How to Troubleshoot DSL That Frequently Disconnects

By Eoghan McCloskey

Troubleshooting intermittent DSL connectivity requires a few simple steps.
i cable modem image by IKO from

Frequent disconnects of your Internet service can be a frustrating problem to deal with. Troubleshooting the issue can be a bit complex, as it can be caused by many different components of your home network. With some basic knowledge and a few simple troubleshooting steps, however, you can identify the source of the problem and restore your Internet connection's consistency.

Powercycle all devices. A good first step to take in order to address any kind of Internet connection issues you are having is to reset all the devices that make up your home network. To perform this reset, locate the power cords of your DSL modem as well as the power cord to any home networking equipment (routers, switches, hubs) that you may use. Unplug them for a full 30 seconds and restart your computer after plugging them all back in. Run your connection for a certain period of time to see if the connection stays more consistent after the reset. If the connection continues to drop, some further steps are required.

Bypass any home networking equipment. Anything that carries your Internet connection to your computer can potentially be causing your intermittent connectivity. Therefore, to isolate the cause of the problem it is necessary to bypass any home networking device you use and connect your DSL modem directly to your computer. Take the Ethernet cable that connects your DSL modem to your router or other device and unplug it from the networking device. Plug it into the Ethernet port on your computer and after resetting the modem as described in step 1 again test your connectivity over an extended period of time to see if stays more consistent. If the connection no longer drops, it is necessary to contact the manufacturer of your router and have them troubleshoot the inconsistency of the connection when running through the router. If the connection remains intermittent, you need to contact your service provider.

Contact the technical support department of your Internet service provider (ISP). At this point, there are no longer any troubleshooting steps that can be performed on your home connection and it is necessary for a technical support representative at your ISP to resolve the issue.