Why Is My Broadband Down? How To Use Downdetector

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We all rely on a stable broadband connection in our day-to-day lives. So when we get home and find the internet down, we are suddenly cut off from our comforts and the wider world. How can I tell if broadband is down in my area, how soon can I get it up again, and can I claim compensation? Good questions, take a read through this short article to find out.

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Why Is My Internet Down?

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Losing connection to the internet can be frustrating, particularly if you are trying to work, were midway through a call, or were just really craving streaming a show. Service failure can happen for many reasons, including:

  • Device failure (routers, mobiles, laptops, ethernet cables etc)
  • Broadband provider errors or issues
  • Mandatory maintenance of the network
  • An incident damaging infrastructure
  • Payment contestations resulting in a pause in service

It is, however, unusual for a service blackout to come out of the blue. Typically if there is any form of planned service suspension or ongoing issues, your broadband provider or network operator will inform you in advance, or as soon as an incident becomes known.

Is Internet Down in My Area?

If you are experiencing internet failure, you have several tools at your disposal with which you can investigate. While your first response may be to get on the phone with your provider, bear in mind that many other people will have the same idea, and so you could get stuck in a lengthy call queue. Instead, if you have internet access via mobile data, for example, you should use one of the dedicated online broadband monitoring services.

What Is Downdetector?

One of the most reputable of said services is Downdetector. This website works by gathering data from sources such as social media, apps and direct public reports, and consolidating it to create simple graphs and information showing which providers at which times are experiencing connection difficulties. To find out if your supplier is included in this, all you need to do is:

image of a globe interconnected by dots
  1. Navigate to the Downdetector website linked above
  2. Scroll down, and select the service you are having difficulty with
  3. The first result will state if there are any known issues with said provider's service
  4. Scroll down and click on the supplier outage and known issues map to see a simple visual of where reported problems are

This service is free to use and allows you to report outages across multiple devices and service types, thus assisting the website in gathering data and helping other users know if there is an issue. Alternatively, you can head over to your broadband provider's website, and follow their process, such as the ones below.

Is Eir Broadband Down?

If you are an Eir broadband customer, you can check the status of faults in your My Eir account. Fault histories are stored for seven days, allowing you to see if any other faults have been identified in the last week. If you wish to report a fault, you can contact Eir by calling 1901. Your can also consult our Eir Broadband Guide for more help.

Is Vodafone Internet Down?

Contact the Vodafone Network Crew on 1902, followed by pressing option 2. You can then talk a member of staff through the connectivity issues that you are experiencing, and hopefully through some remote troubleshooting, resolve the issue. For additional methods of getting in touch with Vodafone, take a browse through our dedicated Vodafone contact guide.

Is Sky Broadband Down?

Similarly to the above, Sky also has a dedicated connection troubleshooting page allowing you to see if there are known outages across their broadband, TV, phone, apps or glass services. After clicking the relevant service, you can run through a series of specific troubleshooting steps, and even run a check on your home's connection status.

If their FAQs don’t help you, you can always contact them on one of the methods demonstrated in our Sky Ireland contact guide.

Is Imagine Broadband Down?

Unfortunately, there's no simple what of seeing if your Imagine Broadband is down since there's no way to check it on their website. However, you can get status updates from the Imagine Broadband Twitter account!

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What Can I Do When My Broadband Is Down?

If you would like to check if the problem lies within your home rather than your supplier, or if your service provider has informed you that everything is ok on their end, there are a few things you can try to see if you can get your broadband going again.

  1. Restart Your Router
    Sometimes technology can glitch, or require resetting after an update. Restarting your router gives it another chance to get the connection right.
  2. Check on Another Device
    If your phone can't connect to WiFi, but your partner's phone can, then this indicates the problem is with your phone rather than the internet.
  3. Is Everything Plugged In Right?
    Double-check if any wires have fallen out or come loose. Wires can also fray or become damaged over time, and may need replacing.
  4. Change your router's Location
    WiFi signals thrive if they don’t have obstacles. Avoid placing routers in corners, cabinets or surrounded by other electronic devices.
  5. Update Your Device's Drivers
    Granted, it is a bit difficult if you don’t have an internet connection, but if a driver is very out of date, it will struggle to connect. Try to borrow a friend's WiFi and see if that does the trick.
  6. Is Aeroplane Mode On?
    You would be surprised how many times aeroplane mode is left on by accident. It is impossible to achieve an internet connection while this setting is active, and simply turning it off should allow you to access broadband connections.

Usually, your equipment will tell you straight away if it is having connectivity issues. In the instance of routers, this can come in the form of an orange or red blinking light next to a signal or status icon, for mobiles, laptops and tablets this could just be a short message stating that your service is offline or cannot connect. Where possible read through your device's manual to understand what these messages mean, and how you can rectify the issue.

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How Can I Speed Up Slow Internet?

If your internet is slow rather than completely down, it can sometimes feel as though it might as well be down for all the worth you are getting out of it. On top of the points mentioned above, there are a few additional things you can do to try to boost your speed.

image of a fibre cable
  • Use an Adblocker
    The more data and ads a website has, the longer it takes to load.

  • Check for Updates
    We all put off hitting the update button, but doing so can affect your device's efficiency, which results in processing speed degradation.

  • Avoid Peak Times
    The hours of 9 am-12 pm, and 7 pm-10 pm see the heaviest usage. The more people that connect to the internet, the more infrastructure is strained, resulting in slower speeds.

  • Close Applications Not Being Used
    Close unnecessary tabs and turn off the computer. Background connections add up.

  • Connect with an Ethernet Cable
    This brings the internet directly to your computer. WiFi connections tend to be weaker and slower than fixed wires.

If none of this works, it may be time to consider upgrading your setup. Most broadband providers offer packages with speeds up to 1 Gbps, over various plan types. Taking a moment to compare broadband providers may not only save you money but also increase your internet speeds.

Are you on the right type of broadband? For example, if you use mobile broadband, and are in an area that has poor 4G and 5G signals, it could be worth considering switching to a satellite, fibre or ADSL connection instead. Alternatively, if you are happy with your broadband type and just want your broadband to reach further, perhaps a WiFi booster could help you achieve this goal.

Check Out Your Broadband Speeds Now!

Can I Get Compensation for My Broadband Being Down?

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Having your internet down persistently can be very frustrating, particularly when you are paying for a service you are simply not receiving, or rely on a stable connection to work from home. Many providers have a complaints escalation or compensation process for such occasions that fulfil certain contractually agreed criteria.

How Can I Make a Complain About a Broadband Outage?

Prior to making a complaint, you should read your contract and policy details of the service provider in question. Within these documents, the company will state the minimum level of service standards that they commit to providing you with. These do come with a few caveats and exceptions like storms or flooding, but provide you with guidance as to how you can escalate the issue, and what you can expect the outcome to be.

Before you get your hopes up, compensation does not necessarily mean money. Most companies prefer to handle such instances by:

  • Providing an explanation and apology
  • Issuing discounts or credit refunds
  • Fixing the issue in the case of faulty equipment
  • Providing the opportunity to exit your contract early without penalties

If you have persisted with the company, completed their escalation process, and have not reached a mutually satisfactory conclusion, you can also get in contact with ComReg (Commission for Communications Regulation), who can help to resolve the matter by conducting an investigation into the matter on your behalf.

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Internet Down Questions

How will I know when my internet is fixed?

Hopefully, this is as simple as noticing that your devices have connected again. Alternatively you can either contact your supplier or follow them on social media for frequent updates.

Is it normal to experience connection failure frequently?

No. The only instance in which you may experience frequent service failures is when your network is undergoing maintenance (in which case you should be forewarned by your provider). If you are experiencing frequent connection issues you should contact your broadband provider.

Who can I complain to regarding my internet downtime?

Your service provider. If you complete their escalations process within their company guidelines, and still have no solution, you can escalate the issue to ComReg.

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