Home Computer Networks: Routine Maintenance Tips

For a more detailed description of configuring and maintaining a secure home network with wireless, see Home Computer Networks, Basic Setup Instructions, for Windows and Wireless By Dion D. Shaw and available on Amazon, SmashWords, and iBooks.

Part of operating a home business involves technology and understanding how it works at a high-level.  Unless your business is in the technology industry, information about router programming, website design, and firewall options takes up too much brain space.  Outsource those tasks where possible when upgrades and additions to the home network are needed.  You can perform some basic maintenance on your home or small business network that will improve performance.  Provided below is something to do on a monthly basis or so.

Similar to business networks and servers, home networks require periodic maintenance to help operating efficiency.  The steps below should be done about once per month and are similar for both DSL (e.g. AT&T) and cable networks (e.g. Comcast).

The home network likely resembles the image below:

The broadband modem is supplied by your ISP (Internet Service Provider); the base station/router is usually your wireless router, probably purchased at a local computer store.  Performance of your network is improved by clearing the ‘routing tables’ and ‘cache’: the cache is a database of addresses and forwarding information stored in a router and builds up over time, creating electronic garbage.

Follow these steps:

1)      Turn off your laptop or desktop computer

2)      Turn off the base station/router – the power cord may be unplugged for this

3)      Turn off the Broadband modem – the power cord may be unplugged and also remove a backup battery if one exists

** Do not remove any network cables – only unplug power connections **

** All lights on the front panels of devices 2 & 3 should be off **

If lights are still lit on the front, the device is either not unplugged or has a battery backup.

4)      Leave all devices off for 1 minute.  This will reset the routing tables and clear any information from the ‘cache’

5)      Plug the devices back in, using this sequence:

  1. Broadband modem first – remember to reinstall the backup battery, if removed
  2. Wait until all lights are lit and the Internet light is active
  3. Plug in the base station/router

6)      After lights are active on the base station/router, turn on the computers

This process applies to 90% of home networks that use cable and/or DSL.  If problems exist with connections even after these steps, contact your Internet service provider for assistance.

– By Dion D Shaw

Dion D Shaw is the founder and owner of Homepreneurs

Homepreneurs.  New Day.  New Opportunity.

Disclaimer

Homepreneurs does not endorse nor have any relationships with any of the services listed.  Homepreneurs receives no compensation or consideration for its suggestions.  Homepreneurs strongly urges all interested parties to conduct research and accepts no responsibility for any losses incurred.

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