Encountering the “WAN Connection Down” error isn’t a common experience, leaving us unsure about its meaning, causes, and solutions.
Imagine it like dealing with an unusual puzzle we’re not used to. I’ve written this article – to guide us in understanding the issue, exploring its reasons, and finding ways to resolve it.
What is WAN and How Does it Work?
WAN (Wide Area Network), LAN (Local Area Network), and RAN (Regional Area Network) are networking terms often used to refer to the area the internet is covering.
While LAN and RAN focus on linking small spaces, a WAN (Wide Area Network) is similar to a large internet connecting distant locations like cities and countries.
It facilitates sharing information between far-apart places, such as faraway offices or schools. Like Wi-Fi is for close-range connections, WANs enable communication between far-off spots on a higher level. The internet itself acts as an enormous WAN, uniting places globally.
Imagine you’re sending a big message. The WAN breaks it into small pieces, like a jigsaw puzzle called packets. These packets travel through devices like routers and switches, which help them move over different pathways like cables and satellites.
As they travel, they follow road signs called intermediary nodes, which guide them to their destination. When they reach where they’re going, the pieces are put back together to show the full message.
This way, far-off devices can chat and share stuff like files. The internet itself is like the biggest WAN, joining places all around the world. So, WANs are like the internet’s super highways, letting faraway places talk and share stuff!
Reasons for WAN Connection Down
The reasons behind your WAN connection going down are not only infrequent but often lie beyond easy reach for resolution.
Reboot your router before proceeding with any troubleshooting measures, as it often resolves the issue. Disconnect the power cord for 5 minutes, reconnect it and let the router boot up. Check the light status; it should be green. If the network light is red, try an additional troubleshooting solution
Here are a few common reasons with quick fixes,
1. Hardware Failure
Hardware failures can cause your WAN Connection to go down. This occurs due to faulty network devices such as routers, switches, or modems. Loose cables and connectors can also lead to connection problems.
To fix this, physically inspect all connections and cables. Ensure they are properly plugged in and securely fastened. If the issue persists, restart the Router or Modem. If restarting doesn’t work, replace the faulty component.
2. Power Outages
Power outages over a wide area can indeed disrupt network equipment and cause loss of connectivity, including WAN connections.
This is particularly challenging in countries with economic difficulties where regular power cuts, known as load shedding, are common.
During such situations, where traditional wired networks might be affected due to power outages, cellular networks can often remain operational.
Cellular networks have their own power sources and backup systems, which can help maintain connectivity even when the main power supply is disrupted.
So, using a cellular network during such times can be a practical workaround to stay connected
3. Natural Disasters
Natural catastrophes such as earthquakes, hurricanes, and floods have the potential to inflict physical harm on network infrastructure, resulting in significant disruptions to connectivity.
While there may not be an immediate fix during a disaster, having a well-prepared disaster recovery plan works. Using a cellular network or Starlink can help you to connect.
4. Problem at ISP site
This is something we can’t control. Problems with your Internet Service Provider (ISP), like maintenance or technical issues, can mess up your connection and the big network (WAN) you’re part of.
All you can do is get in touch with your ISP’s tech support and tell them about the problem. They’ll tell you what’s going on and when they think they can fix it. While you wait, if you have other backup ways to connect, you might have to use those.
5. Cyber Attacks
Cyber attacks, such as Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, can overwhelm your network and cause downtime.
A DDoS attack is like causing a big traffic jam on a website. Imagine if lots of cars suddenly flooded onto a road all at once, making it so crowded that no one could move.
Similarly, in a DDoS attack, a lot of compromised computers (like zombie computers) are used to send a huge amount of fake traffic to a website or a system.
This cyber attack aims to make the website or system so busy and overwhelmed that it can’t handle real visitors. Unfortunately, you can do nothing about it; you only need to be patient.
Incorrect network configurations, such as IP address conflicts, WAN configuration or incorrect routing settings, can disrupt connectivity.
To fix this, review network configuration settings thoroughly. Ensure IP addresses are unique and correct. Verify routing and firewall rules for accuracy. Correct any misconfigurations found.
Watch this video to know how to configure WAN:
7. Network Overloads
Too much stuff happening on the network, like when a lot of people use data-hungry apps, can make the network slow or even stop working. This tends to happen when many folks are online, usually around 9 in the evening.
The simple solution is not to use the internet when many people use it. If you need the internet during those busy times, you might want to think about switching to a different provider. That could fix the issue for you.
Doing maintenance work on the internet is necessary to keep it running nicely. But while this happens, your internet connection might be stopped for a bit, and the big network (WAN) could go offline temporarily.
There’s no need to panic, though, because everything usually gets back to normal after a while.
If this happens, get in touch with your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and find out when they’re planning to do maintenance.
During that time, you can switch to using cellular data if you have it available.
9. Problem with Network Adopter
Problems with your network adopter can disrupt your WAN. You need to troubleshoot the network adopter.
Taking advantage of the automatic troubleshooter can be really helpful. To do this, follow these steps:
- Open the Start menu.
- Click on Settings.
- Choose Network & Internet.
- Click on Change adapter options (a window will appear showing your network adapters).
5. Pick the network you’re using and right-click on it.
- Select Diagnose, and the troubleshooter will start checking for problems.
- Follow the instructions that come up, and it might be able to fix the issue for you.