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Online and Distance Education at OISE

Connecting Online (from home)

Troubleshooting Techniques. Try these before you contact us....

  1. Troubleshooting Questions
  2. How are you connected?
  3. Troubleshooting your wireless connection
  4. Who is your Internet Service Provider?


It is often difficult to tell whether a connection problem is on your end or at the other end...

Here are a few guidelines to help you through the process. You may also want to view the Downtime Page on this site for other types of connection/troubleshooting issues.

If you cannot resolve the issue, please contact the CCP with specific information on the techniques you have tried. We can help you faster and would ask some of the same questions!

Troubleshooting Questions

  1. Have you ever been able to connect? If this is a new service, contact your Service Provider, you may have some setting adjustments.
  2. How are you connected? Wireless or Ethernet (see directions below)?
  3. Have you changed anything or added any new hardware, software or has someone else used the system and changed some settings?
  4. Do you (or anyone that uses your system) know of any computer problems?
  5. Have you checked for viruses?
  6. Have you contacted your Service Provider. From time to time, your service provider may be experiencing some problems. It never hurts to call and find out and they provide technical support with your specific system, modem and/or router.

How are you Connected?

Ethernet - via a cable (which looks like a large phone jack) that was installed through your service provider connecting your computer to a modem.

Wireless - via non-wired methods that allows your computer to send a signal to a router and modem installed by your service provider.

Troubleshooting your Ethernet Connection

  1. Can you access any other websites besides this website? Go to Google and do a random search for a different site (the idea is to go to a web site that you have never visited, to ensure that you are connected to the Internet).
  2. Ensure that your Ethernet cable is securely connected to your computer and your router, and perform step 1 again.
  3. Restart your computer and perform step 1 again.
  4. Disconnect the power cable from your router for 10 seconds and reconnect it, and perform step 1 again.
  5. Disconnect the power cable from your ISP's ( Rogers, Bell) modem, and your router for 30 seconds and reconnect in the same order and perform step 1 again.
  6. If you are still unable to establish a connection to the Internet please contact your Internet Service Provider for technical support.

Troubleshooting your Wireless Connections

  1. Try connecting with your Ethernet cable (above) to see if you have a hard-wired connection.
  2. Laptop Note: Please ensure your airport (Mac) or wireless card is enabled. Usually there is a little icon on the taskbar indicating the status.Checks for 
  3. MAC | PC


Who is your Internet Service Provider (ISP)?

Commonly used providers in Ontario are Bell Sympatico or Rogers.

You can be connected via phone (dialup), which is very slow in today's standards, highspeed phone (i.e. Bell) , highspeed cable (i.e. Rogers) and/or satellite. There are different speed rates available to any customer and generally the higher the speed the more expensive. Some locations can only provide certain services thereby limiting choice, however in larger urban centers the latest and greatest is often an option. For online teaching and learning we would recommend a service providing a 3MB bit rate.

Setup and Connections

  1. Your connection which is your computer with either ethernet or wireless access and is usually via a highspeed cable or phone connection. Wireless requires a router over and above the modem from your ISP.
  2. Your ISP provides setup instructions on your Mac or PC to initiate the connection. There is always a password involved. Keep this documentation in a safe place for reference. A router required for wireless often has a wizard or software to enable the connection. The original setup on your computer sometimes needs to be re-initiated.
  3. Once connected, you connect to the Internet at large. Sometimes there are problems with other systems. In this case you would be able to connect to most places online and only have problems with the one or two sites that are temporarily experiencing problems.
    • When you connect to the Institution you are also connecting to UofT
      at large.
    • Blackboard runs on the UofT servers, while WebKF and OISENet are OISE-based.



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