There’s hardly a good time for your internet to go out, but it always seems to happen at the worst possible time. Maybe you’re streaming the finale of your favorite TV show, closing in on a rare victory online or taking an important work call from home and, sure enough, there goes the internet. Even the best Wi-Fi connections can go out from time to time and may require a bit of troubleshooting to get back online.
Resolving the occasional service disruption is usually fairly quick and simple. Here are the most common reasons why your internet might go out and how to fix the problem, if possible. Spoiler alert: It’s not always the fault of your internet service provider.
(For more Wi-Fi tips, check out why your router may be in the wrong place and how to find free Wi-Fi anywhere in the world.)
Common causes of home internet outages
Here are some of the top causes your internet may have dropped — we’ll dive into solutions for each below.
1. Modem/router malfunctions
2. Inadequate speeds or equipment
3. Hacking or network issues
4. Bad weather
5. ISP service outages and network congestion
Narrowing down the exact issue can take a bit of investigating and troubleshooting. Start by verifying the connection issue isn’t specific to a single website, server or device.
If you’ve lost your Netflix connection halfway through a show, check to see if other streaming services are still accessible and working. If so, the problem likely lies with Netflix and not your internet connection. If you’re having an issue connecting to other streaming services, it could be that the smart TV or streaming device is to blame. Try streaming on another device, if possible, to verify that an internet outage is the culprit.