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Is the network down?

Updated: Apr 10, 2019

Self-Help Network Troubleshooting Guide

February 27, 2019 By Emil Hozan

If you’ve ever had to troubleshoot a technical issue, surely you know that having pertinent information related to the issue is vital. This could include steps to reproduce the error, any captured logs detailing the issue at hand, or even steps taken attempting to (unsuccessfully) resolve the issue(s). With that being said, I will also say that there can be times of having too much information – that is, information that really isn’t related to the issue. This can lead to a distraction of focus in trying to make sense of many things that are unrelated.

This blog post will cover some troubleshooting steps that can be taken when attempting to troubleshoot a network issue. Some of these concepts can be applied to other scenarios, but the scope of this guide is going to cover troubleshooting networks with an integrated WatchGuard firewall appliance. Further, it is expected that you have access to the WatchGuard device’s management interface along with a computer that has administrative access.

First Things First

The first thing to do is stop, collect yourself and most importantly, breathe. Technical issues can vary from something small and specific affecting a single user up to a site-wide outage preventing many employees from being productive, leading to lost revenue. Regardless of your scenario, as the technical employee, you have a lot of pressure to get the issue resolved. Perhaps your job may even be on the line but if you’re frantic, it can impair logical thinking and cause more issues.

When you’re not as nervous or frantic, which may be difficult, granted, the next step would be to identify the issue. What is the issue? Ask yourself the following questions in no particular order:

* In a simple and single, high-level overview sentence, what is the issue?

* Who is all affected, is it a single employee or are multiple users affected?

* Is this issue easily reproducible?

* What products are involved; what electronic device, which operating system (OS) and what version, etc.

* Has this ever worked?

This is a great start, you can use the answers to these questions to further troubleshoot. The nice thing about troubleshooting network issues is that you can work through the issue in various ways.

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