4 Quick Solutions To Windows Network Connection Problems

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netwokblue   4 Quick Solutions To Windows Network Connection ProblemsNetworks are finicky at best.  Wireless or Ethernet, almost everyone has had their share of network connection problems.  It could be anything from not being to access the Internet despite being connected to the network, to not being able to connect to the network at all.

Unfortunately, network connection problems are sometimes hard to diagnose.  A few articles here on MakeUseOf give some help.  Guy McDowell’s about weak wireless signals, and Karl Gechlik’s about some simple diagnosis steps are both great resources.

Here I will lay out four easy solutions you can try to get your Internet access back.  I will give instructions for Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7.

Check Your Hosts File

Windows can use the hosts file to set IP addresses to particular domains.  This means though that it can be used to redirect or effectively cut off your Internet access.

When I need to troubleshoot an Internet connection, this is usually the first place I look.

To view the file in Windows XP, just open up Notepad and go to File->Open.  Then, navigate to your C drive, then to the “Windows” Folder, then “System32” folder, then “drivers” folder, then “etc” folder and finally, open the file named “hosts“.

You may have to change where it says “Text Documents” to “All Files” to see the hosts file.

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AllFiles MUO Net   4 Quick Solutions To Windows Network Connection Problems

After you have the file open, it should look something like this:

Hosts MUO Net   4 Quick Solutions To Windows Network Connection Problems

It should only have the heading stuff and maybe the line designating the localhost.  Anything else should be deleted.

The instructions are the same for Vista and Windows 7, only instead of just opening Notepad, you have to right click the Notepad icon and choose to “Run as administrator” to edit the file.

Check Your TCP/IP Settings

Another issue may be that your TCP/IP settings were altered in some way.

For XP, got to Control Panel and then Network Connections.

In Windows Vista/7, go to the Control Panel and then the Network and Sharing Center.  In 7, click on “change adapter settings.”  In Vista, click on “manage network connections“.

In all versions of Windows, after you get to the places designated above, right click the device giving you trouble, either the Wireless card or Ethernet card.  Then select “Properties.”

Properties MUO Net   4 Quick Solutions To Windows Network Connection Problems

Something looking like the following window should pop up.

TCPIP MUO Net   4 Quick Solutions To Windows Network Connection Problems

Click on Internet Protocol Version 6 and then hit “Properties“.  You should see something like the following.

TCPIPDNS MUO Net   4 Quick Solutions To Windows Network Connection Problems

If either the IP or DNS server address are not set to automatic, set them to be automatic.

Repeat this for Internet Protocol Version 4.

Reset Your TCP/IP Manually

Sometimes, you may just need to reset your TCP/IP.  This can easily be done at the command line in Windows.

For Windows XP, go to Start->Run.  Type “cmd” and press enter.  A command window should pop up.  Then type “netsh int ip reset c:\resetlog.txt” and press enter.  You will then have to restart your computer.

TCPIPReset MUO Net   4 Quick Solutions To Windows Network Connection Problems

For Windows Vista/7, you have to run the Command Prompt as an administrator.  To do that, just type “cmd” in your start menu’s search bar.  Right click the “cmd” icon that should come up and select “Run as administrator.”  Then type the same as indicated above, press enter, and restart.

Reset Your Winsock Manually

Winsock, short for Windows Socket API, is how Windows handles network services.  A reset of this may fix a network problem.

Resetting your Winsock is similar to resetting TCP/IP.  Open a Command Prompt as laid out above for your version of Windows and type “netsh winsock reset“.  Then press enter and restart your computer.

Winsock MUO Net   4 Quick Solutions To Windows Network Connection Problems

Sometimes even these steps will not fix a faulty connection.  If that’s the case, you can try googling the exact problem or contacting someone with network experience.

If you know any other quick solutions to fixing network connection problems, please lets us know in the comments below.

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7 Comments - Write a Comment

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Nick

These are great tips if your a DIY, When I fix network problems, I always use these methods, but most of the times, I do more advance network troubleshooting.

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absurdist

Under “Check your IP settings” you should have included delete the IPv6 protocol and see if that clears things up. There have been many reports of connection problems with both protocols activated.

Mike Fagan

I have heard of that helping, but I was trying to list some quick solutions a beginner can do and I feel that deleting protocols is a little on the advanced site. Thanks for the suggestion though!

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Billy Bob Bumpkins

I work at the help desk of a major university, and I found the netsh and winsock reset commands helpful on one occasion (out of two). Thanks for that!

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