Router Troubleshooting

This guide is going to be as generic as possible, which will be difficult, since there are so many router manufacturers. Linksys and D-Link are the two most popular brands, but there's dozens more. The steps for troubleshooting any router are generally the same.

I will often give multiple examples of different router interfaces, so that you can compare them. This will hopefully make it easier for you to find the same settings on your own routers and adapt the changes, accordingly. Regardless of what brand you use, I recommend you look at all the examples I provide, because there are tips and tricks specific to each section that may apply to your router.

In order to get the most out of these instructions, I recommend you read the entire guide from top to bottom, once. This will ensure you understand the concepts before you start, because when you're actually troubleshooting your router, you may be hopping a round a bit.

Note: With the exception of DD-WRT which I explain later, I will use the terms Save settings and Apply settings, interchangeably. Linksys routers and older D-Link routers had you Apply settings to make them take effect. New D-Link routers have you Save Settings, instead. Most routers have a button in the bottom right or left corner of the screen to do so. Newer D-Link routers have a Save Settings button in the top left corner of the screen. It's all the same thing.

The Process Of Elimination

You need to investigate to properly find out what's causing your connection issues. If rebooting or reconfiguring your router is what gets your connection to work every time, then the router is the issue. If you have to do this once a week, then this isn't such a big deal. If you have to do it daily or more often than that, then the router may be failing. Don't panic. That doesn't mean you have to replace the router, just yet. You may be able to reset it or upgrade it to make it behave itself.

If however, rebooting your modem only gets you online some of the time, but other times you have to reboot your modem instead, then the problem may not be your router. There may be problems with your actual Internet connection and you probably have to contact your ISP, instead.

The Simplified Process

There's a basic process you follow for a router. The caveat is that while I explain the entire process in a few simple steps, it may take days or even a couple weeks to get through it all. That's because you don't just blindly follow one step after another, until you get to the end. You take only the steps necessary to get your connection working again. If the router acts up again, in a relatively short period of time, then you move onto the next step.

Here's the breakdown:

  • Reboot your router and see if your connection works.
  • If that doesn't work, log into the router and check all the settings, reconfiguring anything that needs to be corrected. Check the wireless settings, as well. Save any settings you've updated and try your connection again.
  • If it still doesn't work, bypass the router and try your connection with one PC straight to the modem.
  • If the connection works through a PC, but is not functioning properly when you use the router, reset it, then reconfigure it and try again.
  • If it's still acting up, try a 30/30/30 reset, reconfigure the router one more time and try again.
  • The last ditch effort for a router that won't continue to work properly is to upgrade the Firmware, reconfigure it and try one last time.

If none of that works, you might need to replace the router, but get a second opinion first, in case you missed something.

Reboot The Router

Confirm The Cabling

Logging In

Reconfigure The Router's Connection

Bypass The Router

Encrypt Your Wireless Network & Password Protect Your Router


Reset Your Router

Upgrade The Firmware

Created: 21 Jul 2011 23:58


Comments: 0

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License