Why Your Ethernet Connection Suddenly Stopped Working: Common Causes and Fixes

Experiencing sudden internet downtime can be frustrating, especially when you’re relying on a wired connection for stability and speed. While wireless networks have their share of connectivity issues, wired connections are not immune to problems.

Below, we explore common reasons why your Ethernet connection might fail and offer solutions to get you back online.

cable router

1. Damaged Connectors: A Common Culprit

Ethernet cables connect to routers and devices through RJ45 connectors. These connectors can become damaged due to wear and tear or frequent plugging and unplugging. If you suspect a damaged connector:

  • Solution: Try plugging the cable into a different Ethernet port on the router. Most routers have multiple ports, so switching can help you identify if the issue lies with the connector or the port itself.

2. Accidental Cable Pulls: Connectivity’s Nemesis

Accidentally pulling on an Ethernet cable can cause disconnections or damage the cable ends. This often happens when moving connected devices without detaching the cable first.

  • Solution: Inspect both ends of the cable for any sign of damage. If you find any, replacing the cable is your best bet. As a precaution, always disconnect your devices before moving them to avoid such accidents.

3. Network Adapter Failure: The Invisible Issue

The network adapter in your computer facilitates your wired internet connection. If it fails or experiences issues, your connectivity will suffer. Causes can range from incorrect driver updates to physical disconnections, especially with external USB network adapters.

  • Solution: Check your network adapter’s status in your device’s “Device Manager” (for Windows) or equivalent system settings. Updating or rolling back drivers might resolve the issue. If the adapter is external, ensure it’s properly connected.

4. Bent Cables: A Silent Disruptor

Ethernet cables are durable, but not indestructible. Bending a cable too much can damage its internal wiring, leading to connectivity failures.

  • Solution: Straighten out any kinks or replace the cable if it’s severely bent. When organizing cables, ensure they have enough slack and aren’t bent at sharp angles.

General Troubleshooting Tips

  • Test with Another Cable: If you have a spare Ethernet cable, try it out. This can quickly tell you if the issue lies with the cable itself.
  • Inspect for Physical Damage: Look for visible signs of wear or damage on your cable and connectors.
  • Reboot Your Equipment: Sometimes, simply restarting your router, modem, and computer can resolve connectivity issues.
  • Update Your Equipment: Keeping your router’s firmware and your computer’s network drivers up to date can prevent many connectivity problems.


Wired connections are generally reliable, but they’re not without their faults. By understanding common issues like damaged connectors, accidental pulls, network adapter failures, and bent cables, you can troubleshoot effectively. Remember, the key to avoiding many of these problems is regular maintenance and careful handling of your equipment. With the right approach, you can ensure your wired internet connection remains stable and reliable.