Access to the internet has become so ingrained into our everyday lives that it’s hard to imagine a world without it. Our connected lifestyle lets us surf the web at work, watch Netflix at home and post to social media while on the go. The internet is everywhere.

While it stinks to lose online access at home, as an I.T. professional, it’s devastating when it happens at work. The challenge is, where to begin when trying to solve the problem? Is it the network, the internet service provider, or the services we are trying to connect to?

Today I was vexed with such a problem. Many of my coworkers reported that they were having trouble accessing the internet. So, as usual, I jumped into action and began the process of tracking down the problem.

Everything seemed to be working correctly on our end, but people were still having problems connecting to their email and the documents stored in Google drive. Since our organization uses Google as our email backend, it didn’t take too long to find the common denominator: Google.

Apparently, Google was having service issues in various parts of the USA, but how are people supposed to know when that happens? Take heart, my friends, read on to find the answer.

Most large internet service providers and other online services maintain a status page which displays information about the current health of their system. Companies like Apple, Google, and Amazon all have a place to go to find out more information related to their current connection status. Additionally, there are websites who make it their business to aggregate this information and put it all in a simple place. I have found two that work pretty well, and

Both of these websites have status information on practically any website or service you care about. Pinterest, Netflix, Facebook; they’re all there.

So, the next time you blame your husband for “using all the internet” or your internet service provider for being lame, take a closer look at the service you are trying to use and see if they’re the reason you can binge watch the latest episode of Gilmore Girls.

Apple –

Amazon –

Comcast –

Google –

Microsoft Azure –

Netflix –

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