Common Network Issues and their Solutions
New technologies and the increasing number of hosted services have transformed network and application infrastructures. As a result of these changes, consumers now have access to a wider set of alternatives than ever before. But they have also made us far more dependent on a reliable network to keep these critical programs running smoothly. The consequences of network issues or errors can be terrible. Therefore, it is crucial that we invest in and maintain the proper network infrastructure and services to guarantee the smooth operation of our network and applications.
In this blog post, we will discuss some of the most common network issues and their solutions. Before getting into the details of network errors, let’s first discuss computer network issues and their impact on users and businesses.
What are Network Issues?
Network issues are problems that affect a network’s performance, reliability, or security. They can cause frustration, downtime, and loss of productivity for users and businesses. Some network issues are easy to fix, while others require more expertise and resources.
Below we have discussed the most common network issues with solutions; let’s Begin!
Network Issues and their Solutions
Below are some prevalent network issues along with their corresponding solutions –
1. High Bandwidth Usage
Bandwidth is defined as the rate at which information may be sent through a network like the Internet. It is represented in megabits per second (Mbps).
With higher bandwidth, more devices can connect to your network without slowing down data flow. Congestion occurs in a network when one or more users, or particularly large applications, consume excessive bandwidth by downloading many files at once.
High bandwidth utilization can result in network congestion, which in turn could result in insufficient bandwidth for other sections of your network. When this occurs, you could notice issues with the Internet, such as a decrease in download speed. Some of the reasons that can result in high bandwidth usage are:
- Large downloads
- Packet loss
- Video streaming
- Large applications
- File sharing
But the question that arises is how one can reduce high bandwidth usage. Below we have provided the solution for it.
Network performance monitors (NPMs) can track the amount of bandwidth in use at a given time and pinpoint the exact location of any disruptions in data transfer. Some of the things or steps one can take to reduce the high bandwidth usage are:
- Look for Malware
- Use Quality of Service (QoS)
- Tracking down bandwidth hogs
- Limiting VoIP network usage
2. DNS Issues
DNS, or Domain Name System, is a directory for the internet that simply links domain names with IP addresses. Problems with the domain name system (DNS) are quite widespread yet sometimes go unnoticed. When you have DNS problems, it usually means you no longer have a connection to the Internet or a network.
It’s possible that your site seems to be online and running for you while being offline to your visitors simultaneously. DNS issues can be due to many factors, some of these are:
- Bad configurations
- High DNS latency
- High TTL values
- Hardware or network failures
When customers are unable to reach your website, for example, the loss of Internet connectivity may have a terrible impact on your business. Finding and fixing DNS issues quickly is crucial since even a few hours of downtime may have serious consequences for a business.
One can rectify the DNS network issues by following the steps that have been discussed below. These are:
- Flush DNS Cache: One can flush the DNS cache by using the command “ipconfig /flushdns” in CMD for Windows and “sudo dscacheutil -flushcache; sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder” in the terminal app for MAC.
- Updating network drivers or reinstalling: Sometimes network drivers get corrupted, or newer versions patches might be required for better functioning; hence it is recommended to update network drivers routinely.
- Change your device’s DNS server to a different one: One can change the device’s DNS server such as Google DNS (126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52) or OpenDNS (184.108.40.206 and 220.127.116.11).
- Restart your router: Reset it to its factory settings and reconfigure it with the correct DNS settings.
- Changing firewall settings: Sometimes firewall can act strictly and block some specific DNS addresses. Hence, it is advisable to allow access to the DNS servers or domains that you want to visit on your firewall settings.
3. IP Address Conflict
When two or more devices have the same IP address in the same network is known as an IP address conflict. An IP address is used to communicate and receive data from a specific device or network. Every device has a unique IP address. If two devices have the same IP address, they cannot communicate properly and may cause network errors or crashes. Some of the reasons that can lead to IP address conflict are:
- A user manually assigns an IP address to a device already used by another device on the network.
- A device obtains an IP address from a DHCP server already used by another device on the network.
- A device has a static IP address that is not updated when it joins a different network or when the network configuration changes.
Below we have discussed some of the key steps one can take to remove IP address conflict. These are:
- Release and renew the IP address: Using CMD in Windows and commands “ipconfig /release” and, after that, “ipconfig /renew”.
And in the case of Mac, simply go to the “Internet and network section” and select the WIFI or ethernet you are connected to, after that click on advanced settings, and then go to TCP/IP tab where you have to renew the DHCP lease and go for a system restart afterward. For Mac, we have shown below the picture for easy understanding.
- Automatic IP address from DHCP server: Configure your device to obtain an IP address automatically from a DHCP server instead of using a manual or static IP address.
For Windows: Below with the help of the image you can choose an automatic IP address from the DHCP server.
- Reserving IP address: Reserve a specific IP address for your device on the router’s settings to prevent it from being assigned to another device.
4. Connectivity and Interference Issues in the Wireless Network
The most frequent network issue people have nowadays is with their WIFI. WIFI connectivity issues mean that your device cannot connect to the Wi-Fi network or that the connection is unstable. Wi-Fi connectivity issues can be caused due to many factors, some of which are listed below:
- Hardware or Software
Below we have discussed some of the steps one can take to connect to the wireless network easily. These are:
- Restarting the router: Most of the time, several glitches can lead to WIFI connectivity issues, so it’s always good to go for restarting the router.
- Forgetting the WIFI network: Forget the Wi-Fi network on your device and reconnect to it with the correct password and settings.
- Changing WIFI frequency and channel: Sometimes interference can also lead to connectivity issues. Hence, changing your WIFI channel or frequency on your router is advisable.
- Updating device firmware: Always update your device’s drivers and firmware. Outdated drivers can lead to compatibility or performance issues. This results in WIFI connection issues.
Now, let’s talk about the WIFI interference.
5. Wi-Fi Interference
When your Wi-Fi signal from your wireless network is interrupted or weakened, this is known as wireless interference. Some of the signs that show interference in the wireless networks are:
- Even when physically adjacent to a WIFI device (router), there is poor WIFI signal strength.
- WIFI-connected users get a slower Internet connection.
- WIFI-based file transfers are very slow.
- Unable to link a Bluetooth or WIFI device despite being in close proximity to the router.
- The WIFI connection drops every once in a while.
WIFI interference can be solved via:
- Repositioning router
- Choosing the right WIFI channel
6. Network Security Issues
Network security issues can lead to many problems by compromising confidentiality, the integrity of a network, or its data. It can lead to a lot of issues, such as:
- Unauthorized access
- Data theft
- Data loss
- Data corruption
Some of the attacks that can lead to network security issues we discussed above are:
- Brute force
It’s of utmost importance to protect yourself from such attacks and protect your data as well as your resources. Some of the ways one can rectify network security issues are:
- One can protect their devices and network with various antivirus available, firewalls, and VPN software.
- Keep updating your OS, application drivers as well as security patches that all vendors provide on a monthly basis.
7. High CPU Usage
The Central Processing Unit (CPU) is the core component responsible for receiving and executing program instructions. The likelihood of anything going wrong with your network rises as your devices are asked to do more and more, which further results in lowering the CPU processing role.
The most typical cause of high CPU usage is when network traffic causes bottlenecks. When processes take longer to run or when more network packets are being sent and received in higher amounts than usual, CPU consumption may spike dramatically.
Some of the other reasons that lead to high CPU usage are:
- Background processes
- System Idle processes
- Svchost.exe (netscvs) Process
Avoiding CPU-intensive tasks is the best method to keep your machine running smoothly. However, there are situations when it gets out of control due to a glitch in the system. Below we have provided some of the general steps one can take to fix the high CPU usage issue.
- The first and foremost thing that one must do is find the program or virus that uses the CPU the most. You can do it by opening the task manager ctrl + alt + del. Once you are in the task manager and check the processes section. By this, you will know which app utilizes the CPU the most. Right-click and end the process to free up some CPU usage %. It is highly suggestible to go to the startup apps option and disable the apps you don’t often use for fast boot and free up some CPU space.
- If it’s malware or a virus, then always use a highly reputable antivirus to detect and delete the virus that is unnecessarily using the CPU usage.
- If you find that a legitimate program is causing high CPU usage, you may want to update it to the latest version or check for any patches or fixes from the developer. Sometimes, outdated or buggy software can cause compatibility issues or performance problems with your system.
These are the some of the common computer network issues and their solutions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1 – What is a network issue?
A network issue is a problem that affects the communication or connectivity between devices or systems on a network. It can be because of many factors, such as physical damage to the networking equipment, viruses, degraded performance, data loss, or service interruptions for the users or applications that rely on the network.
Q2 – How do I resolve network issues?
Network issues can be resolved depending on the kind of network issues you are facing. For example, if you are facing difficulty connecting to the internet, you must restart the modem or router or check the drivers to see whether they are updated.
Q3 – What are the 10 common network problems?
The most common computer network issues are:
- Slow network performance
- DNS issues
- Firewall issues
- Hardware failures
- Network cable issues
- VPN issues, etc.
Q4 – What causes network problems?
Various factors, such as hardware failures, software errors, configuration issues, or environmental interference, can cause network problems. One can easily rectify all these issues by identifying the source of the issue and then applying appropriate solutions.
Your network is vulnerable at any time to a wide range of network issues. Network problems are more annoying than ever because of the complexity and scale of today’s network infrastructures. Companies can’t afford to waste time and resources dealing with computer network issues that can impact their productivity, revenues, users, and reputation. Further, one can prepare for any issues that may arise in your network if you are familiar with the most typical ones.