PostPoints tip: Try rebooting a cranky router
There's an old joke about "shut up and reboot" being the first thing you'll hear from anybody in tech support, but sometimes that recipe works. And it seems to work particularly often with wireless routers. So if you find that your laptop's Internet connection has mysteriously slowed or stopped, even if it still says it's on your home's WiFi network, don't be afraid to reboot the thing, either by flicking a power switch, depressing a reset button or just unplugging it. If you can't even use the router's normal control tools--most of the time, a special Web page but in some cases a separate program--then a reboot should be your first resort. I've found this step alone often serves to restore a router to life, just as you sometimes have to reboot a computer to talk it out of its sulk. (But: None of this means that you shouldn't resent a script-reading, tech-support rep telling you to reboot after you've just done that, or if you've already established that your Internet provider's at fault.)
May 4, 2010; 9:24 AM ET
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