1. Are the lights on the modem lit up normally? If YES, 👍
2. Does ANY wired device have working Internet? If YES, 👍
3. Does ANY wireless device (try from more than 1) have working Internet? If YES, 👍
Two or more “YES, 👍” = working service.
How to best troubleshoot slow or buffering Internet.
Get a good background of what is actually happening.
Slow or buffering Internet indicates that there is a working connection. If things have been working fine (fast) for the most part, a quick fix is to unplug the modem for 10 seconds. Then restore power and see if things return to normal. It may take the modem up to 5-10 minutes to reconnect. An obvious thing to consider is what speed is the actual connection is supposed to have. If the service plan is a 1.5Mb, 3Mb, and even sometimes a 6Mb connection, it may “struggle” with any type of streaming content. Especially if it involves video streaming and/or multiple devices being used.
The first step involves determining if this exact environment (same modem/same devices/ etc…) worked “fine” before, and if anything changed between then and now. Each example helps narrow the problem or reveal the possible need for more bandwidth.
Example A -- this a new connection and we just hooked up all of our devices.
Example B -- no changes/everything was working fine, but now a certain device(s) is slow.
Example C -- a new device was just added to the connection and now just that device is slow.
No matter what Example condition exists, the modem needs to be tested in an isolated environment to determine if the modem is getting the correct speed (service plan).
In other words, test the connection from “the modem out to the Internet” with only 1 device active.
STEP 1 - Power cycle the modem [if it hasn’t been done in last 5 min.]
STEP 2 - Run an “isolated” speed test speed test:
Best = is with a desktop (or laptop) connected to the modem (no 3rd party routers) via an ethernet cable.
Good = a laptop in the same room as the modem via WiFi connected to 5GHz SSID*.
OK = is a tablet or smartphone in the same room as the modem via WiFi connected to 5GHz. SSID*.
Very Important! BEFORE running test, please ensure that you turn OFF/UNPLUG all other Internet devices (PCs, tablets, smartphones, Xbox, Playstation, Firestick, Roku, AppleTV, Chromecast, Webcams, Tivo, iPad/iPods, MagicJack, Ooma, Echo Dot, Google Mini, NestCam, etc etc etc …)
*Only 5GHz WiFi typically achieves full speeds on connections provisioned for 20Mbps or more.
2.4GHz wifi is not designed for streaming video (smart TVs, roku, NetFlix app devices, etc…)
Open browser and go to www.fast.com
The test will run an automatic speed test, then show the results in Mbps.
A good/normal result is anything in the 90%> via ethernet, 75%> via wifi.
Testing from a cell phone or older desktop/laptop could also LOWER the speed test results.
If the isolated modem test is good/normal
To fix Example A -- you might need more bandwidth.
To fix Example B -- too many devices simultaneously being used maxing out the bandwidth.
To fix Example C -- weak(distance too far/poor reception) wifi or the connection is maxed out.
Things to help improve speeds.
Turn OFF band steering and connect streaming devices to 5Ghz SSID WiFi.
Move device closer to modem AND/OR move modem higher in room and remove obstructions.