Windows XP / Networking

Having trouble connecting to a broadband network

If you are trying to connect for the first time, make sure your new account has been activated. Telephone your service provider's support center to check. If your broadband connection stops working after you have been using it for a few weeks or more, check with your service provider to confirm that your account is still active. If you are at the end of a free trial period, make sure the service provider has not cancelled your account.

Most broadband networks use DHCP to automatically assign an IP address and DNS address. Make sure the broadband network profile has DHCP enabled.

If your broadband connection still does not work, try removing and reinstalling the service provider's connection manager software from the original CD or from a copy on your hard drive. Most service providers have copies of the latest software available for download from their websites (you will need either a Wi-Fi or wired Ethernet connection to reach the Internet when your broadband service isn't working).

If you are using a non-Windows operating system, such as OS X, Linux, or BSD, many broadband vendors require the first connection to be made using their Windows proprietary software. After the first connection is made, the device will usually work on other operating systems. Ask your vendor's support center for help with alternative operating systems.

Is the software that came with my network adapter or access point up to date?

The software supplied with wireless network adapters exists in two forms: programs that run on the computer connected to the adapter and internal firmware that controls the adapter itself. All the software that runs on an access point is internal firmware.

The manufacturers of wireless networking hardware (and most other computer-related products) often issue new versions of the software that supports their products. Updated software might include fixes for bugs that were discovered after the product shipped, support for new operating systems, and additional features and functions such as improved encryption.

Therefore, it is always useful to check the manufacturer's website to see what might be available. For updates to wireless broadband data adapters, look in the technical support section of your service provider's website.

Installing new configuration and status programs is easy; just load the new software over the older version. In most cases, the manufacturer supplies the software in an executable file that automatically deletes earlier versions and runs a complete installation routine. It is always a good idea to read the README file or other instructions that were provided as part of the download package.

Updating firmware is more complicated. The manufacturer or service provider always includes detailed instructions, which you should follow as closely as possible. Before you update the firmware in an access point, remember to warn all your users that the network will be offline for maintenance.

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