an all-purpose, never-fail set of instructions to regain a connection or to determine if either your wireless router is faulty or your Internet Service Provider is down.
1. Make sure the computers are all OFF, not in standby or hibernating, sleeping etc.
2. Unplug the cable or DSL modem from Time Warner, Comcast, Verizon etc. from the wall so that all lights go off. If the lights do not go off, there is a battery in it that must be removed also.
3. Make sure the Wired/Wireless Router is also unplugged and all lights are off.
4. For a WIRED CONNECTION, make sure there is an ethernet cable from one of the outgoing ports on the Router to the ethernet port on the computer. Most Routers allow you to connect up to 4 computers this way.
5. Plug the Cable Modem into the power outlet and let the lights cycle until they appear normal. Usually that means all the top lights are green and not blinking. (Different modem models may have different sets of lights and colors.) Wait 1 Minute.
6. Plug the wire from the Cable Modem into the first Port on the Router (WAN), often separated from the 4 regular out ports.
7. Plug in the power cord for the Router and let it cycle until the internet light is lit and probably steady. Wait 1 minute.
8. Turn on the computer & wait for a minute or two. If you have a wired connection, it should already be connected. Or do the normal procedures for connecting to a wireless connection using your operating system. If it can not connect within a minute or two, leave everything on and connected. Turn OFF just the computer for 20 seconds and then turn it back on.
9. If you are still not connected, the problem is in the Cable or DSL System or Equipment, assuming your Router & Computer are both working normally.
10. Turn off everything. Remove the Router from the connections and plug the Modem ethernet cable directly into the computer. Restart using the appropriate order above, omitting the steps for the Router. If you cannot connect, it is likely that your Modem is faulty or your ISP service is down. Either way you should call your service provider for Tech Support.
Hopefully this resolves your problem. If not, you should search for solutions and/or post a question in the appropriate category.