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What is Limited Connectivity?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 17, 2024
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Limited connectivity is an error where a computer has trouble connecting to a network and may not be capable of accessing the Internet or other computers on the network. Sometimes a computer returns this error by accident, and people can ignore it if they find that their Internet appears to be working reliably. In other cases, some troubleshooting to address the problem may be necessary.

Problems can occur at the modem, a router, or computer. Sometimes, people can quickly resolve limited connectivity by shutting down the computer and restarting the modem, router, or both. For people using a gateway device where the router and modem functions are combined, they just need to restart the gateway. If the limited connectivity problems persist, the user may want to try entering the settings for the device and restoring them to the factory defaults.

While troubleshooting for limited connectivity, it can be helpful to try connecting with multiple devices, and to use different ethernet cables, for people on wired connections. This can help determine if the problem lies with a computer or the network. If a laptop successfully connects wirelessly while a portable device does not, for example, the portable device may need to be rebooted, or it may be necessary to change connection settings.

With wireless connections, the problem sometimes lies with the power settings on the gateway or router. It is possible to adjust these settings in the configuration for the unit, and people can try increasing the power to see if the signal becomes more reliable. People may also get limited connectivity errors on a failing modem, router, or gateway. If they swap out the equipment, they should find that this resolves the problem.

If obvious home troubleshooting measures including restarting all the equipment, resetting passwords, and double-checking cables and devices do not work, people can call their providers for technical support. Personnel will ask if they have done some basic testing. They can run line tests to make sure the Internet is working and may also send out a technician with test equipment to see if the problem lies with the gateway, router, or modem. This equipment may be rented from the provider, in which case it can provide a new unit. When it is the responsibility of the customer, she will need to buy a replacement, and can order one through the service provider or a third party.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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