Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
Home networks or other small LAN can stop working for various reasons, but there's a simple reason home networks stop working that's often overlooked.
I'm not able to reach some websites, and the list seems to be growing. I've checked your other articles on the topic, but nothing seems to help. Now, all of a sudden, I can't reach anything. Even my email doesn't work. What's going on?
There are so many reasons that things can go wrong, sometimes it's a wonder things work at all. However, once configured properly LANs tend to be fairly stable.
That is, until they're not.
This might be a problem that I keep forgetting about myself. If it is, it has a trivially simple solution. Until it happens again.
Reboot your router.
Seriously - pull the plug on it, wait 30 seconds, plug it back in. If you have a separate broadband modem, reboot it at the same time.
You might have to reboot your PC at this point as well, to force it to get a new IP address.
If everything suddenly starts working more quickly and more reliably - the problem was the router.
It's not a bad router, per so, it's just that, well ... these things happen. It's one of the many reasons that "Reboot" is one of the first steps in diagnosing computer problems. It puts the computer - or in this case the router - in a known clean initial state.
Routers are really small computers. As such they have to do things like manage memory and run programs - which can sometimes bog down, and even halt, after a lot of use due to software design issues - most typically internal memory management and memory fragmentation within the device. When that happens, they stop functioning, or they function erratically. For example, some websites work, others don't. Maybe some are slow, or maybe everything is slow.
Routers are also electronic devices - and are sensitive to power surges, even cosmic rays, than can sometimes cause erratic behavior.
A reboot is a quick, and easy solution to try.
Every month or so I find that things aren't operating as smoothly as I like, or something stops working on my own home network. So, I trek down the basement and pull the plug for a few seconds. After powering it back on, by the time I've walked back up to my office, everything is working smoothly once again.
(Actually, I usually grumble and wonder "ok, what's happening now?" for a while before I suddenly remember, slap my forehead, and head downstairs for the reboot. You'd think I'd remember.)
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