A computer network is described as a group of computers which are connected together to share files and resources. In order for any of these computers to communicate effectively over a network, a set of communication protocols (standard networking rules) has to be established and adhered to by every single network node. Just like in any natural language, two or more persons in a conversation (computers in this case) have to be speaking in the same language in order for any kind of communication to occur. Any misunderstanding will result in a breakage of proper communication and as such internet connection problems are very common. More often than not you may find yourself spending hours, possibly days trying to get back a working internet connection at home or at the work place. Irregardless of whether you are using a cellular network, DSL, cable modem, fiber or another type of network connection you will need to know how to troubleshoot various types of internet connection problems once in a while. This is because with such complex web of networking devices and communication protocols that are involved in any kind of network setup, faults are somehow inevitable and everyone seems to experience them once in a while. For instance the “Network connected but no Internet access” is a very typical quandary for many Windows users.
If you have a strong network connection and you are able to access the internet with other devices but one, the problem might lie with that particular device and not the network itself.
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How to fix internet connection problems in Windows
The first step to troubleshoot any possible kind internet connection problems is to always check your network connection cables first if you are using wired Ethernet. Ensure that both ends of the Ethernet cable is well secured on to the RJ45 port. Unplug the Ethernet cable and clean up any debris and dust that could have accumulated on the port. The fact that the network indicator is showing that your computer is in fact connected to the internet eliminates the possibility that one of the network devices could be malfunctioning where-else you would have a “Not connected” message or internet would be “internet limited.” With that in mind for as many cases I have encountered of having the “Network connected but no Internet access” problem, the main culprit would either lie in the network connection settings, the LAN/WLAN network driver software, the DNS service, a firewall restriction or some bad rootkit malware. So as you begin troubleshooting your network connection issues on your PC, be abreast with the possibility that the network connection problems you could be experiencing emanate from one of these culprits . Eliminating these possibilities one by one would be a good place to start.
Test your IP Configuration using the Loopback Address
The Loopback address is the default IP address of your computer. In TCP/IP networking, 127.0.0.1 is your default IP address. This special address has no hardware connection associated with it and since it is not physically connected to any networks, it is always available. Therefore, a good way to start troubleshooting internet connection problems and to test that your IP configuration settings are working is to ping back this address.
Open Windows CMD interface and type in: ping 127.0.0.1 The Loopback address allows you to treat the local machine as if it were a remote computer and pinging this address will always return a reply unless a firewall is preventing it. As you can see from the image on the left, am able to receive the same 32bytes of data that I requested with 0% loss.
Change the default Domain Name Server (DNS)
The DNS server is responsible for turning a domain name into an IP address e.g. www.selftechgenius.com = 184.108.40.206 and www.google.com = 220.127.116.11 A known DNS server does this.
Changing your DNS to one which is trusted is ideal when you are experiencing problems with your default DNS server. Making Google public DNS 18.104.22.168 as your default DNS server for instance, will enhance more reliability and better uptime guarantee if your DNS server is experiencing down time. You can access and change this in TCP/IP settings.
On the Run box, type ncpa.cpl and enter. Right-click on the active connection and select properties. A new configuration window will open. Scroll down and click on TCP /IPv4.
On the resulting window, use the following DNS server addresses replacing any preconfigured ones or creating a new address.
You can also access the same menu through Start>Control panel>Network and sharing>Network connections>Right click on active internet connection. Now change the DNS server to match the following values.
Preferred DNS server: 22.214.171.124
Alternate DNS server: 126.96.36.199
Do not change anything else.
Click the OK button and exit.
Disconnect and restart your network connection or restart your PC altogether.
Reset Windows DNS
After entering the second command, check that IPv4 address, subnet mask and default gateway all have their assigned values. What this does is that it clears and resets the DNS resolver cache service getting rid of possible bad entries. The DNS caching resolver service reduces DNS network traffic and speeds up name resolution by storing a local cache for DNS queries of every time you visit new websites so that your computer no longer has to ask another computer where something is located.
Uninstall network drivers
Windows Ethernet LAN and WLAN drivers are the component software that provide proper network communication link between the NIC cards, modems, embedded network hardware and the operating system. Sometimes these drivers can get corrupt from malware attacks, incomplete or incompatible driver updates, bad software upgrades and so on. Go to Start>Run and type devmgmt.msc Device manager window opens. Here look for Network adapters and click on it to reveal the Ethernet LAN and WLAN adapter drivers.
Choose the WLAN/wireless network adapter if you are connected on WIFI. Otherwise, choose the Ethernet adapter if you use wired Ethernet for internet. Right click on the chosen driver and choose properties. If this driver has been recently updated, you will see an option to “roll back driver” to the previous version. Click on roll back option if present to reconfigure to the previous driver version. If not, simply choose “Uninstall” to repair the driver software.
After these changes are made, restart your PC. Windows will detect and reinstall the missing network drivers to a clean slate and hopefully you will be able to access internet on your PC again. Troubleshooting problematic drivers this way has worked for me on many occasions whenever am having issues communicating with embeded peripheral devices and internal devices as well.
Allow Network through Firewall
Ensure that your network connection is not being blocked by windows firewall or other third party security and firewall applications installed on your PC. If you are having internet connection problems with specific a program on your PC, ensure that that particular program is being allowed by windows firewall.
To add or allow apps to communicate through firewall, open the Control panel>System and Security>Firewall. On the left hand pane, click on “Allow an app or feature through Windows Firewall” On the resulting window, click on “Allow another App” A new window opens, Check on the list of apps to allow your specific program through windows firewall.
If that program is not listed, you can manually browse for the program, locate its executable .exe, .com or .icd file and add it to the list of allowed apps. That’s all, save the changes and exit.
Enable Active Network Probing in Windows registry
Apart from possible malware infections, sometimes using third party wireless managers may alter the way your PC requests for resources, making system interaction changes and user preference changes to the Windows registry.
On the run box type regedit and enter to open the registry editor. Navigate to [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetservicesNlaSvcParametersInternet]
On the right side panel check for “EnableActiveProbing” parameter and double click on it. If the Value data is 0, set it to 1 and click OK. Close and restart your network.
Scan PC for Root–kits and Malware
In extreme conditions network connection problems could also be caused by bad malware. A root-kit is a malware program designed to hide itself or other malicious processes from being seen or detected on your PC. Some type of rootkit attacks make detection and removal very difficult, requiring for specialized software tools rather than standard Antivirus programs to successfully get rid of. When it comes to championing for best rootkit removal tools, the line is thin with even the most popular Anti-malware programs falling short of expectations. However there are a few solid contenders that are precisely crafted for the hectic task of removing hidden rootkit and malware on your PC. Scanning and removing hidden malware and spam bots from your local drives and PC registry would help restore Windows services that may have been damaged by the rootkit and allow you access the Internet again or perform other functions that were broken. If you suspect malicious actions on your PC, here are a few recommended programs you can try for free. We recommend you use their portable versions or install on USB thumb drive and run from there.