to do when your
problems cause as much frustration and anxiety as not being able to
connect to the Internet. It seems that something we never heard of five or
six years ago is now an item that we absolutely canít live without. If
the sound is not working, we can live with that. If the word processor
keeps crashing, we can try it another way. But when we canít get online,
thatís a catastrophe. No email. No Yahoo. No news, No sports. No instant
messaging. It may seem as though weíre cut off from civilization as we
now know it.
connection problems can be classified into two main categories Ė those
that are due to the connection or link between your computer and your
Internet Service Provider (ISP), and those due to configuration problems
on your computer. This column will focus on the configuration issues.
suggested in a recent column about computer problems that you should start
by checking all of the cable connections that provide that vital link to
ďCybervilleĒ. If youíre on a dialup or DSL connection, that means
checking the phone line connection at the wall, as well as the one at the
back of your computer. Physically and firmly push the phone line plugs
into the correct sockets. Although they have little tabs that lock these
connectors, they often have a way of coming lose.
must also make sure the phone line is not dead Ė this may seem
elementary to many, but it does need to be checked. Plug a regular
telephone in to the outlet that normally connects to the computer modem.
If thereís no dial tone, itís time to call 611.
cable connections (Oceanic Road Runner or Earthlink), there are a few
things to try before calling the cable company. First, look at the modem;
thatís the little box that connects to the cable. The modem should have
at least three lights illuminated. If the cable light is not visible or
itís flashing, shut down your computer and unplug the modemís power
cord. Wait at least one minute before plugging the modem back in to the
wall outlet. Many of us are impatient and donít want to wait the whole
minute, but trust me, wait the minute.
the cable modemís power cable back in and wait until all of the lights
come back on. This may take another minute or so, but again, be patient
and wait. If you have a solid cable light on your cable modem, start the
computer back up and you should be good to go. If the cable light is still
flashing or not lit at all, itís now time to call the cable company.
youíre disconnected from the Internet and are using a router (common
these days when more than one computer shares the internet connection),
bypass it for now. The router itself
could be the problem, but you wonít know for sure until you
remove it from the equation and see if the connection comes back without
using the router.
of our customers have experienced intermittent problems. These are
sometimes the most difficult to resolve. If you have frequent outages, you
may suggest to the cable company that they provide a signal amplifier. One
customer finally had the problem resolved when the cable company came out
and changed the wire that ran from the street to her home.
Steele is owner of Easy Computer, a training, repair, upgrade, and new
computer store located at 1649 Kalakaua Avenue, 942-3999.