If your business relies on a stable, fast internet connection for productivity, you need a well-documented plan for getting support. Unfortunately, not all internet problems are caused by issues with your Internet Service Provider (ISP), and many ISPs either charge extra or refer customers elsewhere when the problem is with the customer. To figure out who is responsible and how to get support when the burden is on you, take a look at these troubleshooting and network design details.
Always Start At Your Computer
Before your ISP, it's important to do what you can to pinpoint the problem. Even if you or your employees are not highly-technical computer users, knowing a general path of troubleshooting can save time or money.
First, figure out what the actual symptoms are. "Not working" is not a symptom, and merely slows down the process even further. Is the connection slow? Is it disconnected? Is the problem with a specific website or service while other internet resources are working? All of these are considered "not working" to different people, so be specific to save time.
Try multiple websites before blaming it on the internet. Technicians usually try a few quick website tests at different level of demand, such as Google.com for a quick check of connectivity and cnn.com for a test of multimedia websites. Websites like CNN have high-resolution images and videos that take longer to load than Google's simple search bar and image/animation, and are good for making sure the internet isn't disconnecting rapidly.
If websites are loading slow, go to websites such as speedtest.net and dslreports.com. These sites have tests that will show how fast your download (from the internet to your computer) and upload (from you computer to the internet) may be. This needs to match the internet service plan you're paying for.
If speed tests are what they should be, is your internet fast enough in the first place? The average download speed in the US is around 54Mbps (Megabits per second) and should be fine for most websites or downloads, but if your internet is around 10Mbps or lower, you may have problems with multiple users on the internet at the same time. There's no budget prices for speed that low, so get consider getting new service with a new customer discount.
What If It's Beyond Your Computer?
After the computer is your modem. The modem is usually supplied by the ISP, and can be checked by the ISP. If your business owns their own modem and router, it becomes your responsibility. Beyond the modem, router, cables, and other network equipment owned by your company, the ISP takes responsibility.
If your business doesn't have an Information Technology department and needs help with troubleshooting, managed IT services companies can help by surveying your business network. They can send field technicians to provide contractor services, or use remote service technicians to connect to your business via the internet to make computer and network changes with your permission.
Calling the ISP can be tasked to managed IT professionals as well. If you don't know what questions to ask or want to make sure that the ISP is telling the truth, bringing in a contractor to handle negotiations is fair game. Contact managed IT services professionals such as TEC Consulting Group to discuss different services for your internet support needs.