How to troubleshoot a router (and find out if you need a new router)

How to troubleshoot a router (and find out if you need a new router)

If you are having problems connecting to the internet, your router may be responsible. Whether you’re trying to communicate with local devices or the wider web, your router is the center of all your internet activity. If you’re struggling to get a fast, reliable connection, it’s always worth checking your router – and in this article we’ll show you how!

By going through the suggestions in this list, you can test if your router is really the cause of your connection problems, troubleshoot it if it is the cause, and reconnect as quickly as possible.

The obvious things

Before we move on to more complicated techniques, let’s try out some simple solutions. Sometimes the simplest techniques will be enough to solve your problems and restore your internet connection:

  • Turn off your router and turn it back on. Then wait a few minutes and see if your internet connection is operational again.
  • Check if there are any issues with your service provider. Most suppliers have a status page where you can access this information. If in doubt, try Google searching for the name of your service provider followed by a phrase such as “service status” or “outage map”.
How to Troubleshoot Router Health Status
  • Try to connect with another device. If you are having issues with only one device, there is always a possibility that the problem is with your device and not with the internet connection. If possible, it is a good idea to test your connection using at least one other internet-enabled device. If this device manages to connect without any problems, it is likely that the router is not at fault.
  • Switch to an Ethernet cable. If you have trouble connecting to Wi-Fi, you can get positive results by directly connecting your device to the router using an Ethernet cable. There are many factors that can interfere with a Wi-Fi connection, including physical barriers, such as walls. By physically connecting your device to the router, you can check whether the problem is with the router itself or with the quality of your Wi-Fi signal.
  • Try a different Ethernet cable. Otherwise, if you are already physically connected to the router, verify that the cable is firmly connected. It may also be helpful to remove and then reconnect the Ethernet cable to see if that triggers the connection. If you have access to a second Ethernet cable, you can try changing the cables.

Change the router’s Wi-Fi channel

You may be able to connect to the network over Wi-Fi, but the network performance is slow or unreliable. In this scenario, your Wi-Fi channel may be busy with traffic from other Wi-Fi users in your area.

How to troubleshoot a router channelHow to troubleshoot a router channel

You can manually change your Wi-Fi channel through your router’s settings. To access your router’s settings, you need to know the router’s IP address. Usually this is,, or similar and must be entered in your browser. Here’s how to find your router’s IP address on any platform.

Once you have retrieved this information, enter your router’s IP address into your web browser. It should ask for your router’s username and login. This information varies depending on the IP provider, but is usually printed on the router itself.

If you haven’t manually changed the default username and password, you can often retrieve this information by using your favorite search engine and entering your router’s model number, followed by a phrase. such as “default username and password” or “default login”. The model number of your router should be printed in the manual or on the router itself.

Once you are in your router’s Wi-Fi channel settings, how do you know which channel to choose? There is a lot to do, so read our guide on how to find the best Wi-Fi channel for your network.

Reset your router

The most drastic step of simply restarting or restarting your router is to reset it, which will restore the router to its default settings.

How to Troubleshoot a Router ResetHow to Troubleshoot a Router Reset

These steps may vary depending on your router, but they usually involve pressing a physical button on the router itself or opening your router’s settings and looking for a reset option.

Upgrade the router firmware

Another solution that you can find directly in your router’s settings is a firmware upgrade. This can also be found in your router’s settings and will obviously require your router to be connected to the internet to function (so it can fix router-to-device connection issues but not internet-to-router issues).


Here are some of the main ways to troubleshoot a bad router. If you have chosen to reset the router, you must reconfigure it correctly. If all else fails, consider contacting your ISP for a connection reset at their end. Beyond that, it may be worth looking for a new router (ideally provided free by your ISP!) And learning how to use your old router wisely.


Jessica thornsby
Jessica thornsby

Jessica Thornsby is a technical writer based in Derbyshire, UK. When she’s not obsessed with all things tech, she enjoys researching her family tree and spending way too much time with her house rabbits.

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