Top 10 Dial-Up Connection Solutions

If you’re using Dial-up Internet access to get online, it’s smart to keep a list of troubleshooting tips in case something ever goes wrong.

The good news is that most of the things that do go wrong are very easy to fix. Trust us —we’ve been helping our dial-up Internet members connect more reliably since way back in 1994.

So, if you ever can’t connect to the Internet, the dial-up Internet experts here at EarthLink recommend you try our top 10 dial-up solutions:

  • Top 10 dial-up Internet troubleshooting tipsWait a few minutes (really, that’s all)
    If you were recently connected to the Internet and haven’t changed anything, your dial-up connection may automatically reconnect depending on your configurations. So just give it a few minutes. If your dial-up connection does not recover after several attempts, you should move on to the next suggested solutions.
  • Restart your computer
    Turn off your computer; wait for 30 seconds; then turn it on and try your dial-up connection again. This super-simple solution is often all you need to do.
  • Check your phone line
    Dial-up Internet access requires an open phone line. So make sure no one in your home starting using your phone in another room. Unfortunately, you can’t browse the Internet and talk on the phone at the same time. (Also, check that a phone wasn’t left off the hook.)
  • Check all cords and cables
    Cords and cables sometimes get knocked out or loosened. So make sure your phone line is securely plugged into your computer or external modem (if you’re using one) and the phone jack in your wall.
  • Check for hardware problems
    If you have an external dial-up modem, make sure its lights are on or shows signs that it is plugged in and functioning. If you are using a surge protector, make sure that it is on (it’s pretty easy to accidently bump a surge protector and turn it off). Make sure that the outlet that you are using is working by plugging something else into it. Then try plugging your modem into another outlet. If it still shows no signs of it working, you may have to replace the modem.
  • Check our Network Outages page
    If you can get to the Internet from your smartphone, tablet, or a different computer, visit our Network Outages page at to see if there are known problems with our dial-up network. If there is an outage listed, you can be sure we’re working to get it resolved as soon as possible and you can check back for confirmation that it’s fixed.
  • Double check your email address and password
    Your email address and password are both case sensitive (so capitalization matters) and they need to be entered exactly for you to be able to connect. Mistyping passwords is one of the most common reason dial-up users fail to connect to the Internet. So ensure that your keyboard’s Caps Lock is off and retype your email address and password carefully.If you forgot your password (and can use another computer or device to connect to the Internet) you can reset it at
    Important:  Your new password may take up to 20 minutes to activate in our system.
  • Update drivers and firmware
    Make sure that the drivers and firmware on your computer and modem are up-to-date. That process varies by computer and operating system, so check your computer’s help system if you don’t know how to do it.


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