Internet Access

Posted on August 29, 2014

All of our vacation rentals have internet access.

Each house has internet service through Mediacom, with a provided internet router with WIFI. You can the internet through the wifi. If you have trouble with the wifi, you can plug an ethernet cable directly into the router–though you have to bring your own ethernet cable if you are going to do this.

Internet access is good but not guaranteed–sand and salt are terrible on wires!

So, the reality is that most of the time, the internet is up and running, ready to help you rock and roll, or do a little studying or get a little work done.

However, it is not uncommon for the houses on the beach to have issues with the internet. Although sometimes it is related to the equipment inside the house, more often it is the external connections. The salt and sand play havoc with the connections.

One of us happens to work in technology, was a school tech coordinator, a network technician at a major university (Go Hoosiers!), and now develops web-based support tools and training for federal agencies and universities. He needs a stable connection, but, unfortunatle,y sometimes even he has to run to other locations when we have an outage at our own house down there.

So, if the connectivity goes down, please report it to both the local rental agency handling your reservation and to us. We will all do our best to get you up and running but can’t guarantee it, especially if its an external wiring issue since we do not control Mediacom and their personnel.

What can you try?

Basic troubleshooting for internet access in our vacation rentals includes checking the power to the modem/router, checking the connection from the wall to the router (the cable tv type cable), and cycling the power on the devices.

A Stepwise Internet Access Checklist

Is there a router/modem on the kitchen table?

Sadly, troubleshooting step one is: did someone walk away with the router, or the cords to the router? It doesn’t happen often, but it does happen. And while housekeeping and or quality control should catch that the router has gone awol, they might not. So, if you aren’t seeing a wifi network on your devices, AND there is no router in the kitchen, well, then, that could be the problem.

Does the router have any lights on or blinking?

If no, then check that it is plugged into wall power (and that the outlet is working).

What lights are on?

There are a LOT of different routers, but most of them have similar sets of lights as those in the image attached. There will be lights for Cable Activity, Cable Link, PC Link, and Internet.

Is the cable activity and/or cable link light on?

If not, you need to check the tv type cable, which should connect from the wall to the modem. If it is in place and secure, then it is quite likely that the cable connection to the house is down or degraded.

How can you tell if the incoming signal is down or degraded? Well,

If you are unable to watch cable tv, then the cable (and therefore internet) connection is down coming to the house.

If you are able to watch cable tv, but the picture breaks up, or you aren’t getting some channels, then the signal is degraded, probably to the point that the router cannot establish a clear connection.

In both these cases, Mediacom will have to come out, and that may take time (again, we can push, but we simply don’t control the cable company…. oh that we did!). You’ll need to report the problem!

What if the link light is on but I still can’t get connected?

Try directly connecting to the router with an ethernet cable. You can snag one at Target or any other major retailer. This removes the wifi from the situation. If that works, then there’s something a miss with the wifi.

If that does NOT work, then there is something wrong with your machines set up OR with the router.

Let’s assume the router is messed up. Let’s just restart it.

Unplug it. Let it sit for 5 minutes. Plug it back in. Try connecting again. 5 minutes usually isn’t required, but if it doesn’t work by just pulling the plug and putting it back, give it a little longer because it can flush some connectivity settings by waiting.

So, the direct connection works but wifi doesn’t….

Do you see the wifi network? (OR if you see it but when you try to connect, it asks for a password?)

Let’s just reset the router and wifi.

Somewhere on the device is a small pinhole. Find a pen, or a pin! Stick the pen in the hole and depress the button. KEEP IT DOWN! Unplug the router (keep the button pressed). Plug the power back in (still holding it down, right). Wait. The unit should blink or do something. If you waited 30 seconds, it should be fine. Remove the pen. Look for the wifi. Try to connect.

If that all fails, we are really sorry!

Please report the problem and we’ll try to get it fixed asap. In the meantime:

Some great places to borrow wifi in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach!