What can you do when your broadband fails?









Life without the internet is a scary thought, isn’t it? What on earth do we do now?

Well, I’m not actually going to sow too many seeds for ideas as to how you might use your time when you have no Internet, but rather outline some proactive steps you could take to mitigate the instances of an Internet outage.

Businesses, large and small, rely on their broadband service for Internet access. And when your Internet goes down, it’s a pain in the proverbial! And let’s face it, Internet services do fail. My home cable service went down today, albeit for only 10 minutes. But sometimes it can be down for longer, so it’s worth considering some contingencies for when this happens.

The signs that your Internet connection has failed are things like:

  • You can’t browse to websites
  • The Network icon in the bottom right hand corner of your Windows Desktop has an exclamation mark on it
  • Or, if you’re like me, you’ve suddenly noticed that Johnnie Walker’s Sounds of the Seventies that you were just listening to has gone very quiet!


The first thing to do is to diagnose the problem:


  • Do the lights on your Internet router indicate a connection problem?
  • Can you ping an external resource? (Windows+R, type cmd, press enter, type ping press enter)
  • Can you browse to any websites yet?


If you experience any of the above, the first thing to do is to turn your Internet router off for one minute, then turn it back on again and, after about another minute, see if you can access the Internet again. If you still can’t access the Internet, turn off your router again and leave it off for 25 minutes, then turn it back on again and, after about another minute, see if you can access the Internet. If you can, then great. If not, call your ISP (Internet Provider) to see if they are aware of the outage.


There are some proactive steps you can take to give yourself a contingency in order to minimise the impact of an Internet outage:

Have a second Internet service

Consider having a second Internet circuit installed, preferably from a different supplier to your primary Internet service. It doesn’t have to be the same speed as it’s only going to be used when your primary Internet service fails. For example, if your main Internet service is 80Mb fibre service, you could install a low cost ADSL 2+ service just as a “failover” service for if your fibre service fails. There are several Internet routers available that support two or more different Internet services and automatically switch from one to the other in the event of a failover. Our preferred router right now is the Draytek Vigor 2860n.

4G – Install a 4G mobile SIM into your router

Some Internet routers now have a 4G option so you can install a 4G SIM into the router that will kick-in if and when your primary Internet services fails. The Vigor 2860Ln supports this. For this to be a viable option for you, you need to make sure that you’re in a 4G area (3G as a minimum). You also need to be selective in the mobile tariff that you choose for your SIM.

Mobile Phone

If your SmartPhone has 3G or 4G (and it almost certainly will) you should be able to use your mobile phone as a temporary Wi-Fi hotspot. You need to be aware of your data tariff though, as you don’t want to clock up unexpected data charges on your mobile phone bill!

Buddy Up

It is possible that you can “buddy-up” with a neighbour or neighbouring business. So that if your Internet fails, you can piggy-back onto theirs during the outage. We’re not actually that keen on this method, as there are potentially serious security risks with it. But if all else were to fail, it could be something you could consider using as a last resort.

And if even that isn’t an option, then you can, of course, take yourself along to your favourite coffee parlour, order a tall half-skinny half-one percent extra hot split quad shot latte with whip and use their free Wi-Fi. (Or you could just order a coffee.)

But here’s another idea.

Next time your Internet services fails, pick up your phone and start calling around all of your customers for a chat. They might be pleasantly surprised to hear from you rather than receiving yet another email newsletter. You may even generate some more business from it. And when you’ve finished calling your customers, call us on 0800 279 7886 and we’ll help you get a failover Internet service installed and configured.

Because we’re nice that way.

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