Network Problems Suck!

If a bad connection is between you and the online content you want, this guide helps diagnose your problem and work toward a solution. Please, jump in if you're ready to go or keep reading for an overview of the process.

Start Fixing Your Network

The Beginner's Guide to Solving Network Problems

Network problems suck, but you can do more than reboot your router. Follow this step-by-step guide and we'll show you how to find the source of your problem and start working toward a solution.

The Beginner's Guide to Solving Network Problems is effective whether or not you control the failing part of the network. If your local network is the problem, we'll show you how to diagnose the issue and fix it. If a network outside your control, like an internet provider, is the problem, we'll show you how to build a case and persuade the provider to help fix the problem.

What is a Network Problem?

Lag, buffering, bad call quality, and no internet connection are examples of network problem symptoms. If you're unable to enjoy the online content you want, there's a good chance your network is to blame. Network problems impact things like, online games, websites, streaming media, and broadband phone. The internet doesn't even have to be involved. Anytime a bad connection prevents you from accessing something outside your computer you're dealing with a network problem.

Network problems happen when your computer can't reach the content you want to access
Network problems happen when something disrupts the connection between your computer and the content you're trying to access.

How are Network Problems Solved?

The first step to solving a network problem is finding the source. Network problems are caused by a part of the network you control or a part of the network outside your control. We're assuming you control your local network and don't control anything beyond that. If that's not the case, just think of local as in your control and outside as in someone else's control.

The way you solve the problem depends on whether or not you control the failing part of the network. You can solve local network problems by yourself because you control the network. Outside network problems require help from whoever runs that network. Either way, this guide has the steps you need to move toward a solution.

You can fix problems on your local network by yourself. Problems outside your network require someone else's help.
You can fix problems on your local network by yourself. Outside network problems require help from whoever controls the network.

Why Follow this Guide?

We've been helping people solve network problems for almost twenty years. Our "secret sauce" is a software tool called PingPlotter. It tests your network and makes it easier to find the source of problems. With PingPlotter and this guide by your side, you're well equipped to tackle problems of all shapes and sizes.

PingPlotter is a tool that helps find the source of network problems
PingPlotter makes finding the source of problems easier by graphing network performance. Green is good. Red is bad.

How Does PingPlotter Work?

PingPlotter tests your network with the same tools technicians have been using for years. Those tools are Ping and Traceroute. The difference is PingPlotter visualizes the information in a way that makes finding the source of network problems easier.

Use PingPlotter to visualize network traffic and see where performance slows down.
To find the source of a problem, look for places on the network where performance goes from good to bad.

What Happens After I Find the Source of the Problem?

Once you have an idea of what's going on, we'll show you how to check your diagnosis and work toward a solution based on the results. If you have a local network problem, we'll provide instructions on how to fix it. If your problem is outside you local network, we'll show you how to effectively connect with the people running the network and persuade them to help you.

So what do you say? Ready to try it out?

Let's do this!