Checklist: Restoring Internet Connection

by  Sam C. Chan

First Published: November 22, 2005
Last Revised: September 2, 2006 outdated>> Updated in 2019

From time to time, your Internet connection might be lost. This document discusses the process of restoring the connection, and troubleshooting the problem.

PROCEDURE: Restoring Internet Connection
(note any discrepancies during each step)

  1. Power Cycle (see glossary below) ISP Access Router (DSL/cable "modem"):
    • Observe diagnostics status lights sequence.
    • Power light steady.
    • PC/Enet light steady.
    • DSL/Data light steady.
    • ISP router (access) is ready.
  2. Power Cycle Internet Gateway Router:
    • Observe diagnostics light sequence.
    • Power light steady.
    • WAN light steady.
    • At least 1 LAN light steady.
    • Gateway router (sharing) is ready.
  3. Test Workstation:
    • Simply test Internet access by visiting ""
    • If that doesn't work, restart station and test again.
    • Normal Internet Connection restored.
    • Otherwise, contact Bravo.


  • Contrary to ISP instructions, do not power off all units to start. Follow instructions above for maximum efficiency & effectiveness.
  • Never restart or otherwise disturb the file/domain server hastily. It is completely unrelated to your Internet access, contrary to advice from junior technicians.
  • Trained & authorized DIFA may reconfigure to single-station mode and access ISP router directly to investigate ISP access line status.

Important Points to Remember:

  • ISPs are neither obligated nor equipped (unwilling & unable) to troubleshoot (or even accommodate) your network. They can only focus on whether the access line is up.
  • ISPs will assume you're a single-user and don't care about the network. They will do anything that is convenient to them, including disrupting your network & servers, etc.
  • Seemingly innocuous steps could quickly cascade into catastrophic damage.
  • The responsibility to preserve your network and servers, etc. lie with you, or your hired representatives.


Power Cycle Momentarily power off for 5 seconds, then power on again. (3 minute off time might be required for "cable modem"). Pull out the AC adapter connecter, if there is no power switch on the unit.
Steady At least 90% solidly lit, with maybe occasional irregular flickers.
Blinking Alternating on/off rhythmically.
Off No light.
Internet Gateway Router For most sites, this is a small appliance (D-Link, Linksys, etc.) For medium businesses, it's most likely a Linux server, or Microsoft ISA Server.

See also:

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