Questions to ask your ISP when troubleshooting an Internet modem or router issue

Review questions to ask your ISP when troubleshooting an Internet modem or router issue.

If you're troubleshooting a broadband Internet connection issue related to your modem or router, you should ask your ISP certain questions (or check their support website).  If you use a modem/router that your ISP did not provide, you should ask the manufacturer of the device instead (or check their support website).

Note: This article applies to third-party broadband modems and routers. If you use an AirPort product, check out the resources available on this page instead.

Before contacting your ISP have the following information ready

  • What version of Mac OS X is installed?  Mac OS X v10.____.
  • Which computers or devices are unable to access the Internet?

  • Are the devices connecting wirelessly or via an Ethernet cable, or does it vary by device?

  • Which exact make and model of modem and/or router do you use?

  • What versions of firmware are installed on your modem and/or router? (If you don't know how to check the firmware version, refer to the documentation that came with the modem or router.)

  • Can you connect to the Internet if the modem is connected directly to your Mac via an Ethernet cable?


Questions to ask your ISP or modem/router manufacturer

  • Is there a firmware update available for the modem or router? 

  • If a firmware update is available, how do you install it from your Mac?

  • Is there any MAC address filtering active on the modem or router? If so, can that be adjusted or disabled?

  • If there is a battery backup in the modem, how can it be temporarily disabled when resetting the modem?

  • Can the ISP remotely reset the modem? If not, how can you (accounting for any battery backup).

  • Is there a firewall or proxy server active on the modem/router?

  • Does the modem provide additional services, such as wireless access or VoIP telephone services?
    If so, do you have another way of making or receiving phone calls?

  • Does the modem act as a router, or provide wireless services?

  • How should the Network pane in System Preferences be configured?

  • What IP address range should the modem or router provide?

  • Is it possible to replace the modem with a different or newer model?
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