Why doesn't my internet / email work?

Checklist of possible reasons why your pc isn't workingThere are many reasons why your connection to the internet doesn't work or why your email doesn't seem to want to come into your inbox.

Here's a quick list of things to check before your call for your IT Technician:

1. Is your power on?

Don't laugh - we've actually had calls about people not being able to get their email - only to work out that there's no electricity in the area...

2. Can you connect to the internet at all?

Try to connect to www.google.co.za and www.news24.co.za
If you can't connect to these, there is probably a problem with your internet connection and you won't be able to access your website or email.

The problem could be with your ISP (internet service provider). This is the company that supplies your internet access (e.g. MWeb, Afrihost, Axxess, Telkom etc.) They should be able to help you with this.

The problem could also be with the internet infrastructure in South Africa. Your ISP has to use this to connect you to the internet. If the problem lies on the infrastructure, your ISP won't be able to help you as they don't control the infrastructure. The companies controlling the infrastructure must solve the problem. You cannot access these guys directly. However, because their infrastructue is depended on by all the ISPs, you can rest assured that they are being made aware of the problem and are working to resolve it as quickly as possible.

3. You can connect to local sites (e.g www.news24.co.za) but you can't get into international sites (e.g. www.cnn.com)

Most likely scenario: you're on ADSL and have used up your international bandwidth. Most ISP's will still allow you access to South African sites if you've reached your international cap.

The problem could also be with the cables and infrastructure used to connect South Africa to the rest of the internet world. For example, one of our big suppliers of international internet bandwidth is Seacom. If one of their cables develop a problem or breaks, all the internet connectivity from that cable into South Africa has a problem.

That means the local infrasture guys supplying internet access to the local ISPs, who in turn supply it to you, cannot fix the problem - they are dependent on the company supplying the international cable, like Seacom, to fix the problem.

Again, these companies are made aware of the problem really quickly and the pressure on them to fix it is great as they now have a whole country pretty upset with them. However, the scale of the technology involved and the difficulty in fixing problems with cables that run under the sea may mean that the problem can take anything between hours, days and even weeks to resolve.

4. You can connect to all sites on the internet (local and international) just not your own website or your online email.

The problem probably lies with your website hosting provider (regarding your website access). If your hosting provider also handles your email, you can contact them about your email problem as well. (Your webhosting provider does not always handle your email - sometimes your email is supplied by your ISP, example Mweb. Then you need to contact your ISP about your email problems.)

5. Other people in your office on the same connection can get internet and email access. Only your pc won't let you in to the internet and / or download your email.

The problem probably lies with your PC or one of the programs on it.

  • Is your pc connected to the office network via a network cable or wireless? Is your pc picking up the network?
    • If not, you have a network problem. Call the IT guy.
  • Are you running an up-to-date antivirus program on your pc? Have you let it run to check for a possible virus?
    • If there's a virus and you know how to remove it, do it. Otherwise call your IT guy.
  • Have you downloaded / installed any new programs recently? Did the problem occur just after that?
    • The problem may be coming from these programs - for most users the recommended course of action is to call your IT guy and tell him exactly what you did... (It's ok, he's heard it all before ;) )
  • Has anybody fiddled with / changed any kind of settings on your pc recently (this includes your local IT guy working on your computer)? Did the problem start shortly after this?
    • Then it's probably related the one of the changes made. Call your IT guy...

6. Don't have an IT guy?

The most common problems people have with email is getting the settings set correctly to allow emails to be sent and received. If you have a working connection to the internet, we can help you sort this out remotely. Simply call us and we'll fix your pc while you watch (or make yourself some coffee and put your feet up for a bit ;) )

We can also remotely assist you with virus problems, installing new programs and generally making your pc behave itself. (Rates are R300 per hour - we can offer these services at this low price as we work remotely and thus you save on the call out and travelling fees.)

If you need help, send us an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We'll sort you out chop chop.