Navigating internet outages: what you should know and do

Published on : 30 May 20234 min reading time

In today’s digital age, the internet has become an essential part of our daily lives. We use it for work, studies, communication, entertainment, and much more. However, internet outages are inevitable, and they can be frustrating and disrupt our daily routines. Therefore, it’s essential to know what to do and how to navigate through such incidents. In this article, we will provide you with comprehensive information on internet outages, their causes, and practical steps to take when such an event occurs.

Causes of Internet Outages

Internet outages can be caused by various factors, including weather, natural disasters, human error, and cyberattacks. Weather-related outages result from power outages, network damage, and equipment malfunction caused by extreme weather conditions such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and thunderstorms. Natural disasters, such as earthquakes and tsunamis, can also damage network infrastructure, leading to internet outages.

Human error, such as accidental damage to network cables and equipment, can also cause internet outages. Cyberattacks, such as DDoS attacks and ransomware, can cripple networks and bring down entire systems, resulting in widespread outages.

Detecting Internet Outages

Identifying a disruption in connectivity is the initial measure to take when addressing internet issues. There are several techniques that can be used to recognize outages, allowing individuals to overcome connectivity disruptions.

Monitoring Devices

Check your device’s network status or use a network monitoring tool to see if the issue is localized to your device or network. If the issue is with your device, then troubleshooting it should fix the problem. If the issue is with your network, move on to the next step.

Checking with Service Providers

Check your service provider’s status page or contact their customer support to see if there is any known outage in your area. Service providers often post notifications about outages and estimated restoration times on their websites or social media channels.

Using Online Services

Use online services such as DownDetector and Outage. Report to check for any reported outages in your area. These services rely on user reports and other data sources to provide real-time outage updates.

What to Do During an Internet Outage

During an internet outage, there are several things you can do to minimize potential damage to your devices :

  • Unplug your devices to avoid damage caused by power surges when the network is restored.
  • Take advantage of cellular data and mobile hotspots if available.
  • Stay informed about the outage by checking your service provider’s status page or following their social media channels.
  • Avoid using potentially harmful generator-powered devices during a power outage.

Preventing Internet Outages

Preventing internet outages requires regular maintenance, backup connections, communication protocols, and security measures :

Regular Maintenance and Upgrades

Regularly update your devices and network equipment, such as routers and modems, to ensure that they are up-to-date and functioning properly. Schedule maintenance checks with service providers or IT professionals to detect and fix any potential issues before they become major problems.

Backup Connections and Devices

Have alternative internet connections, such as cellular data or satellite internet, to use as backup networks during an outage. Also, consider having backup devices such as hotspots and battery-powered modems in case of extended outages.

Communication Protocols and Procedures

Establish communication protocols and procedures for your organization or household to stay informed and connected during an outage. Have a designated point-of-contact to receive updates from service providers and relay information to the group. Consider having emergency backup plans in place.

Security Measures

Implement strong security measures, such as firewalls and antivirus software, to protect your network and devices from cyberattacks. Regularly update these security measures to protect against emerging threats.