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How to be prepared for networking problems

There are items that we all know are good to have available during the occurrence of an unexpected event. A spare tire in your car in case of a flat and a flashlight to see in the dark in the event of a power outageare some good examples.  In our age of wireless technology, we have become accustomed to the convenience and mobility of wireless devices connecting to a wireless network.  However, wireless networks can and do go down. Below are are two methods of connecting directly to your router with an Ethernet cable.  You should have at least one of the these two set-ups available to provide a quick and efficient way of diagnosing and fixing your wifi network issues.  I’ll explain why.


  • Desktop directly connected to your router with an ethernet cable.
  • Laptop directly connected to your router with an ethernet cable.


Desktop directly connected to your Router


Having a desktop directly connected to your router via an Ethernet cable is commonly known as a “hard wired” connection.  A hard wired connection is more reliable than a wifi connection.  Many folks who work from home are required to be connected through a hard wired connection because of its dependability and speed as compared to a wireless connection. Through this type of connection, you are always connected to the Internet via the router and you don’t have to log with your user name (SSID) and password (Network key) to access the Internet like you do with a wifi network.

With this type of connection , you can access the router web based Interface using the router log in credentials and check WiFi network name, wifi password and other wifi credentials to make sure that your wireless devices are trying to connect to your wifi network with the right credentials.  A desktop connection is usually permanently attached to the router via an ethernet cable.


Laptop directly connected to the router


With a laptop you can direct connect to a router with an ethernet cable. This connection method offers the same advantages of a desktop that is hardwired to a router.  The only difference is that a laptop is not typically permanently hard wired to the router but rather only connected this way on an “as needed” basis since most folks rather take advantage of the wireless connection capabilities that laptops have. Using either of these “hard wired” connection methods will enable you to be much better prepared to address common types of wifi network connectivity issues such as the ones mentioned below.


 Power Outages


Let’s say there was an extended power outage in your home.   Often in these cases, your router has been reset back to the factory default network name and password. You can’t access the wifi network and can’t even see your custom network name showing up on the list of available networks on your wireless devices.  Using one of the direct connection methods, you can access the router and set those wifi settings back to where you had them.


Forgotten wifi password


You come home with a new wireless tablet, your excited and anxious to get connected to your wifi network.  You see your wifi network on your new device and try to connect, but there’s a problem, you don’t remember your wifi password, you remember writing it down on a sticky note but you can’t find it.  You look on the underside of your router, it only shows the log in credentials to access the router. Now what? No problem, since you have access to your router via an ethernet cable directly connected to it, you can use your laptop or desktop to log into the router interface and find out what that forgotten password is.


Network connection trouble shooting


You’ve tried and tried, but you can’t seem to get your wifi device connected to your wifi network. Or worse yet you can’t get any device connected to the wifi network.  Having the ability to direct connect to the router offers the additional benefit of allowing remote support from a technician or friend the ability to remote connect into your hard wired computer and assist in diagnosing and resolving your network connection issues.


We all enjoy the convenience and mobility of wifi networking.  Nobody likes to have wifi networking problems. However, when they do happen, you can be better prepared to address the problem and get your wifi network back up and running by having the ability to access the router directly via an Ethernet cable using your desktop or laptop.




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