You know that feeling when you’re watching a video online and you can suddenly see the pixels? This happens when our internet disconnects and reconnects in a few moments. It’s not uncommon for Spectrum subscribers to experience this issue.
So, when Spectrum internet randomly disconnects we need to identify the reason it does, and we need to fix the issue.
Why Spectrum Internet Randomly Disconnects?
When we speak about Spectrum or any other ISP (Internet Service Provider), there are multiple usual reasons the internet randomly disconnects from time to time. These usually revolve around the ISP, heavy traffic, faulty splitters, outdated hardware, outdated drivers, and an outdated operating system.
ISP Node is Faulty
When your Spectrum internet randomly disconnects, it might be related to the node connecting your home network to the internet. Simply stated, a node is like a knot where multiple networks are connected when you look at it from a wider perspective.
A more detailed explanation is that a physical network node can be your device. It can be a modem, it can be a hub, a switch, a server, a printer, and anything and everything that relays or is connected to a network such as the Internet.
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It is an endpoint in communication across networks, and it can also be the thing bridging these networks. So, if the internet randomly disconnects, one of your ISP’s nodes close to your home might experience a power outage or it’s under maintenance.
Heavy Wi-Fi Traffic
Heavy traffic causes many problems worldwide. It’s the number one cause for people being late for work. So, when there’s heavy traffic in the city, everything moves slower than usual, and it’s the same for heavy Wi-Fi traffic.
Everything works slower, we can’t get most things done, and another thing that happens is that our internet randomly disconnects. This is a very annoying problem, and we need to alleviate the traffic from our Wi-Fi network.
Our ISP can use cable splitters across our home to divide the connection and distribute it to all the rooms in the house. If we have a 2-story home, we can have a coaxial cable going to the router on the ground floor and the first floor of our home.
For that, we need a splitter. Unfortunately, the splitter can cause a lot of problems if it’s broken. It can slow down the data flow in the cable, it can disconnect us from the internet from time to time, or it can cause the issue this article is about.
This is the most common cause of any network-related issue. There are many router types, and Spectrum gets routers from multiple manufacturers, or it used to. So, if you’re a subscriber that stayed with the same equipment, you might have an outdated router.
Here, get an upgrade. However, it can also be the outdated firmware on your router that’s causing the issue. Here, we would need to do a firmware update, and everything should work perfectly fine afterward.
Outdated Device Drivers
Drivers are something that drives our hardware, hence the name. These are software counterparts of everything we have on our laptop or PC. If our wireless or ethernet adapter isn’t working properly, something might be wrong with the drivers.
Therefore, our internet randomly disconnects when we don’t update our drivers regularly. However, most operating systems perform this task automatically, but there might be a power outage in the middle of an update, and that might be the reason it wasn’t updated.
Of course, there are several other reasons an automatic update might not go through. But, we will not discuss them in this article.
Outdated Operating System
Every update for our operating system is important because it takes care of many glitches and issues the previous update was experiencing. When an update is skipped, many things get outdated and can’t work properly.
As our pieces of hardware have operating systems that get updated from time to time, our ISPs also have hardware that gets updated regularly. If one or the other doesn’t get updated, they become incompatible, and that’s why our internet can randomly disconnect.
Fixing Spectrum Internet When It Randomly Disconnects
- Reboot the modem: Our first go-to is usually to reboot the device we’re using to have internet access in our home or across our network. To do this properly, we need to power down our gateway, modem, or router.
Once we power down these devices, we need to wait at least 1 minute before we turn them back on. If you’re using a modem + router setup, power on the modem first. This way, everything gets connected correctly.
- Router upgrade: If you’re using an old router, you can always check that by searching online, or you can contact your ISP to ask if there are newer models of the router. If there’s a better model of the router, make sure you get it.
Most older routers don’t support different bands, and that’s why the internet can randomly disconnect from time to time.
- Firmware update: If there was a firmware update during a power outage, there might have been an interruption in the update, and your router might still work on an old version of the firmware.
- Reduce traffic: Another thing you can do to make your internet connection work better is to reduce the traffic in your home network. Turn off apps that are siphoning the data in the background, and disconnect some devices.
- Cable replacement: It’s good to check whether all the cables are working properly. Of course, it’s easier to check whether ethernet cables are working well, but there’s no reason not to figure out whether the coax cables are fine.
- Change Wi-Fi channel: Finally, we can change channels on our wireless network. So, depending on the bands, we need to pick the ones that don’t overlap, and the communication on these channels is lighter.
For the 2.4GHz (Gigahertz) band, the channels we should pick are 11, 6, and 1. For the 5 GHz band, 24 channels don’t overlap, and this means we don’t need to tweak any settings.
It’s not uncommon for the internet to randomly disconnect with any ISP, but it’s a common issue that Spectrum internet randomly disconnects from time to time. Well, now we know how we can fix this issue.
We can do a simple reboot, we can upgrade to a newer router, we can do a factory reset and update the firmware, we can check for any damage to the cables, we can reduce the traffic on our network, and we can tweak the Wi-Fi channel settings. If none of these work, contact Spectrum, they might be able to help.
Hey, I’m David. I’ve been working as a wireless network engineer and a network administrator for 15 years. During my studies, I also worked as an ISP field technician – that’s when I met Jeremy.
I hold a bachelor’s degree in network engineering and a master’s degree in computer science and engineering. I’m also a Cisco-certified service provider.
In my professional career, I worked for router/modem manufacturers and internet providers. I like to think that I’m good at explaining network-related issues in simple terms. That’s exactly what I’m doing on this website – I’m making simple and easy-to-follow guides on how to install, set up, and troubleshoot your networking hardware. I also review new network equipment – modems, gateways, switches, routers, extenders, mesh systems, cables, etc.
My goal is to help regular users with their everyday network issues, educate them, and make them less scared of their equipment. In my articles, you can find tips on what to look for when buying new networking hardware, and how to adjust your network settings to get the most out of your wi-fi.
Since my work is closely related to computers, servers, and other network equipment, I like to spend most of my spare time outdoors. When I want to blow off some steam, I like to ride my bike. I also love hiking and swimming. When I need to calm down and clear my mind, my go-to activity is fishing.