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Wisbech tech specialist says: 'If in doubt, turn it on and off again'

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Here's the fortnightly I.T Crowd column by Philip Brooks of Diamond Byte Solutions

With the terribly windy weather we’ve had of late, one of the most common things we’ve been called about is broadband faults.

We, and other repair guys like us can fix computers and wi-wi issues but can’t repair actual line problems.

Broadband (55107076)
Broadband (55107076)

So, here’s a quick guide on what to check if you have a line fault.

1. Checking your landline phone is working.

Plug your phone into the same socket your router is connected to.

Check there’s a dial tone and try to make a call.

If it’s not working, then you probably have a line fault and need to contact your telephone/broadband provider.

2. Turning your router AND your computer off and on again

Yes, it’s an age-old IT cliché, it may sound simple, but it really does solve most problems.

Hit the on/off switch on the back of the router.

Shut down your computer or device.

Wait 30 seconds and turn everything back on again

If the router’s internet light still flashes amber or red after a few minutes, you need to check the cabling, if there’s no problem there then you probably have a line fault and need to contact your telephone/broadband provider.

If you’re using wi-fi, and all the right lights are on the router you’ll need to check whether your wi-fi is faulty. If you have other devices are they working correctly?

Plug your laptop or device directly into the router using the steps below:

1. Plug one end of the ethernet cable into any of the ethernet sockets on the back of your router (some models may have a different coloured port that’s blue or red, don’t use this one)

2. Plug the other end into the ethernet socket on your device. If you can access the internet when you plug in, there’s probably a problem with your wi-fi, which maybe an issue with your computer.

If you still can’t connect to the internet via ethernet, then you should phone your internet service provider first. I’ve listed 10 of the UK’s most popular broadband supplier’s customer help numbers here because without an internet connection they can be a real pain to find.

If you have slow connection you can check your speed using the website www.fast.com this works on almost all devices.

Some useful numbers:

  • BT 0800 800 150
  • EE Broadband 0800 079 8586
  • PlusNet 0800 432 0200
  • Post Office 0345 600 3210
  • Sky 03442 411 653
  • TalkTalk 020 3417 1000
  • Utility Warehouse 0333 777 0777
  • Virgin Media 0345 454 1111

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