Renew Your IP Address

Category: Networking

Once in a while I have trouble accessing the Internet. If I turn off my cable modem router, wait a few seconds, then turn it back on, the problem is resolved. But there must be a simpler way. What do you suggest?

Fix Internet Access Problems By Renewing Your IP Address

When you cannot access the Internet through your Ethernet or wireless connection, the problem may be that you have no IP address or an invalid one. Sometimes this is caused by a flaky router, but whatever the reason, you can often resolve the problem by renewing your IP address.

A sign that you need to renew your IP address is the message, "limited or no connectivity" from the network icon in your system tray. Click on that icon, select "status," and you may see that you are connected to the router at XX Mbps but have "no Internet access."

In Windows, renewing your IP address is simple and takes just a few seconds, if everything else is working as it should be. Here are step by step instructions to renew your IP address:
Renew IP Address

  • Open a command prompt. Click Start and enter "cmd" in the Search window (Windows 7) or in the Run window (XP).
  • Enter on the command line "ipconfig /release" to release/erase your current IP address. Note that there is a space between "ipconfig" and "/release".
  • Enter "ipconfig /renew" to renew your IP address (don't forget the space). After a few seconds, a message should confirm that your IP address has been renewed.
  • Enter "exit" to close the command line window.

Many people simply shut off their computer and router, wait a few minutes, and power up again. This procedure also renews your IP address, though not as quickly or easily as the command-line method.

Why Do I Need to Renew My IP Address?

Your IP address may have to be renewed for any of several reasons. The most common cause is a temporary failure of your router's DHCP server, which assigns IP addresses to network adapters as they log on. Often, DHCP server failures are very brief, and renewing your IP address will work immediately. But you may have to reset your router by turning it off and waiting a minute before powering it up again.

Another reason for DHCP failure may be that your network connection is not configured to use DHCP. To check DHCP configuration, open the Properties of your network connection, highlight the TCP/IP Protocol (v4 or v6, whichever you are using) and click Properties. Make sure "obtain an IP address automatically" is checked.

A loose cable may be the cause of an IP address failure on hardwired Ethernet connections. The message "Media disconnected" from ipconfig is a sign that your network adapter is not connected to the router. Make sure the connections between your network adapter and the router are secure. Rarely, the cable or even the network adapter may need to be replaced.

When a wireless network adapter has a "media disconnected" problem the cause may be a corrupted driver. Try uninstalling and re-installing the adapter through Device Manager. You may also want to look for an updated driver for that adapter.

Renewing your IP address will not fix all Internet connectivity issues. But it's something you can try before calling your ISP's support line, and often it works.

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Most recent comments on "Renew Your IP Address"

Posted by:

20 Jun 2011

Renewing or restarting your modem, be it DSL or Cable Modem, is the easiest way to get things back in order.

I have had DSL, since March 2000, having used both internal & external modems. The modem that I have the most issues with, is the Wireless External Modem. Restarting the modem, is the first suggestion from Tech Support. This can be done 2 ways, unplugging the DSL filter or phone line from the wall or by restarting the system 'device' online through your System Summary.

Ok, you say, how can you connect to your online summary, when you can't connect to the Internet. My ISP AT&T provides the means to access my System Summary, even when I am not on the Internet. When, I can't access my Summary account, that is when I unplug the DSL filter from the wall.

The System Summary includes all of the information about your modem's ISP addresses, Firewall settings, Wireless settings, who's on & who isn't, so on & so forth. I have control over the settings, which is what I like. I do use Windows Network connection & that gives me lots of info about what is happening, too.

By frequently checking my System Summary, I found that someone unknown to me, was using my wireless connection. I was using the standard WEP, then I went to WPA2, for my security & a strong password. Strong passwords & WPA2 setting for a wireless modem, is essential, in my book.

Posted by:

21 Jun 2011

Sorry, but I must add. When I can't get things fixed, with just a re-start & things are not working right or I am continually having to re-start, just to connect to the Internet...I am fairly sure that it is the modem & it needs to be replaced.

I have found Modems to be just like Graphic Cards, they tend to get really 'fussy' & hard to control, when they are 'going out'. Hey, nothing lasts forever, especially in the computer world. }:O)

It may also, be that the USB Adapter(s) on your Wireless Network, needs to be replaced. Again, USB Adapters will go out, just like Modems.

Posted by:

Pastor David
22 Jun 2011

Why do I have to keep renewing my IP address? I am connecting to a DSL router wireless?

Posted by:

25 Jun 2011

@Pastor David---

Assuming, since your didn't give any details, about what method you are using to connect. But, it sounds like you are using either a USB Adapter or PCMCIA wireless card or a Mini-Wireless Internal card for laptops. Any one of these can be the culprit. As I stated, nothing is forever, especially when it comes to computers.

Replace your USB Adapter or PCMCIA wireless card or a Mini-Wireless Internal card, see if that helps. If, you are computer savvy, you can do it yourself or you can take it to a computer shop & let them do it, for a fee/price.

Posted by:

29 Oct 2011

Thank you for helping everyone with your tips. In that same spirit, I'd like to pass on something I've learned on my computer, as follows:

I finally noticed a connection between brief power outages and loss of connectivity with the internet. It took me some time to find the procedure you described above for restoring the IP number.

I said "finally" because for a long time I've been using an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) to keep my computer running through the many brief outages in my area, but never stopped to think if my cable modem or router were also protected by the UPS . . . they were NOT!

Since plugging the modem and router into the UPS, I just sail through the power blips with no further loss of connectivity. This worked so well with my computers that I now also use an UPS with each TV set and decoder box. The cable decoder is prone to long reloads, which are no fun if you miss the most important part of a show!

Thanks! J.

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