If electronics fail at the weekend or connections are damaged during construction work, there is no quick remedy in sight. Unless you are prepared and can bridge the compulsory break with a cellular router, for example. However, the detour via the cellular network sucks heavily on the limited and expensive data volume and is therefore only suitable for short-term failures.
But even if the excavator in front of the house does not tear off the entire communication cable: Even small interruptions, for example due to defective electronics, can be annoying. In such cases, you may be able to fix the problem yourself. In the current issue 13/2021, c’t has compiled which preventive measures you should take and how you can help yourself instead of relying on the hotline or waiting for a technician to resuscitate you.
Have important data ready
If you make calls via the fixed network, check whether the access to your provider portal or customer center is working; request the access data again if necessary. Then you can redirect the landline numbers to your smartphone in the event of a power failure if the Internet telephony does not work reliably via your backup.
If you have the access data for the Internet connection and Internet telephony ready, you can put a replacement device into operation more quickly if your router is defective. If you put a used router of the same type in the closet, you can be online again within minutes after a router failure – but you have to save the router settings from time to time so that they can be imported again when the device is replaced.
Guest WiFi or smartphone
If you have full access to the browser configuration pages of your device – i.e. do not use a provider router – you can possibly use the WLAN interface as an alternative Internet uplink; AVMs Fritz boxes, for example, master this function. In FritzOS there is the option in the area of the access data (“additional Internet provider / existing access via WLAN”). For the WLAN uplink, ask your neighbor for the name and password of their guest network. He should enable all Internet applications in it, i.e. not restrict the applications in the guest network to surfing and emailing, otherwise VPN access to the company, for example, will fail.
If the neighbor does not want to share, you have to use the hotspot function of your smartphone. Many mobile phone providers offer daily flat rates without volume restrictions as options for booking via the app or in the customer portal. In the article Internet failures: First aid and bridging, c’t explains what you have to pay attention to when using the smartphone. It also contains instructions on how to identify the source of interference and how to rectify it yourself. If you are bridging the Internet failure by cellular network, you should definitely put all data suction devices on a diet temporarily before switching.
A tip: try your chosen solution, not only during setup, but also from time to time afterwards. If your Internet backup is via the cellular network, make sure with prepaid data SIMs that enough credit is booked to activate a day flat rate if necessary. You should also use the data SIM briefly at least once a year so that the provider does not switch it off due to inactivity.
Windows users know the admonition to use the Microsoft account. We illuminate the curse and blessing of this account in c’t 13/2021. We show you how to bridge Internet failures, have tested mini PCs for the home office, mainboards for Ryzen CPUs, tools for virtual group chats and various Android smartphones and have compiled information sources for securities investors. You will find issue 13/2021 from June 4th in the Heise shop and at the well-stocked newspaper kiosk.