Internet Connection Fails

Category: Windows

I am using XP home with a cable modem connection, and quite often using while online, I get the error of can't find the server. I just lose my internet connection, and it says my TCP/IP needs resetting. How do I do that and what causes the internet dropout?

There are several possible reasons why your Internet connection might suddenly stop working. If you were on dialup, the most likely scenario would be noise on the phone line, but since you have a high-speed cable connection, we can rule that out.

In a recent Ask Bob Rankin article Do Computers Get Tired? I addressed the subject of electronic devices that fail at random times, and gave some scientific basis for occasionally turning the device off and then back on. I have a cable modem as well, and have found that sometimes a slow or dropped Internet connection is restored simply by unplugging the cable modem, waiting 30 seconds and powering it back on. Not pretty, but it works. If the problem is happening every day, though, it might be better to replace the modem.

There could also be a software-related issue which is causing your Internet connection to fail. If you have other computers on a home network, and they have no trouble getting online, then I'd cast a wary glance in the direction of your firewall. Firewalls are designed to block certain Internet connections, so it's entirely possible that a bug in the firewall software is erroneously shutting down ALL network connections. You may even have told the firewall to do this without meaning to.

Open your firewall's configuration screen and check to see what programs are being blocked from connecting to the Internet. If nothing obvious appears to be erroneously blocked, try shutting down or uninstalling the firewall software, then reboot and see if the problem persists. If that fixes the problem, consider ditching the software-based firewall, especially if you have a router between your computer and the cable modem. Routers have hardware-based firewalls built in, which makes firewall software superfluous for most users.

To uninstall the firewall software, click on the Start button, open Control Panel, then Add/Remove Programs. Find the firewall in the list and click the Remove button. Note that your firewall may be bundled with an anti-virus of internet security package. If that's the case, click on that package (ex: eTrust EZ-Armor or Norton Internet Security), and make sure you select ONLY the firewall for removal, leaving the anti-virus protection in place.

If none of those things helps, report the problem to your Internet provider. If the problem has something to do with your modem or the cabling in your neighboorhood, it might be affecting your neighbors as well.

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Most recent comments on "Internet Connection Fails"

Posted by:

15 Oct 2005

I had proublem with modem drop...I have cable,a rented modom from cable company....they found a low signal at the poll witch they corrected,but I had two cabel "splitters" between the cable coming in and my PC..they put a splitter befor
the intrance,one going directly to my PC and one going to the rest of the house...It's worked great ever since....ZIM.

Posted by:

Mark Panitz
16 Oct 2005

this sometimes happen to me (I use dial up)
sometimes I think if I'm just reading something on the web (not entering data sometimes
the modem hangs up on me,,(if it happens more
then once then I change the dial up number for
my ISp (Verizon) sometimes that helps
(funny you could say I have a hangup about hangups!)

Posted by:

17 Oct 2005

I turned off Sygate Firewall as a test.. a noticable difference in speed. However, I don't know if I want to sacrifice security for speed.

SideNote: I thought I was the only one using E-Trust EZ Anti-Virus. This is the best program I ever bought. It is not an intrusive hog like other anti virus programs. Simple, and does the job!

Posted by:

17 Oct 2005

I was loosing my sync (dropped connection) with Earthlink DSL almost every evening around 8:00pm
After several calls to both Earthlink (ISP) and Qwest (DSL), with no ideas as to the cause, I finally decided it had to have something to do with the load on the phone system (everyone must be calling home around 8:00) pulling down the voltage on the phone signal. So I opened up the NIB on the back of my house and found a very loose and oxidized ground connection. After cleaning and tightening the terminal/wire the problem was solved. Since, then I have had the NIB replaced by Qwest.

Posted by:

Jake Joehl
25 Oct 2005

I have had this happen to me numerous times, both here at my apartment and when I lived with my folks. I'm still not sure of the answer, but I'm told it might have something to do with my ISP, Comcast, increasing the speed of their service. Also, someone on here mentioned E-Trust EZ Anti-Virus. Where can I obtain a copy of that program and is it free? I have Norton Anti-Virus 2005, and it is hogging up my system. Also, an acquaintance of mine from another email list mentioned AVAST. Where can I get that?

Posted by:

05 Aug 2007

I have a Yahoo BB (Broad Band) router made by softbank and I cannot keep a connection when online gaming (World Of Warcraft), nor can I access .mil sites such as I am in the Marine Corps stationed in Japan. Please help. My wife is going to call Yahoo BB for tech support, but I do not know if they can help! I have even gone into my internet options and turned off the firewall. I do not understand!!

EDITOR'S NOTE: Perhaps your (military?) service provider has placed these limits on your account. Can you ask?

Posted by:

27 Sep 2007

Trying to setup a DSL installation on a computer that has expired EZ Armor firewall software on it. I believe it has locked out any new internet access as the modem can not be detected. I've forgotten the password so I am unable to uninstall EZ Armor. Any ideas? I've considered reformatting my hard drive but I have no full windows disks just upgrades of ME and XP.

EDITOR'S NOTE: I'd consider paying to re-activate the EZ Armor. Sounds like the easiest and cheapest solution.

Posted by:

24 Jul 2008

First let me say Thank You Bob, along with countless others you've helped me enormously. My recent problem is while I'm online this little "bubble" continually pops up in the lower right corner of my systems tray. I have windows xp and my connection is through my local cable company, cable, phone, Internet combo) it runs through a router that goes to my wife's computer also. The "bubble" reads "Local Area Connection - a network cable is unplugged" it only lasts a second but will STOP anything that is happening at that moment. Any suggestions ?

EDITOR'S NOTE: If you lose connectivity, you'll see that popup. It could be a flaky signal from the cable company, a bad router, or a loose connection. If it happens on your other computers at roughly the same time, ask your ISP to check the router. If not, unplug/replug all the cables that go to and from the router.

Posted by:

27 Apr 2009

Your site was very helpful to me. Thank you

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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Internet Connection Fails (Posted: 14 Oct 2005)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved