Basic Telecommuting Troubleshooting for Home Networks

Please note: It is not possible to cover all of the different aspects of home networks when it comes to troubleshooting. This document provides some basic troubleshooting tips and tricks to help teleworkers determine where potential problems are within their home network, but it is not an all-inclusive guide. Also, it is not possible for the Network Infrastructure Team to troubleshoot connectivity problems and/or service outages that are within the provider’s network, as we have no visibility into their infrastructure.

First collect the following information for your home network:

  1. Who is your Internet Service Provider (ISP)?
  2. What kind of connection does your ISP offer (Cable, DSL, fiber, Wi-Fi)?
  3. Do you utilize wireless in your home network?
    1. What type of Wireless Access Point do you use?
    2. What is your Service Set Identifier (SSID)?
    3. Do you know your wireless password?
    4. Do you have good wireless coverage throughout your house?
  4. Do you know what Internet Protocol (IP) address range you use at home?
    1. Do you assign your own IP addresses?
    2. Do you use Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP)?
  5. Do you have a statically assigned IP address from your ISP?
  6. How many devices do you have connected to your home network?
  7. Are any of them streaming devices (Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Firestick, etc.)?
  8. What bandwidth do you have from your ISP?

Please note: There are many websites available that can assist with collecting some of this information (examples of website output can be found in appendix A).

  1. http://www.whatsmyip.com can display your “public” or ISP-provided IP address
  2. http://www.speedtest.net can display what type of bandwidth you are getting from your ISP

If you know the information, collect it. If you do not know the information, do not panic (it’s OK). Several of these items are usually one or the other by default. In general, we are assessing if you have available bandwidth, have a high number of devices, and are looking for interference in your Wi-Fi setup.

If you are faced with a UAH website problem, a Canvas problem, or Single Sign-On problem, these are specific to UAH and you should contact the OIT Help Desk (helpdesk@uah.edu or 256-824-3333) as you would on campus to report the problem. The Help Desk should be able to assist you with common username/password problems and other access issues. If your connectivity issues are not specific to UAH, please continue on in this document for basic troubleshooting.

As a general rule of thumb, the best first step is to unplug your network equipment (modem, wireless access point, workstation, etc.), let it sit for a minute, and then power it on again.

Basic Troubleshooting of your ISP connection:

  1. If you do not have any sort of connectivity, or very sluggish connectivity, the first step an ISP would have you do is to reboot your cable modem or DSL modem.
    1. To do this, disconnect the modem from its power source. Remove the plug from the outlet, let it sit for 30 seconds to a minute, and reconnect the power.
    2. The device will go through several steps while reconnecting to the service provider; please give the device about 5 minutes to ensure it’s back online.
  2. If this does not correct the problem, you must contact your ISP for assistance.

Basic Wireless and Wired Troubleshooting

  1. Is your wireless device connected to the wireless network?
    1. If yes, are you receiving a strong signal?
    2. If not, check your wireless settings on your wireless device to include the correct SSID as well as password.
  2. Is your device connected to the network via a physical cable?
    1. If yes, ensure that the cable is securely connected on both ends (workstation as well as network device or port in the wall).
  3. Are any devices on your wired or wireless network operational?
    1. If wired is working and wireless isn’t, the problem is with wireless configuration.
    2. If neither are working, it is most likely an ISP problem.

Intermediate Network Troubleshooting (wired or wireless)

Please note: There are several tools available on desktops and laptops to troubleshoot network connection problems. In general, these tools require that you get to a command line prompt:

  • On a Windows computer, click Start > Run, and type “Cmd” without the quotes.
  • On a Mac, open the application called Terminal).
  1. Basic connection test: ICMP commands
    1. Type “ping 146.229.255.254” (without the quotes) and press return
      1. If you are connected and all is working, you should get a “Reply from” message. In Windows, it is a series of 5 responses. Mac continues until you stop it (use Control + c to stop it).
      2. If you do not get a response, do not panic. Some providers block PING traffic on their networks, but it is a quick check to verify connectivity.
    2. If PING fails, type “traceroute 146.229.255.254” (without the quotes). If that doesn't work, try “tracert 146.229.255.254” (again, without the quotes).
      1. If you are connected and working, you will see a series of “hops” in a network path. We are really looking to ensure that the path goes from your home network to your ISP, through the Internet, to UAH.
      2. It is possible that one hop, or a series of hops will return asterisks or dots, but then after that hop, they will return to useful information. This is a provider that is blocking ICMP responses, but the tool will continue to try further hops.
      3. If there is a problem in the path, the traceroute will stop working, and you will start receiving asterisks or dots and they will not return to hop information. The traceroute will typically run for 30 hops. Try to collect the point where it stops working because it can assist your provider in troubleshooting (or us, in the event that it gets to campus, but fails at that point).

There are examples of the output from the commands and websites in Appendix A of this document for demonstration purposes. Realistically, this is going to provide information to either the UAH help desk, the network infrastructure team, or your service provider’s help desk, and assists them in troubleshooting your network problems. 

If you are having continual issues with connectivity, you can contact the OIT Help Desk. They can forward the ticket to the Network Infrastructure team. To better assist you, please have the information collected about your home network setup prior to calling. This will help us assist you more quickly.

 

Appendix A: Sample Output from network troubleshooting tools:

PING Output:

 

Traceroute Output:

 

Whatsmyip.com Output:​​​​​​​

 

Speedtest.net Output:

 

These are just sample outputs from the tools. Your results will differ.

Details

Article ID: 102531
Created
Mon 3/23/20 12:14 PM
Modified
Mon 3/23/20 12:40 PM