If you're reading this message...

...that means your internet is

Here are some details regarding your connection that I've collected:

Are you stuck, or having other internet connection troubles? You're in the right place: keep this page open, as it will become a handy troubleshooting reference and utility in case nothing else loads or your internet is really dying. Open other sites in a new tab, window, or browser. The connection test on this website can be re-run without refreshing the page!

Why don't other sites load properly?

Chances are, other sites will load too (try Google, Yahoo Search, or StartPage), just slower than this one due to their size, server load, and/or other factors. This site, not counting the share buttons, is quite small - around 25 kb - and shouldn't take more than a few seconds to load, unless you're on an extremely slow connection. See the next section below for information on how you can speed it up.

If you get a blank page with no indication of loading (and no status code like 301, 302, 404, etc.), check to see if it's down for everyone, and not just you. In the case that the site is up and "it's just you," try clearing your DNS, which may have gotten scrambled:

It may be your ISP who is having DNS problems if none of the above solutions work for you. Try (temporarily) switching to OpenDNS to see if you can now load pages that previously wouldn't, and if that link doesn't work, then it's likely not a DNS issue - continue reading. You should also test your connection quality at Pingtest.net. Any amount of packet loss indicates a problem on your end, and not the web server you are trying to access.

What can I do to make my connection faster?

If you're using wireless, there are a number of actions you can do to improve your connection speed. The simplest method is to physically relocate closer to the router/access point to improve your signal strength. Some areas, depending on your environment, will get better signal than others. Need to stay far away from your hotspot/router on a regular basis? Consider purchasing an 802.11 N compatible router, or a Wi-Fi Range Extender. Alternatively, you have a few options:

If none of the above options work for you, or if you are using a wired connection, try the following:

Wireless adapters are fairly cheap, and can provide varying degrees of success depending on the model. A simple rule of thumb is, the bigger the antenna, the better the reception. I suggest trying out different ones - including internal cards, which don't rely on USB (avoiding any USB driver issues), and are more permanent - to determine which one works best. You can test your internet connection speed via Speedtest.net or Speakeasy's Speed Test (provided you can load them - try DSLReports' Mobile Speed Test for a more lightweight speed test).

What if nothing loads at all?

Any one of the components that bridge your browser to the internet could be broken, so you'll may have to diagnose each one individually to determine what's causing connectivity issues. For most (home) internet setups, the "internet bridge" looks something like this: Web Browser <-> OS/Network Adapter <-> Router <-> Modem <-> ISP <-> the rest of the internet. Listed below are some potential fixes that can be done without leaving your chair (make sure to attempted all the steps in the previous sections as well!).

If none of the previous fixes work, your connection problems are likely not a result of your computer. The actions below go over the other components that could be causing issues.

How do I determine if my router is working?

Manufacturer/SourceIP AddressUsername/PasswordAlt. Username/Password
2Wire Gateway (AT&T U-Verse) on router(blank)(blank)
Arris (Comcast Xfinity)
Arris (Comcast Xfinity) alt.
D-Link192.168.0.1adminadmin OR (blank)user(blank)
NETGEAR192.168.0.1adminadmin OR passwordRefer to manual
Pace (AT&T U-Verse) on routeradminadmin
Securifi10.10.10.254PIN: 1234adminadmin
TRENDnet192.168.1.1adminadmin OR password(blank)(blank)

Try to access your router's control panel via your browser (192.168.*.*) on a wired connection. In the table above, you can find control panel IP addresses for common router manufacturers under the "IP Address" column. Alternatively, you can find it in your router's manual, or for Windows users, by opening a command prompt window, and then using the command "ipconfig" - your router's IP will be on the right of "Default Gateway...". Punch the IP address into the address bar of your browser, press enter, and the control panel page should appear within a few seconds.

If the control panel says something similar to "Searching for Server" or "First-time Setup", then your ISP is having issues - give them a call. A support number can be located on your latest internet bill. Otherwise, if the control panel page never loads (with no login prompt), and you're absolutely certain about the address, consider trying another router that works. This is rather time consuming, but also the most certain method of specifically determining whether or not your router has issues.

Online, or at your local electronics store, you can find relatively cheap options. Don't worry about features, speed, and range (as you should be using a wired connection at this point), it simply has to work. If that router fails to connect as well, the issue is likely due to your modem or ISP and your router(s) are perfectly fine. If the new one connects, your old (used) router is having problems, you can stick with your newly purchased one (or return it for a higher-end router).

Alternatively, you can try to fix the older one with a hard reset - this will put your router back to factory settings, just like when you first took it out of the box. Warning: your old router settings will be unrecoverable after a reset! Attempt one more reboot before trying this, and make sure you are trying to access the control panel with the correct IP and through a wired connection! First, find the reset button on your router, which may be located underneath or in the back and will likely require a pin to push in. You have two options (taken from the DD-WRT Wiki), have a stopwatch ready:

Performing a hard reset will require you to set up your router again. Refer to your router's manual for details.

What should I do if issues persist? (My internet only works sometimes)

In an odd position where sometimes your internet works flawlessly, and then other times it's moving at a snail's pace? Driver and firmware updates often improve hardware stability, and the generic drivers provided by your OS may not be the best fit. Go to the manufacturer's website, download, and install the latest drivers specific to your wireless/ethernet card.

Updating the firmware on your router is trickier, more risky, and requires following specific instructions. You can obtain the latest version off the manufacturer's website and follow the provided documentation. Only update your router's firmware on a wired connection to reduce the risk of "bricking" your router.

I've tried everything above and I still don't have a stable connection!

Consider switching to a better ISP. Net Index is a crowdsourced region/ISP statistics site that you can point to your area for ISP ratings. DSLReports also has ISP reviews that can be narrowed down to your region.