8 Reasons Your Internet Keeps Disconnecting and How to Fix Them - Guides (2024)

8 Reasons Your Internet Keeps Disconnecting and How to Fix Them - Guides (1)
  • Placing your router in an open, central area allows the Wi-Fi signals to freely connect to devices. When you place your router in an enclosed space, the walls block those signals.
  • Not every device needs to be connected to your home internet at all times, so be sure to disconnect unused devices for better connection.
  • Upgrading your router and its software will show a noticeable improvement in how fast and reliable your internet connection can be.

Dealing with home internet that keeps disconnecting and disrupting your work, entertainment, and communication is frustrating. We’re here to help you alleviate this frustration by pointing out common reasons for disconnected Wi-Fi. We’ve also paired each reason with a practical solution so you can resolve connectivity problems and ensure a stable and reliable internet connection.

Your Network Is Congested

8 Reasons Your Internet Keeps Disconnecting and How to Fix Them - Guides (2)

Network congestion can lead to frequent Wi-Fi disconnections due to the overwhelming volume of data traffic coming through the network. When multiple devices simultaneously access the internet or stream content, the available bandwidth gets divided among them. As a result, the Wi-Fi network becomes congested, causing the connections to drop intermittently.

Congestion can strain the router’s processing capacity, exacerbating the problem. This issue is particularly common in densely populated areas or households with numerous connected devices competing for bandwidth.

How to Fix Network Congestion

For a quick fix, disconnecting devices that aren’t in use can help clear congestion to make room for in-use devices. However, this won’t address continual problems if you’re living in a house with many connected devices. I know this because I used to disconnect my kids’ iPads whenever they weren’t using them and our internet still didn’t improve. Whether your household has multiple people who use smartphones, streaming devices, and laptops, or if it has several smart home devices connected to Wi-Fi at one time, a consistently congested network needs a long-term solution.

You can either upgrade your internet plan or invest in additional routers, such as a mesh Wi-Fi network. Our household went the latter route and it’s been a huge improvement (plus, everyone wins). Either solution will provide more bandwidth for devices to connect and reduce congestion.

Shop Now: Considering a Wi-Fi mesh system to mitigate the constant network congestion in your household? Check out the Best Mesh Wi-Fi Systems of 2024 to learn more about our hands-on experience with the top-of-the-line products.

Your Router’s Location Is Blocking Signal

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Improper router placement can significantly contribute to Wi-Fi disconnections due to interference and poor signal coverage. When the router is placed in a location with obstacles such as walls, furniture, or electronic devices, the Wi-Fi signal strength weakens, leading to frequent dropouts. Placing the router too far away from the areas where Wi-Fi connectivity is needed can exacerbate the problem, as the signal may only effectively reach some corners of the home.

How to Find Optimal Router Placement

Position the router in a central location within the home to boost Wi-Fi signal coverage and minimize interference. Place the router at a higher elevation, such as on a shelf, to reduce obstructions. You may need to test different locations within your home to find the optimal spot. I’ve had to test this out in many rooms in my house until I was satisfied with leaving it in one corner of our living room on top of our bookshelf.

If Wi-Fi dead zones persist, implementing Wi-Fi range extenders or mesh networking systems can help extend coverage to hard-to-reach areas. These types of systems are especially advantageous for homes with multiple floors or with more intricate floor plans.

You Have an Unsecured Network

An unsecured Wi-Fi network can be a significant reason for frequent disconnections due to external factors exploiting the vulnerability. Without proper security measures such as encryption and authentication, unauthorized users can gain access to the network, causing congestion, bandwidth theft, or even malicious activities. Intruders accessing the network may inadvertently or intentionally interfere with network settings, leading to disruptions in connectivity for legitimate users.

How to Secure Your Home Network

Securing a network is crucial for avoiding Wi-Fi disruptions as well as protecting against unauthorized access and malicious activities. Enabling Wi-Fi encryption protocols such as WPA2 or WPA3 ensures that data transmitted over the network is encrypted, preventing unauthorized access. Configuring strong and unique passwords for both the Wi-Fi network and the router’s administrative interface helps prevent unauthorized users from gaining access. Regularly updating router firmware and enabling firewall settings can also protect against known vulnerabilities and external threats.

Your Internet Is Being Throttled

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If your internet keeps going out, it could be due to throttling imposed by your internet service provider (ISP). Throttling occurs when ISPs intentionally reduce the speed or bandwidth of your internet connection, typically in response to exceeding data usage limits or during peak hours of network congestion. This can result in frequent disconnections as the connection struggles to maintain stability under reduced speeds. Throttling can impact activities that require consistent bandwidth, such as streaming videos or online gaming.

How to Prevent Throttling

Consider upgrading to a higher-tier internet plan with more generous data allowances or unlimited data to avoid triggering throttling thresholds. Also, using a virtual private network (VPN) can help mask your internet activity from your ISP, making it more difficult for them to detect and throttle specific types of traffic. Monitoring your data usage and being mindful of bandwidth-intensive activities during peak hours can help prevent triggering throttling measures.

Contact your ISP about their throttling policies and negotiate for more consistent speeds or alternative plans with fewer restrictions as these things are beneficial in maintaining a stable Wi-Fi connection.

Your Equipments Needs to Reboot

Over time, your router and modem can accumulate temporary glitches or memory leaks, leading to degraded performance and intermittent connectivity problems. Rebooting your equipment can help clear away common network issues. Prolonged periods of uptime without a reboot can cause the router and modem to become overwhelmed or overloaded, resulting in malfunctions that manifest as frequent disconnections. Software updates or configuration changes may require a reboot to apply properly, and neglecting to do so can lead to instability in the network connection.

How to Reboot Your Router and Modem

Rebooting clears the router or modem’s memory and resets its internal state, effectively eliminating any temporary glitches or software conflicts that may be causing connectivity problems.

If you need to reboot the router and modem, power off the devices. Wait for a few minutes to ensure all power is drained and then power them back on. Start with powering on the modem first and allowing it to establish a connection with your ISP. Then, power on the router, allow it to load up, and create a connection. Rebooting your router and modem is a regular maintenance practice you should complete monthly to prevent Wi-Fi disruptions.

Reboot vs Reset. Rebooting or restarting your router or modem is different from resetting it. Most routers and modems have reset buttons that restore factory settings, such as Wi-Fi passwords. Avoid resetting devices so you don’t have to spend time reconfiguring your personal settings.

Your Equipment Is Old

Outdated routers and modems can be a significant reason for Wi-Fi disconnections as they may lack the necessary features, performance capabilities, or security enhancements found in newer models. Technological advancements and updates in networking standards may render older devices incompatible with modern Wi-Fi networks, leading to connectivity issues such as dropped connections, slow speeds, or signal interference. Older hardware components may also degrade over time, resulting in decreased reliability and performance that further exacerbates Wi-Fi connectivity problems.

How to Upgrade Your Router and Modem

On average, routers and modems last for five years and will likely need to be upgraded if they’re older than that. In many cases, your router and modem were supplied to you by your ISP. If you’re concerned about the age, you can reach out to your ISP to have these devices replaced.

You can also purchase your own equipment to ensure you’re getting the most updated equipment. Before purchasing a new router or modem, research and consider factors such as Wi-Fi standards, dual-band support, and security features. Select a router or modem from reputable manufacturers known for reliable products and good customer support to ensure a better overall experience.

You’re Using Outdated Software

Using outdated software and firmware on routers can lead to Wi-Fi disconnections. Outdated software may contain bugs, glitches, or compatibility issues that interfere with the proper functioning of network components. These issues can manifest as intermittent disconnections, slow speeds, or other connectivity problems. Additionally, security vulnerabilities present in outdated software can be exploited by attackers to compromise network security, leading to disruptions or unauthorized access to the Wi-Fi network. Outdated software may lack support for newer Wi-Fi standards or features, limiting the performance and reliability of the network connection.

How to Update Your Software

To resolve Wi-Fi disconnections caused by outdated software, keep all relevant software up to date. This includes updating the firmware on the router and drivers on devices such as computers, smartphones, and network adapters. Many routers have a built-in mechanism for automatically checking and installing firmware updates, which can be enabled in the router’s settings. Alternatively, you can manually download the latest firmware from the manufacturer’s website and install it following the provided instructions. For devices such as computers and smartphones, software updates can typically be installed through the settings menu, where you can check for available updates and apply them as needed.

Your ISP Has an Outage

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If your Wi-Fi keeps disconnecting, it could be due to your ISP experiencing an outage. ISPs may encounter technical issues or maintenance activities that disrupt the availability of their services, resulting in widespread connectivity problems for their customers. During an outage, your equipment may lose connection to the ISP’s network, leading to frequent disconnections and an inability to access the internet. Factors such as severe weather, equipment failures, or infrastructure issues can all contribute to ISP outages.

How to Check for an ISP Outage

Checking for an ISP outage will vary based on your provider, but most companies use the same methods for their customers. Consider visiting your ISP’s website or social media channels, where they often provide updates about service status and ongoing issues. Many ISPs also offer customer support hotlines or online chat services where you can inquire about any reported outages in your area. You can also use online outage detection tools or community forums to see if other users are experiencing similar connectivity problems.

What to Do if Your Internet Keeps Disconnecting

If your internet continues to disconnect despite troubleshooting common internet issues as outlined above, there are a few additional solutions you can try:

  • Switch Wi-Fi Bands: Switching between 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi bands can help prevent disconnections by allowing devices to operate on less congested bands. 5GHz bands generally offer faster speeds and are less susceptible to interference, while 2.4GHz bands have better range and penetration through walls.
  • Consider Wired Connection: If your Wi-Fi continues to be unreliable, consider using a wired Ethernet connection instead. This can provide a more stable and consistent internet connection, especially for devices that require high bandwidth or low latency.
  • Disable Power-Saving Mode: Some devices may disconnect from Wi-Fi networks to conserve power when in power-saving mode. Disable the power-saving mode on your device to prevent it from disconnecting unnecessarily.

Contact Your Internet Service Provider: If the issue persists, contact your ISP’s customer support for further assistance. They may be able to diagnose and resolve underlying network issues or schedule a technician to investigate the problem.

Frequently Asked Questions About Internet Disconnection

How long do routers last?

On average, routers typically last anywhere from three to five years before they start to exhibit signs of wear and tear or become outdated in terms of technology and performance. However, with proper maintenance and occasional firmware updates, some routers can continue to function reliably beyond this time frame.

How do I fix the issue of too many devices on my Wi-Fi?

Prioritize essential devices and limit the number of devices connected simultaneously by disconnecting inactive devices or disabling Wi-Fi on devices not in use. Schedule bandwidth-intensive tasks during off-peak hours to ensure a smoother experience. Another option is to upgrade to a router with better performance and capacity to handle a larger number of devices simultaneously.

What blocks Wi-Fi signals the most?

Materials such as drywall, flooring, furniture, concrete, brick, water, and mirrors are among the main obstructions that block or interfere with Wi-Fi signals. Drywall, flooring, and furniture serve as physical barriers, while materials like concrete and brick absorb Wi-Fi signals, limiting their reach. Additionally, water and reflective surfaces like mirrors can deflect Wi-Fi signals and reduce their strength and coverage.

Can someone control your router?

It’s possible for someone to gain control of your router remotely if they exploit vulnerabilities in its firmware or security settings. This allows them to access and modify your router’s settings, monitor your internet traffic, or even install malicious software. Common methods used to gain control of routers include brute-force attacks to guess passwords, capitalizing on default credentials, or exploiting unpatched vulnerabilities in the router’s firmware.

8 Reasons Your Internet Keeps Disconnecting and How to Fix Them - Guides (2024)


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