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Why Does My Cable Internet Keep Dropping?

See if your internet plan, network, modem and router, or connected devices are the problem.

Cable internet connection issues can be a huge inconvenience. But don’t dismay over your dropped connections too much. We’ve researched four common causes for cable internet outages and connection issues—and how you can fix them.

Too much network traffic

Because your cable internet comes to your home from a hub that you share with your neighbors, even just a few households using the internet at the same time can slow your network traffic or even cause dropping.

What to do about heavy internet traffic 

Test your internet speed a couple times this week using a speed test tool, taking note of how it performs at various times of the day.

If your actual internet speeds don’t measure up to the speeds you’re paying for, it might be time to contact your internet provider or start looking for a new one.

If your internet speeds only dip around busier times of the day, you might just wanna hop online early in the morning or late at night when less people use the internet.

Want to improve your internet connection? 

Enter your ZIP code to see what internet providers are in your area.

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Network outage or damage

As you probably know, the cable wiring and hubs that connect your cable internet and TV to your home can be damaged by extreme weather, construction, and even animals.

What to do about a network outage

If your network is down, there’s not much you can do other than contact your provider to confirm (or possibly report) the outage.

The last time my cable internet dropped, I used my smartphone to go to the Xfinity website and confirm that I was experiencing an outage.  Then I signed up for a text alert from Xfinity so I wouldn’t have to keep checking their website.

Contact your cable company

Modem and router performance

Your cable modem and router can benefit from routine “maintenance.” Basically, small bugs can build up and precious memory can be taken up, causing performance issues.

What to do about modem and router issues

Reboot your modem and router to clear out its memory and re-calibrate its operating system. If your internet connection improves, you probably just need to reboot your modem and router more often.

Didn’t work? Sometimes either your firmware or your old modem and router just plain suck. It might be time to update or replace one of them, my friend.

Need a new modem or router but don’t know where to start? Read our guide to the best modem/router combos to get the lay of the (cyber) land.

Too many devices connected at the same time

If you have a large household that uses a lot of internet-connected devices, all those cell phones and tablets can slow down your internet connection—and maybe even cause it to drop.

What to do about too many devices connected at the same time

There’s an easy way to tell if you have too many connected devices: do a device audit.

  1. Take note of all cell phones, tablets, desktop computers, laptops, and any smart devices in your home.
  2. Find out which devices connect automatically to the internet.
  3. Turn off the Wi-Fi or unplug the Ethernet cable of any devices that you don’t use daily.

If your internet connection stops dropping, you’ll wanna keep better tabs on which devices connect automatically to your home network.

If you’re still having internet connection issues (we know, we’re starting to sound like a broken record), you may want to switch internet service providers or upgrade your internet plan.

Is your cable internet connection still dropping?

Enter your ZIP code to see what other options you have.

Please enter a valid zip code.

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