Network Outages – Causes and Prevention

Every business would prefer to keep business going as usual, but with today’s technological landscape, it’s simply not possible. There will be outages, delays, issues, natural disasters, or other unforeseen circumstances that cause disruptions. These disruptions will result in loss of income or profit and more cost to fix.

There are several kinds of outages, but the more common ones businesses face are outages that are caused from server malfunctions. How server malfunctions happen stem from network outages.

What Causes Network Outages

Businesses deal with network outages if they experienced a period of time where systems were simply unavailable and were unable to connect to either routers, modems or switches. As a result, businesses are unable to access anything online due to connection loss.

To understand the causes of network outages, it’s important to note that a network system has three main components that could be the reason for the network outage. Those are:

  • The modem or router or both.
  • A firewall issue
  • Or an internet connection sharing issue (could be from a switch, AP, or adapter)

Digging deeper into those three main components can allow businesses to find root causes of network outages. Those root causes could be from one of these six issues:

  • The hardware and/or software is experiencing a complete or partial issue.
  • There was a sudden power interruption. This could stem from natural disasters or from damaged systems.
  • Incorrect plugging or unplugging of cables.
  • Configuration errors or issues with a device.
  • The signal is too weak to spread across an area.
  • The network is congested with requests or is experiencing a system overload.

How To Prevent Network Outages

There are several things that businesses can do to reduce the number of network outages, or at the very least, lessen their impact. These options consist of:

  • Ensuring software and computer systems are always updated.
  • Monitoring the business network through maintaining accuracy of network system configurations.
  • Avoid complicating the network at all costs. Additional devices beyond what the business started with along with additional components or cables can impact the original set up of the network
  • Exercise caution when changing any parts of a computer system. Ideally, have an IT expert handle these issues.
  • Installing or creating a security setting in the network to prevent malicious threats. This can be placing a password to grant access to the network or physically locking it in a secure area.
  • Partner with an IT team that will conduct routine maintenance on the network system.

Basic Troubleshooting Tactics To Try

Even beyond these preventative measures, here are some basic troubleshooting steps to fix a network outage issue:

  • Power-cycle the equipment
  • Unplug all the cables that are attached to the device
  • Check to see if there are any signs of physical damage on the device, cables included.
  • Verify the physical connections
  • Run the network troubleshooter
  • Verify the IP address is correct
  • Run a ping and check for its route
  • Confirm with the internet service provider to see if there is an actual outage in the area.

After following through with these steps, check to see if the network is active. If not, then it’s best to avoid doing anything else or it might result in making the situation worse.

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