Few things are as frustrating as dealing with intermittent internet connections that keep getting disconnected and reconnected. You might be working on an urgent matter, downloading your favorite program on Netflix, or playing a hot online game, but for some reason you suddenly lose touch.
In this guide, we’ll show you the common suspects behind poor internet connections and possible solutions that might fix the problem.
What causes intermittent internet connections
Intermittent Internet connections are often the result of several issues:
- Physical or electronic interference from devices such as cordless phones or other electronics, large metal objects, and electrical equipment such as televisions, microwaves, or electronics for home entertainment.
- Wireless networks operating in your area with the same frequency.
- Physical obstacles such as floors, appliances, walls, furniture, and more can cause interference, especially where wireless signals pass through them.
- Corrupted Windows system files.
- Problems caused by Windows updates.
- Faulty network card on your computer or outdated drivers.
- Modem overheating
- Problems with your ISP.
- Infection with a virus or malware.
- Software conflicts
Fix intermittent Internet connection in Windows 10
- Move closer to your router or Wi-Fi access point.
- Disable some devices connected to your Wi-Fi.
- Move your Wi-Fi devices away from other transmitting devices.
- Power off and back on your router.
- Check service warnings
- Check with other devices
- Network card failure
- Corrupted Windows system files
- Malicious Software or virus infection
- Security software conflicts
- Run the network troubleshooter
- Hide Windows or driver updates
- Reset network
Get close to your WiFi router or hotspot
You can do this at home or have a laptop in your workplace if you know where your router or Wi-Fi hotspot is.
If you are in a place where there can be many different wireless networks, it would probably be a good idea to use a Wi-Fi scanning app and change the Wi-Fi channel to a different one.
Disconnect devices connected to your WiFi network
When multiple devices are using Wi-Fi at the same time, there is not enough bandwidth for each of them, so turning off some of them can improve your computer’s performance.
This is especially true if you have a lot of smart home devices connected, such as digital assistants, indoor and outdoor cameras, and more. Another option is to try switching your device to a wired Ethernet connection rather than slower Wi-Fi.
Move WiFi devices away from other transmitters
When wireless devices such as cordless phones, Bluetooth devices, baby monitors, and others are closer together, they all try to send data over the air. Move them away from other transmitting devices or turn them off when you are not using them to improve your connection.
Your router’s power cycle
If your router can’t maintain a stable connection, check for overheating and turn it off until it cools down, or try turning it off and back on and see if the connection improves.
Also, if you are using a cable modem provided by your ISP rather than your own and have had it for more than 6 months or 1 year, it might be a good idea to call them and ask them to replace it. In my experience, these devices are usually very cheap and very short-lived.
Check Service Alerts
Intermittent internet connection may be due to issues with your internet service provider. Check the service alerts for your region and see if it is affected before concluding that it is a problem with your router or device.
Check with your ISP to see if their problem is. They can run system and line checks to determine if there are problems between them and your computer and suggest possible solutions to the connection problem.
Check with other devices
If you have another computer or device using the same internet connection, check if the connection is stable on those devices. If they also have the same problem, it might be a problem with your router, modem, or your ISP.
If it’s only related to the device you’re currently using, check for hardware failures or operating system issues, which are common causes of internet connection issues.
Network Card Failed
Your computer’s network card may not support a stable Internet connection. You can fix this by reinstalling the network card drivers.
To do this, right-click on Start> Device Manager. Click on Network Adapter to expand the category, right-click on your network card and select Uninstall. Restart your computer and let Windows reinstall the card and its drivers.
You can also check the network card manufacturer’s website for updated device drivers, download and install them on your computer. Restart your computer and check the connection again.
If you have a removable NIC and know how to reinstall it, you can remove it and insert it back into the PCI slot to make sure it is firmly seated in the slot. Then return everything to its normal place, plug in the power cord and turn on the computer. Check if the connection is stable.
Corrupted Windows System Files
Problems with connecting to the Internet can be caused by damaged Windows operating system files. Try running the System File Checker first to see if anything appears. You can also perform a system restore to replace the corrupted files with clean ones, and then check your internet connection again.
Malware or Virus infected
An intermittent internet connection can also be caused by a virus or malware on your router or computer. If it’s a serious problem, it might not even work, but the solution is to use the best antivirus available, which can destroy any virus or spyware and stabilize your connection.
Security software conflicts
Your security software such as antivirus or firewall can interfere with your Internet connection. To fix this problem, check the settings of any program and see which ones are enabled. Try turning them off temporarily and see if your internet connection stabilizes.
If so, check with your antivirus manufacturer to see if this setting is important to protect your device. If it isn’t, you can leave it disabled to improve your internet connection.
Run the Network Troubleshooter
The Network Troubleshooter helps diagnose and fix common internet connection problems, but you can check if there is a root cause for poor connection.
- To do this, click Start> Settings> Network & Internet.
- Click Status.
- Then click the Network Troubleshooter under Change Network Settings and follow the instructions to see if the problem is resolved.
Replace your modem or router
If restarting your router doesn’t help, a more detailed solution is to reset your wireless router This is a little tricky as you need to configure all your Wi-Fi settings again, but that might fix the problem.
If, after following the above guidelines, you still have a poor Internet connection, your network card, router, or modem may be faulty. In this case, purchase a new router, modem, or network card and see if the connection improves.
Hide Windows or Driver Updates
If you are unable to download and install a new network adapter driver, you can hide the Windows update that caused the loss of the network connection. On Windows:
- To do this, go to Control Panel> Programs> Programs and Features and click View installed updates.
- Select the unwanted update you want to remove from the list and click Remove.
You can also download the Wushowhide troubleshooter to hide problematic updates. Check if your internet connection stabilizes after uninstalling the update. To reinstall it, go to Settings> Update & Security> Windows Update> Check for Updates.
If the above steps did not help, as a last resort, reset the network settings. This can fix Internet connection problems, especially after upgrading from a previous version of Windows to Windows 10, or when you are unable to connect to shared network drives.
Resetting Networking removes and removes the network adapters that you may have installed and their settings. After restarting the computer, the network adapters will be reinstalled and their settings will return to their default values.
Note. Network Reset requires Windows 10, version 1607 or later. Check your version by going to Start> Settings> System and click on About.
- To reset your network settings, click Start> Settings> Network & Internet.
- Click Status and then Network Reset.
- On the Network Reset screen, click Reset Now and then click Yes to confirm the action. Let your computer restart before checking your internet connection again.
If you are still experiencing interruptions in your internet connection, please share your specific issue with us in the comment below.