Networking Fundamentals​, Quick Notes – General Practices & Tips

“Computer”, “Network” or “Internet” not working is NOT a clear definition of a problem; appropriate probing always helps in isolating a problem and to determine a permanent solution. Devices such as desktops, laptops & smartphone are usually connected to the internal network at very high speeds yet a single Internet connectivity is shared across all the devices. Activities such as downloading large files, system updates, etc. generally use a lot of bandwidth as compared to standard use such as browsing the Internet. Estimate the actual bandwidth required for all devices in a network, check if the selected Internet plan is adequate.

Most small networks are very similar and it is recommended to have a standard approach such as basic network diagram  or a checklist to understand the exact environment which helps in isolating problems quickly and effectively.

Basic Setup

Network Type: Home / Office

# of Desktops

# of Laptops

# of Smartphone

# of SOHO Routers

# of Wireless Access Points

# of Printers / All-In-Ones

# of NAS

# of Gaming Console ( If Internet connectivity required)

# of Smart Televisions

# of Other Devices that require Internet Connectivity (Security Cameras, etc.)

# of Wired Connections

# of Wireless Connections

Internet Connectivity

# of Internet Connectivity (If multiple connections available)

Internet Plan

Internet Speed (Required)

Internet Speed (Available)

Basic Data Collection Sample

  • Use exact error messages (do NOT try to trim or use parts of error messages) if available, for further research on the Internet.
  • Do NOT neglect any outages (planned or unplanned) from a service provider, as that is critical to understand a scenario before beginning to troubleshoot – particularly if all devices in a network are affected.

Product Specific Issues:

  • Always update to the latest device driver, only from well known source.
  • Check and update Firmware on SOHO Routers & Network/Internet related devices.

Most product specific issues may be well known to a manufacturer; it is highly recommended to refer manufacturer’s support website or knowledge-base first before attempting to troubleshoot as it can save time. Referring 3rd party forums/blogs can solve some issues, but identifying the right forum/expert may take time.

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