Carnegie Mellon University

Network Troubleshooting

Below you'll find tips to troubleshoot your network issues.

Try these wired network troubleshooting steps in the following order.

  1. First time using the wired network? Try our common troubleshooting tips.
  2. Have Limited Network Access.
  3. Check Your Power and Network Connection.
  4. Update the Network Card (Windows Only).
  5. Switch to the wireless network.
  6. Find the MAC (hardware) Address. You'll need this to report your problem.
  7. Complete the Report a Problem Form

Try these wireless network troubleshooting steps in the following order.

  1. Manually Connect to the Network (Windows Only).
  2. Update the Network Card (Windows Only).
  3. Find the MAC (hardware) Address and Collect Wireless Card Information (Windows). You'll need these to report your problem.
  4. Complete the Report a Problem Form.


For help connecting to CMU-SECURE, visit Comment 7 for bug 1963834.


See the AnyConnect VPN Troubleshooting section.

Make Your Connection Stronger

If your internet connection is poor, consider the following:

  • Try a wired (ethernet) connection. Be aware that you may need an ethernet adapter for your laptop.
  • Check your wireless router. Make sure your router is under five years old, uses Wi-Fi Protected Access II (WPA2) security certification and supports both 5GHz and 2.4GHz bands.
  • Re-position your device. Move closer to your Wi-Fi router to increase the strength of the wireless signal to your laptop or mobile device.
  • Avoid performing large file transfers. Your upload speeds will always be slower than your download speeds. Wait until after class to move large files to and from the cloud or across a network.
  • Zoom smart. Virtual backgrounds and HD video are great Zoom features, but they will degrade your bandwidth. Turn them off for a better online experience.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. If others on your Wi-Fi network are using streaming services such as Netflix while you're working, it could impact your Zoom experience. Sync up your schedules with those closest to you to avoid connectivity issues.

If adjusting these items still does not improve your experience, contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP).

Know When to Upgrade

It might be time to update the equipment in your home, such as:

  • Router - allows you to connect to your internet provider's service. 
  • CAT 5e Cable - this cable, often referred to as a patch cable connects your laptop to your router. 
  • Wired Adapter - many newer model laptops do not have a wired (ethernet) input, but you can purchase an adapter for your device.

Take Advantage of Eduroam

To address poor internet connectivity, locate a regional eduRoam partner, and use the shared internet resources at their location.

Detailed Instructions

  • Ensure that you have registered your network connection.
  • Disconnect (unplug the cable) from the network. Wait at least 30 minutes from the time of registration, and then try accessing the network again.
    New wired network registrations may take 15-30 minutes to fully activate.
  • If you still cannot connect, reboot your computer and try to connect again.
    Your operating system's network name and address have old information saved. 
  • Clear your web browser cache. See the browser help for steps.
    Your web browser cache may have old information saved. 

Try the following:

  1. Plug into a known working outlet.
  2. Use a network cable that you know works with another computer.
  3. Try connecting another computer. If you are able to connect, then there is an issue with your computer.

The following steps apply only to Windows.

  1. Click Start > Check for Updates.
  2. Once complete, visit the web site for your computer vendor (e.g., Dell, IBM, etc.) and download the latest network driver for your computer.
  3. Locate and install the driver from the Support area of the site.

Collect the wireless card information.

  1. Click Start > Control Panel.
  2. Under Network and Sharing Center, click Change Adapter Settings.
  3. Select the applicable network adapter (depending on whether you have an issue on the wireless or wired network).
  4. Right-click on the wired or wireless option and select Properties.
  5. Click Configure Driver and gather the following information:
    • Adapter Name (including make/model numbers)
    • Driver Provider
    • Driver Date
    • Driver Version

If you followed all of the troubleshooting steps and require further assistance, find your MAC address (also referred to as the hardware address). Providing this information on the Report a Problem form will speed up your resolution time.