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7 Common Network Problems: How to Fix

Sluggish internet connections, choppy VoIP quality and buffering downloads are all common network issues that can lead to a loss of productivity. The first step in troubleshooting a networking issue is to identify what the problem is and determine the root cause.

Most of the time, fixing a network problem doesn’t require expert knowledge or expensive equipment. Check out the following seven common network problems and their solutions. Struggling with network issues? AnytechSD offers expert remote IT support to resolve your network problems.

1. High CPU Usage

It’s normal for your computer’s CPU to reach high usage numbers — especially when you’re running resource-heavy applications. However, it shouldn’t be a constant issue.

A quick fix is to change your power plan to a more balanced one, which can decrease CPU usage. You can also run an antivirus scan to check for any viruses that might be causing the problem.

Another great way to lower CPU usage is by reinstalling or downgrading apps that have been causing problems. Additionally, cleaning the dust off of your PC’s heat sink can also improve performance.

2. Hardware Failure

While lightning-fast network speeds are a coveted privilege, they’re not always a reality. Inconsistently slow speeds may indicate a problem with your cabling.

Device failures can cause network performance issues by disrupting communication and hindering data transfer. Often, these problems are caused by hardware malfunctions or software bugs.

Other causes of hardware failure include excessively long cable lengths, incorrectly crimped or terminated cables, and environmental factors like water damage or electrical problems. Identifying these problems can help you pinpoint the exact source of your network issues and fix them quickly before they impact end users.

3. Intermittent Connectivity Issues

When network connections break, it can be a major issue that keeps people from working productively. Oftentimes, these issues can be solved fairly quickly. If a cable gets knocked loose or a device is plugged into the wrong port, a quick check can often find the solution.

In other cases, it may take a little bit more troubleshooting to find the source of the problem. It is important to gather information about the issue and develop a theory before taking any action. Once you have a theory, it’s time to test that theory.

4. Malfunctioning Devices or Equipment

A sluggish network can frustrate users who are used to lightning-fast speeds. This can be due to many reasons, including a new application or a large download.

Oftentimes, the problem is as simple as one of your equipment not working correctly. A physical check can reveal if there’s a loose wire or a switch that needs to be turned on.

If you’ve gone through all the troubleshooting steps and can’t determine the cause of your issue, it might be time to call in a professional. This will ensure that the problem is fixed quickly and efficiently.

5. Routing Issues

It’s not uncommon for businesses to encounter problems with their office network. However, a lot of these issues are actually quite simple to fix.

The first step to troubleshooting is gathering all of the information you can about what’s happening. That way you can figure out exactly what’s going on and what needs to be done to get everything back up and running.

For example, if two computers are erroneously assigned the same IP address, you can easily solve this by changing one of the routers’ settings. This fixes the problem almost instantly.

6. High Bandwidth Saturation

We’re a data driven society and our thirst for information can quickly clog all available bandwidth. This causes a high level of network latency and limits access.

On a home network, this could be caused by back-up software (dropbox/iCloud), seeding while torrenting, system updates, and more. With Internet providers, it could be due to an issue with their pipeline size or something else.

Spotting these patterns is easy with PingPlotter. It provides you with trending over time, latency patterns short and long term, and latency / packet loss correlations.

7. Security Breaches

Despite blazing-fast networks that make life more enjoyable, problems can still occur. It may take some detective work to find the cause of slow or erratic performance. It’s important to collect enough information to determine what is happening and how long it has been going on.

For example, a duplicate MAC address could be the sign of an on-path attack. Those pesky “Address Already in Use” messages can be caused by any number of factors, such as a router exhausting its IP address options or a software vulnerability. Other signs of a breach include lagging or sporadic computer response time, popup windows that can’t be closed and unusual programs that appear on user computers.