Recently I had to go out of town, leaving my wife and dog home alone for the first time since we got married and moved into our home together. Before I left, we talked about different things that could happen around the house – like a tripped circuit or a gas leak — and what she should do if there were problems.

As we were running through the list, we came across the Comcast modem and the router we use for our high-speed Internet connection. Like most people, she said she probably wouldn’t know what to do if she wasn’t able to get online while I was gone. I gave her a few basic troubleshooting tips that anyone can use to get up and running in a few minutes.

First, you need to determine which piece of equipment — the modem or the router – is having the connection issues (if you only have a modem it makes troubleshooting a little easier):

  • If you have a router, probably made by a company like Linksys, NetGear, or Belkin that enables multiple computers to use your internet connection (either wired or wirelessly), try plugging your computer directly into the modem to remove the router as a possible source of the issue. Restart the computer so it will recognize you’re already connected and won’t look for a wireless connection. Then, try going online – if you can connect to a website, the issue is probably with the router and not the modem.
  • If you still can’t connect to the Internet when directly connected to your modem, remove the power cord and the coax cable from the modem. Wait about 30 seconds and then reconnect the coax cable and plug in the power source. After the modem goes through the provisioning process — which usually takes a minute or two — try to access a different website. If it works, then it’s time to concentrate on the router.

Rebooting the modem will let you know if you need to contact your provider for further assistance – even if you don’t have a router. There may be a simple fix – like the agent sending a "hit" to reactivate your modem or the trouble may require a technician visit.

Once you’ve determined the modem is working properly, reconnect it to the router. If you can’t access the Web, here are some router troubleshooting steps:

  • Try a simple power cycle by unplugging the power to the router for 30 seconds and then plugging it back in. It’s a good idea to restart the computer to make sure there aren’t any other open programs that could be causing interference. Once the computer has finished booting up, try to get to a website – if it opens, you’re back in business. Sometimes the connection between the modem and router can get interrupted, and powercycling can re-establish it.
  • If there’s still no connection after powercycling the router, you may want to call the manufacturer of the router for further technical assistance.

I hope these suggestions are helpful and of course, you can always contact us 24x7 by phone (1-800-COMCAST) or email at