This story is part of Home Tips, CNET’s collection of practical advice for getting the most out of your home, inside and out.
There’s really never a good time for your Wi-Fi to go out: Whatever you’re using the internet for at the time (streaming TV, gaming online, working from home or some combination of it all) comes to an abrupt and frustrating halt. An internet outage could also knock your Wi-Fi security cameras, smart light switches and other connected devices offline even when you’re away — not ideal.
While there’s not much you can do about an internet outage when you’re away from home, troubleshooting and resolving the occasional service disruption can be 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.)
Most 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