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How to Troubleshoot a Router (and Know if You Need a New Router)

If you're having trouble connecting to the internet, your router may be to blame. Whether you're trying to communicate with local devices or the wider web, your router is the hub 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!

SummaryThe Obvious ThingsChange Router Wi-Fi ChannelReset Your RouterUpgrade Router FirmwareConclude

By going through the suggestions in this list, you can test if your router is really the cause of your connection issues, troubleshoot it if that's the cause, and get back online as quickly as possible.

The obvious things

Before moving on to more complicated techniques, let's try some simple solutions. Sometimes the simplest techniques will be enough to fix 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 working again.
  • Check for issues with your service provider . Most providers have a status page where you can access this information. If in doubt, try searching Google for the name of your service provider followed by a phrase such as "service status" or "outage map".
How to Troubleshoot a Router (and Know if You Need a New Router)

You can manually change your Wi-Fi channel through your router settings. To access your router settings, you need to know the router's IP address. This is usually,, 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 you for your router username and login. This information varies by 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". Your router's model number should be printed in the manual or on the router itself.

Once you're in your router's Wi-Fi channel settings, how do you know which channel to choose? There's 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 in simply rebooting or rebooting your router is to reset it, which will restore the router to its default settings.

How to Troubleshoot a Router (and Know if You Need a New Router)

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

Upgrade router firmware

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


Here are some of the top ways to troubleshoot a misbehaving router. If you chose to reset the router, you must reconfigure it correctly. If all else fails, consider contacting your ISP for a connection reset on their end. Beyond that, it may be worth looking for a new router (ideally provided free by your ISP!) and learning how to put your old router to good use.