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A quick guide to troubleshooting network connectivity

Greetings, my name is Jon Thompson, and I am exited to write about Information Technology for Iowabiz.com. I’ve been in the IT business for coming on fifteen years now, and am exited to share my knowledge with the IowaBiz.com community. My business, Evolve, works solely with Apple Macintosh and iOS (for those that don’t know the lingo- that’s iPad, iPod Touch and iPhone.) However, my experiences transcend particular platforms, and I’ll always make sure that my posts are informative toward the entire business computing ecosystem.

Caterham WiringImage via Wikipedia

As an IT consultant, I am often diagnosing network connectivity, which is increasingly vital as services continue to move into the cloud. Enterprise network downtime costs have been discussed for years now, and has even been extrapolated down to SMBs. However, cloud computing itself comes with its own risks.

A user following a few standard steps can determine whether a connectivity issue is internal to their business, or something that is beyond their control.



    1. Start by identifying potential problems on your own computer and work toward the cloud

Check to see if another device is having problems as well. If they are not, chances are there is a problem with your computer, rather than the network.

    2. Check your network connection. 

A computer isn’t able to communicate if it doesn’t have some sort of wireless or wired signal.

    3. Check the IP address of your local router.

Generally these have a web interface and the IP address is easily locatable in the network settings. Look for a number with the word “router” or “gateway” beside it that looks like either 192.168.x.x or 10.x.x.x. The number might be different, but these two formats are very common.

    4. Check the link to the ISP.

The modem and/or router will have a light that indicates whether the device is actually talking with your ISP. If it is not:

    5. Check the connections on the back of the router.

DSL will have a phone connection; Cable will have a coax connection.  Make sure they are connected to the proper location on the wall. 

    6. Check DNS. 

DNS is the system that translates IP addresses into names, such as iowabiz.com. When it isn’t working properly, it will feel like a broken Internet connection. To troubleshoot, enter into the address bar of your web browser. Google should appear. If it doesn’t, you have a DNS problem.   

    7. Contact the Cloud service provider.

Chances are that the issue that you are facing is with the cloud service provider at this point.

By having a basic understanding of the network troubleshooting workflow, one can speed up the time that it takes to work with IT and minimize downtime.

- Jon Thompson

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Jon, look forward to your column. I love my Mac!

Hello Jon...congratulations on the growing success of your business, EVOLVE. I am confident your expertise will be valued by Iowabiz.com followers. -Jim

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