Internet problem at home? These 5 tips will help

When the internet goes down at home, it’s annoying. This is especially true for those who rely on a stable connection when working from home, studying, gaming or relaxing while streaming series. TECHBOOK reveals what you should do in the event of an internet outage to get back online as quickly as possible.

The reasons for an internet outage are varied. Sometimes it’s due to the hardware or the user’s settings. In these cases, you can usually fix the errors yourself. However, if the Internet disruption is network-related, you usually have to wait patiently until the provider resolves the cause. But here too, users can speed up the process. With our 5 tips you can best respond to such a disruptive situation.

First aid in the event of a complete breakdown

If you can no longer access the Internet at all, it is a complete failure. This can be due to faulty hardware, maintenance work or a major disruption in the network. Therefore, check the following points on the checklist:

1. Check your router

The first thing you should look at in the event of an internet failure is the router. The device uses its LEDs to show whether everything is OK. If the indicator lights are permanently green, the router is working. However, if an indicator flashes or does not light up at all, the router is not receiving a signal and cannot access the Internet. Apparently the problem lies here. If, on the other hand, the LEDs light up red, they indicate an error in the router itself.

A first helpful measure is the classic trick 17: Unplug the router for at least a minute. The best way to do this is to pull out the power plug. The router then restarts completely, which in most cases helps to get the WLAN working again. Your provider’s customer support staff will also request this step in order to rule out any hardware errors.

If the restart doesn’t bring any change, you can try to log in to your router’s user interface. Give for example with a Fritzbox, speedport.ip for a telecom router or For an O2 Homebox, enter it into the address window of your browser.

If you actually get to the router interface, there is at least a connection with the exchange – a good sign. You can now initiate a diagnosis in the settings to find any errors in the home network. Also make sure to keep your router’s firmware as up to date as possible. If you can’t access the router interface at all, the device has no connection to the network – a sign of a major Internet outage.

Also read: Fix the most common WiFi problems with the Fritzbox

Important note – Disconnect the VPN connection

Before you start checking your router, you should disconnect any VPN connection you may have. If this is overloaded, it can be the reason for the Internet disruption. In any case, it prevents you from being able to access your router’s interface.

2. Check the connection to the device

It is best to restart the router even if its indicator lights light up normally and do not indicate an error. In addition to the connection between the router and the Internet, the connection between the router and the end device, i.e. your laptop, smart TV or smartphone, can also be disrupted. Therefore, check whether you can still access the Internet with other devices.

If your device is connected to the Internet via WiFi, turn the connection off once in the settings and then turn it back on again after a few seconds. This forces the device to reconnect again. However, if your device is connected to the Internet via cable, check the connection on both the device and the router. To do this, briefly unplug the Ethernet cable and plug it back into the LAN socket. If available, replace the LAN cable as a test to rule out a fault within the cable.

3. Change DNS

Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone have had to deal with frequent Internet outages in the past, which were caused by a DNS (Domain Name System) problem. A DNS is responsible for associating a domain name with an IP address. In the event of an outage, affected websites may not be able to be surfed. Fortunately, users can solve such an Internet problem themselves by changing the DNS.

Changing the DNS can be done with just a few clicks via the router. In the Fritzbox, the corresponding setting can be found, for example, under “Internet” – “Access data” – “DNS server”. Now activate the option “Use other DNSv4 servers” and enter the IP “” under “Alternative DNSv4 server”. This is Google’s DNS server, which can be used as an alternative.

4. Are other users affected by the internet outage?

If restarting the router and checking your devices didn’t help, there’s probably a major Internet outage. You should now check whether other users are affected. To do this, you can ask family, friends and neighbors whether they also have internet problems – provided they have an internet tariff with the same provider.

You can also use the mobile Internet to find out about reported Internet outages on common outage websites. For example, there is an independent portal where those affected usually report their network problems very promptly Here you can find out whether there may currently be a power outage in your area.

You can also find out more directly from your provider. Networks also need to be maintained regularly and the providers usually announce such work on their website or via Facebook or X (formerly Twitter). If there is an internet outage due to maintenance work, there is usually a time window in which the work can be carried out. It is therefore possible to predict when the problem will be resolved.

However, if it is an unplanned Internet outage, you can check whether your provider is already informed about the disruption. The major network operators in Germany are all represented on X (formerly Twitter). Under “Tweets and replies” you can check whether other customers have already reported an internet outage. Perhaps the provider there has already confirmed the outage and is providing further information.

Also read: What actually happened to the BlackBerry?

5. Report internet outage to your provider

If it appears to be a major network outage – regardless of whether it is regional or nationwide – you should report the disruption to your provider. The companies usually offer a free hotline via landline and an online portal. We have listed the most important links for you.

Report an internet problem to:

You should have your contract data – including your customer number – to hand when reporting a fault. If you contact us by telephone, expect longer waiting times, as in the event of an internet failure, many customers usually try to reach support at the same time.

Note: If you make calls via VoIP (Voice over IP), the telephony is carried out over the Internet. If there is an internet outage, phone calls will not be possible and you will have to switch to your cell phone. However, you should check the costs of the hotline beforehand, as sometimes only landline connections are free.

Complete failure or just a weak line?

If your internet connection is just slow or you have problems with individual programs, your line is not completely down. But such a disruption is also annoying in the long run and can affect smooth video streaming in the evening or the video conference.

Jerky or halting websites and long loading times can have several causes. If only individual programs are affected, the provider’s servers may be overloaded. For example, if a particularly large number of people around the world are using Zoom or Microsoft Teams at a certain time, the connection can sometimes stall. An overloaded VPN line can also have a negative impact on the speed of the Internet connection.

The problems may also be due to your own internet connection. For example, cable customers are often surprised that only a fraction of the contractually agreed top speed reaches them. This is because Internet via cable is a shared medium and the providers have acquired a relatively large number of customers in a short period of time, whereas the networks have been expanded much more slowly. It happens that a relatively large number of users are connected via a single cable line (or a cluster). The line offers maximum bandwidth that is shared by all customers. As a result, the bandwidth per customer can shrink to a few megabits per second.

Remedy for such an overload problem is not easy. Basically, the only thing that can help here is further expansion of the cable network, although this is a lengthy process. However, affected customers should inform their provider about any ongoing undersupply and, if necessary, set deadlines for resolution. If the provider cannot comply with this, the only solution is usually extraordinary termination and switching to another Internet provider.

Also read: Slow Internet? The consumer advice center’s tool calculates how much money it returns

Right to compensation in the event of an internet outage?

The amendment to the Telecommunications Act came into force on December 1, 2021. The revised law has since given consumers more rights. For example, you now have the right to high-speed internet. If the providers are unable to deliver the contractually guaranteed speed permanently and to a significant extent, customers can reduce the basic fee for an Internet connection. If the provider does not manage to permanently eliminate the problem, extraordinary termination is even possible in individual cases.

Thanks to the amendment to the TKG, customers now have more options even in the event of Internet outages. Providers are obliged to resolve disruptions within 24 hours. If the provider cannot eliminate the fault within one working day after receipt of the fault report, it is obliged to inform the consumer within the following working day at the latest of what measures it has taken and when the fault is expected to be remedied. In the event of a longer power outage (at least three working days after receipt of the fault report), customers are also entitled to compensation.

The law sets the amount of compensation at 5 euros or 10 percent on the third and fourth days and from the fifth day onwards at 10 euros or 20 percent of the contractually agreed monthly salary. In the future, Internet customers will also be able to claim compensation for a missed technician appointment. This amounts to 10 euros or 20 percent of the monthly fee for the contract.