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Why Does My Cable Internet Keep Dropping?

The occasional service hiccup is to be expected with any Internet plan, but regular connectivity issues can be a huge inconvenience. If you’re dealing with a frequently dropped connection, here’s a look at five common causes for cable Internet outages — and how you can fix them.


1. There is excessive Internet traffic.

Because cable Internet connections are shared between users, multiple subscribers accessing the Internet at the same time can cause network traffic and slowing.

Solution: Test your speed with a speed test tool. Measure your results over a month, conducting the tests at various times of day. How do the results measure up to the speeds you are actually paying for? If your actual speeds match your ordered speeds, you may need to upgrade your plan. If speeds dip a little around busier times of the day, you might just need to adjust your use schedule. If speeds regularly and drastically vary from your target speeds, however, it’s time to contact your provider — or start looking for a new one.


2. The network infrastructure is damaged.

The physical cable wiring that connects your cable Internet and TV can get damaged over time. Weather, construction, and even animals can all degrade the infrastructure that brings service to your home.

Solution: If you suspect wiring damage, reach out to any neighbors with the same provider to see if their connection is also down. When multiple subscribers see the same issue, it’s likely a problem on the provider’s end, so call your Internet Service Provider (ISP) to investigate.


3. Your hardware is overworked.

Your cable modem and router can get overwhelmed by the task of delivering Internet to your devices, especially if you have a lot of devices connecting to the Internet.

Solution: These two small, computer-like devices need to be rebooted regularly to clear out memory and recalibrate processes. One inventive DIY solution is to put your modem or router on a garden timer and then set the device to reboot automatically when you’re asleep.


4. The wireless channel is crowded.

Routers are usually set to default channels that can quickly become oversaturated with other wireless devices, so an unreliable Wi-Fi connection could mean that your router is using a noisy, congested channel.

Solution: Go to the wireless settings on your computer and move off the default channel to one that is not as widely used. Alternately, you can try using a wireline connection between your device and the modem or router, bypassing the Wi-Fi connection altogether.


5. Your operating system is outdated or buggy.

The health of your computer could be affecting your Internet connection. Your device’s Internet browser saves so much web history and temporary files that, if not cleared out, will slow down your computer. Viruses and spyware can also cause drops in Internet connectivity.

Solution: Frequently delete temporary download files to speed up your computer, and install a good antivirus and spyware-monitoring program that will scan your computer to detect any unwanted or dangerous malware.
You deserve to receive the cable Internet speeds you’re paying for, so don’t ignore a slow or unreliable connection. Take the time to troubleshoot these five common issues to ensure you’re getting the speeds you need.

Still have a slow connection after you have checked these common issues? Start a search right here on

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