4 Things To Know Before You Call Your Internet Customer Service
When you call customer service for help when your internet isn’t working or it’s slow or spotty, tech support will ask you some questions so they can get started. But if you’re not a tech expert, it’s hard to know how to answer those questions.
To avoid this frustration, before you call internet customer service, you can learn a little bit about your internet service and the issues that may disrupt it. By doing this, you’ll be able to answer related questions with confidence.
Here are the four big questions you’re likely to be asked and the steps you can take to provide the answers.
1. Do you have power?
If your router is powered up but its internet light is off, indicating there is no connection, the cause could be a recent power outage rather than a network issue. You may not even realize it, but an outage may have happened after a ground fault circuit tripped where your internet equipment terminates, which is usually in your garage or basement.
This can happen due to an electrical surge or overload. To see if this is the cause, go to your home’s electrical panel and check if the circuit powering your router has tripped. The tripped circuit breaker will be in a different position than the working ones. You can usually reset it by flipping its switch to the Off position and then to On.
2. Have you tried rebooting?
Simply rebooting your modem and router (or modem-router combo, if you have one) by unplugging them and then plugging them back in is a first step in troubleshooting internet connection problems. Doing this clears Random Access Memory (RAM), which may be having issues that affect your connection. Don’t worry about losing important files or other information—your computer’s memory and data are still intact.
To reboot your router and modem, unplug them from the outlet, wait at least a minute and then plug them back in. Just be sure you don’t press the Reset button on your router, because that will restore it to its original factory settings. You’ll lose your passwords, network names and other custom settings.
You may need to wait a few minutes for the modem and router to power back up. When the internet light on the router turns on, you should be able to go online.
3. Is your Wi-Fi working?
To see if your Wi-Fi is up and running, look for its light on your router to be on. This light may not be labeled “Wi-Fi” but instead something like “Wireless,” “WLAN” or “5G.”
If your Wi-Fi is working but you can’t get on the internet, rebooting your router may also resolve this issue.
4. Were you hacked?
Unfortunately, hackers can cyberattack your Wi-Fi, especially if you have a weak password. Not only does this enable them to see all the unencrypted information you send, but they can also disrupt any of your connected devices.
These are some of the clues that your Wi-Fi may be hacked:
- Your internet speed is a lot slower
- Your Wi-Fi password has been changed
- There is software on your devices that you didn’t install
- Your browser redirects you to a different web page
- You’re seeing more pop-up ads
If you think you may have been hacked, you can do the following:
- Press the Reset button on your router to return it to its factory settings.
- You’ll then need to change your Wi-Fi password. Make sure it’s not one that is easy for hackers to guess (like “password”).
- Run antivirus software to check for malware on your devices.
Want to try some troubleshooting yourself?
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