Internet Outages

What Causes Internet Outages and What Should You Do In This Situation?

Internet outages are uncommon but inevitable. No matter how good your internet service provider is, sometimes situations they could not have imagined would arise and cause an outage, which may leave you stranded in the middle of whatever online activity you were conducting at the time.

It may be impossible to subscribe to an internet provider who will never face an outage; however, it is quite possible and sensible to sign up with a provider who maintains a great customer service department. It will be the only thing keeping you calm in an otherwise panic-driven situation.

Since I first signed up with Windstream, I have only faced an outage once in five years. However, it was not the best of moments to have one. I was in the middle of an online job interview when suddenly everything froze, I can still remember how I thought my heart had stopped at the realization that the internet was not working. I quickly got in touch about it and they understood of course. Nevertheless, it was the Windstream customer service that helped me calm down and breathe until the time my internet was up and running again. They helped me figure out the issue and fix it all the while reassuring that it will be okay. So yes, a good customer support team is crucial when deciding upon an ISP.

Reasons for an Internet Outage

Several reasons can cause internet outage. Below we will discuss a few common ones to look out for.

  1. The most common internet outages, is caused by network congestion. When too many people are using the same network it causes the connection to deteriorate or fail altogether. This is a common occurrence in college dorms or public libraries but can happen in your house. Do not fret though because it can be fixed very easily.
  2. Another common reason is hardware problems or failure. The culprits could be disconnected or damaged network cables, faulty modem or router, or something not working properly at the ISP’s end.
  3. You could face an outage when your firewall and router is not configured according to the internet connection’s requirements. If everything worked fine but suddenly problems started then there is a possibility your ISP has changed something at their end.
  4. Natural disasters can never be foreseen and can cause extensive damage to affected areas. Tornados or floods, for example, can cause damage to the infrastructure and result in the whole region facing an outage.
  5. Equipment that is not properly grounded for electrical power surges can end up being fried in such instances leaving you with no internet until the equipment is replaced.
  6. An internet outage is not always caused by unintentional failures. Sometimes it could be a deliberate attempt by hackers who are trying to access your network.

Also Read: How to protect yourself during online communication

Handling an Internet Outages

You must make sure everything is working properly at your end before calling up your internet provider’s helpline. This saves everyone’s time and helps you focus on the problem instead of going around doing basic things.

  1. First things first, make sure that you have paid the bill. In our busy schedules, it is possible to forget things. Rule out the option of your ISP cutting the connection first.
  2. Once you have ruled out disconnection, restart your modem/router. Turn it off and wait for 30 seconds before turning it on again. Wait another few minutes before trying to work over the internet again. Most of the times this will do the trick saving you time and stress.
  3. If it continues, check if there are too many devices connected to the internet causing the network to overload. Kicking off a few may help if congestion is the problem.
  4. You may also want to restart your computer, tablet or smartphone because sometimes it is your device that’s just in need of a break.
  5. Some websites report outages and downtime for all providers throughout the country. You may want to check one of these to see if your ISP is facing an outage.
  6. There are also tools that you can use to inform you of whatever is causing the internet outage whenever you face one. This can help you ensure the source of the problem and act accordingly.
  7. If all else fails then you can finally pick up the phone and call up your ISP for help. This is where a great customer service department plays an important role.

Prepare for Future Outages

Like I said earlier, internet outages are a rare occurrence. However, they are not a pleasant experience. Therefore, if you have never faced an outage do not get cocky because you will someday. On the other hand, if you already have faced the horrors of prolonged downtime then stop being naïve because it can surely happen again. No matter who you are, where you live and how amazing your ISP is, you need a backup plan.

It could be as simple as locating a diner that is open 24/7 and offers free Wi-Fi that you could use in case of emergencies. Just ensure that it is not in the same neighborhood because if the whole area is facing downtime then so will they.

Concluding Thoughts

It doesn’t matter if you’re a large business set-up or a single person home, internet outages are something nobody can escape. That’s why it’s important to understand why they happen and how to deal with them. Make sure you do everything in your hands to ensure that nothing at your end is causing the problem, before contacting your ISP to complain. Hope this article will help you stay calm and do the necessary in case of an outage. Just remember to be patient.

Also Read: Fiber Wire Internet vs DSL: What’s Better for My Small Business?

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