Behl and Getz: Fix a dropped Internet connection | TheUnion.com
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Behl and Getz: Fix a dropped Internet connection

Photo for The Union John Hart
Jorn Hart | The Union

I seem to often lose my internet connection. I don’t know if it is my wireless connection, the internet provider or my computer. What is the best way to get connected again?

The solution to this problem depends on the type of connection you have to the internet. This tip assumes you have a broadband connection, such as DSL or cable. (If you’re using dialup, the only solution is to hang up the phone and redial!)

Typical home broadband internet connections consist of three logical devices. First is the modem (which connects your DSL/cable connection into a computer connection usually referred to as Ethernet.) Next is the router, which allows multiple computers to share the connection and often allows both wired and wireless connections. (Sometimes, the modem and router are combined into a single physical unit). The third part of the device chain is the networking hardware and software in your computer.



The quickest way to attempt to fix a problem is to turn off all of the devices. Turn the power off for each and wait at least 15 seconds before starting to turn power back on. Use the normal computer shutdown functions and then make sure the power is off.

Next, turn on the devices in this specific order: First the modem, then the router, and finally your computer. Wait at least one minute or more between devices to make sure each device has completely started up before turning on the next device.




If you still have a problem, you will likely need to contact your ISP to help determine where the problem is. The good (or bad) news is that ISP support technician will most likely require you to perform these same steps again in order to be able to help you. You can try convincing the technician that you’ve already taken the steps, but be prepared to walk through them again.

If you want more information, check out the following link on the LifeHacker.com (http://lifehacker.com/5910788/why-do-i-have-to-keep-resetting-my-router-and-how-can-i-fix-it) website.

Stuck with your ISP’s Email Address

When I signed up for Internet service with Comcast, they gave me an email address and I’ve been using it ever since. I’m now leaving Comcast for another provider, and the new provider is offering me an email address. Clearly, I’m going to have to tell people about my new address, but I really don’t want to ever have to do this again. How can I avoid this problem?

Funny, we’re always surprised to find out that people stick with the email service their ISP (Internet Service Provider) gives them, when they’re in the business of providing internet service, not email. Sure, you can use the email that Comcast, or HughesNet, or any other ISP gives you, but it’s never a good idea. Yes, it’s true: It’s never a good idea. As you’ve seen, if you ever change ISPs, you’re stuck telling everyone you know about the new address. Listen carefully: You do not need to use the email address that your ISP provides. You probably shouldn’t use the email address that your ISP provides. There are plenty of free email providers that do a great job, and none is tied to a particular ISP.

Check out free services like Hotmail, Yahoo, and Gmail (we like Gmail best). You can browse to their websites and sign up for free email addresses. You can request any email address, although short names (like ken@gmail.com, or doug@yahoo.com) are already taken. Even full names (like Ken’s email, ken.getz@someISP.com — he’s not excited about posting his email address here) are often already taken. Most services will offer you several options, based on your name (like ken.getz1234@gmail.com). To sign up for these free services, follow these links:

• Gmail: http://accounts.google.com

• Hotmail: http://signup.live.com

• Yahoo: https://edit.yahoo.com/registration

Note that some services, like Gmail, provide a means of migrating your old mail to your new email account, offering to send emails out to all your contacts, and forwarding your old mail to your new address. This seems like the best solution, to us!

Doug Behl and Ken Getz spent years answering technical questions in private, and are minimizing the questions by pre-emptively publishing the answers. Hear Doug and Ken’s tech tips on KNCO radio weekdays at around 8:21a.m. and 5:38 p.m.; find full write-ups including links to the products they mention at http://blog.techtipguys.com. Submit your own technical questions to questions@techtipguys.com.


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