May 01 , 2020
When the internet in your home is slow or sluggish, there’s one place you should always check first: your wireless router. Your router is where all the devices in your home connect to and access the internet. If it’s not working to its full capacity, chances are your devices aren’t either.
But if you aren’t sure how a router works, troubleshooting it can be a tall task. Here’s a guide to all the things that might be going wrong with your router, along with some fixes — some simple and obvious, and some that might take a little more tech know-how.
How Wireless Routers Work
A router derives its name from its job “routing” the internet traffic in your home, as a connection point between your devices and the World Wide Web. In most cases, your router either connects to the internet through a cord to a modem (more on the difference between a router and a modem), or a cord running to a jack in your wall provided by your internet service provider, or “ISP”.
Once the router is connected to the internet, it creates a network through which other devices access the web. Every router has a limited range to broadcast its WiFi network. The further outside that range a device gets, the weaker its connection. When a strong internet connection is paired with a high quality router, the WiFi throughout a home should handle streaming, gaming, video conferencing and more without any issues. In theory, at least.
Check Cable Connections
When troubleshooting a router, first check the cords running into the back of the device. If one of the cords isn’t plugged in or came halfway undone from its port, the solution to your internet woes might be as simple as pushing it back in.
If it seems like one of your cables is consistently coming loose, consider buying a new one. Ethernet cables, the kind used to transfer data between a router and a modem or the router and the internet jack, have what is called an “RJ-45 connector” on the end.
When you push an RJ-45 connector into an ethernet port, there should be a satisfying “click” as soon as the connection is secure. If you can’t hear the click, then the connector is likely broken and should be replaced.