I can't connect to the internet; guide causes and solutions

Having Internet connection problems, especially in Italy due to the weakness (and scarcity) of telecommunication infrastructures, is quite frequent and, very often, the cause lies in the line managed by the ADSL operator.
However, before calling the call center to report a problem on the internet, it is necessary to do all the tests at home to check if the cause depends on us, on our computer or on the router and, therefore, if it can be resolved without having to wait for the technician intervention.
In this summary article, we see, in a concise but complete way, all the control operations to be done when we are no longer able to connect to the Internet, to identify and correct errors on the network and on web browsing.
We can divide the solutions into three groups, one for operating system problems, computer-related solutions and solutions for any problems on the network and router.
When the internet does not work, in fact, try to understand where the problem lies: for example it can happen that I cannot surf the internet by opening Chrome or Firefox while instead a program like Skype works, or that one computer connects well while another does not despite being the same network.
I must point out that the order of operations to be done to restore the internet and solutions is not chronological so it is better to print this guide and read it all before proceeding.
1) Software problems on the operating system and on the browser
First of all check the network icon near the clock that, if the connection was limited or with errors, would have a yellow triangle over it while if there was a red X, the connection would be absent.
If the icon is normal and you are unable to navigate, then the problem depends on the web browser that has some wrong configuration, perhaps due to malware.
What we need to check right away is that there is no proxy set that hijacks browsing making it slow or not possible.
In each browser, be it Chrome, Firefox or Internet Explorer, open the settings and check the Proxy options which, unless specific needs are met, must be configured on " no proxy ".
After this, to solve any web browsing problem, it is better to first do a virus check on Chrome, firefox and Internet Explorer also useful to check if there are malicious extensions and if the hosts file is clean.
If there is something wrong and you cannot understand what, reset all browsers to the default settings .
If the network icon has a yellow exclamation mark (so the computer is connected to the network, but not the internet ) or a red cross (the computer is disconnected), you need to check the system settings.
Click on the network icon above with the right mouse button to open the network and sharing center. Make an automatic diagnosis which should tell us why you are unable to connect to the computer.
From the network connections screen, left click on Change adapter settings and then right click on the network card used and active (check that it is not disabled) to diagnose and detect problems.
The " Change adapter settings " screen can also be opened from the Start menu, by going to Run and sending the command ncpa.cpl .
If you are not satisfied, you can check for connection problems with the Google Chrome browser.
From the network card screen, right click on the card used, open the properties, then scroll down and select TCP / IPv4, click on Properties and make sure that all fields are empty and that the " Automatically get ... ".
This tells the network adapter to get the IP address from a DHCP server .
Then click on OK and, after a short time, right-click again on the network card to go into the details and verify that an IP address (which must not start with the number 169 ), a DNS address and a gateway address.
If nothing changes or if there is no abnormal value, try solutions to errors on sockets, LSPs and TCP / IP Stack that cause limited or absent connectivity, as already explained in the past.
Without being expert, it is only a matter of running an automatic program that resets the parameters and restores the network.
If a solution still has not been found, another attempt is to clear the DNS cache, as explained in the solutions guide if DNS is not responding which is a very frequent problem.
2) Computer problems
The Internet may not work for a hardware problem.
It is usually easy to understand if you are unable to connect because of the computer, because you just have to try with another PC or smartphone and see if it works.
The network icon can be with the yellow exclamation mark or with the red cross above, which indicates precisely " disconnected device ".
In this case the solutions are the most obvious:
- Check that the cable is well connected if it is a wired connection.
- Try with a different cable.
- Check that the network card located behind the desktop PC, the one with the antenna or with the Ethernet socket, has been properly fixed.
If you move with your hand, you will need to open the computer and secure it well.
- Check that the wireless signal reception is good and not poor.
- Check that the wifi radio is on (on some laptops there is a physical switch, on others you can press a combination of keys such as Fn + F5 or there is a network management program visible from the icon near the 'clock).
- Check that a firewall or antivirus that blocks any incoming connection is not active.
Then try turning them off to see if everything goes back to normal.
- A connection problem with the router.
One operation that can help is to reset the network card .
To activate and deactivate a network card, just press its icon with the right button from the " modify card settings " window (the one that opens with the ncpa.cpl command as seen above).
Be careful then that if you are using two or more network cards, for example an Ethernet and a Wifi, it may be necessary to disable one of the two.
To reset a network card instead you can try to completely uninstall the card and reinstall it .
This is done from the Device Manager utility (located in the Control Panel), in the Network Cards section.
Right-click on the network card used for Internet access and click on Uninstall.
Restart your computer and note that Windows automatically reinstalls the card with the default parameters.
It is unlikely to be a solution, but if your computer is old, you may need to update your network card drivers .
To facilitate the operation, we saw, in another article, an automatic tool to download the updated network card driver on a Windows PC.
2) Problems with the router
If the computer is fine and above all if all the home PCs and also the cellphones and tablets cannot connect to the internet, surely the problem depends either on the modem / router or on our ADSL provider.
Before calling the assistance of Telecom, Fastweb, Libero or any other telephony and internet provider, try to restart the router / modem .
This is a simple but very effective solution to solving the problem.
Then turn off the modem / router using the button behind it, wait a minute and turn it back on to see if it resumes.
If you don't find the button, try unplugging it and reattaching it.
Note : Before doing any other operation on the router, you need to know if this is our property or was provided by the provider.
In this second case, it may not even be possible to access its settings and that any manual operation worsens the situation.
If the restart of the modem / router does not work, try, with a reset of the router, that it will cancel all the personalized settings, including the passwords for accessing the network.
The reset button is usually a small hole in the back of the router which you must press with a pen for a certain period of time which can be around 30 seconds.
For all other tests and settings to be checked and possibly modified, refer to the article on solutions for wifi and router connection problems .
After all these checks it is worth calling the ADSL provider's assistance service which will restore the line after one or more days.
The big advantage, after reading this article, will be that of being able to talk to the operator on equal terms, showing competence, without making the figure of the unwary and without wasting time with the basic solutions, which we have already tried on our own.

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