Do you have a hard time passing captcha tests?

Captcha Test Comic

It may not be the answers you are giving, but your internet connection.

Why do I say this? This is what happened to me yesterday. I was trying to log in to Steam and part of the process is to pass a captcha test. I was failing every test and in the past, I passed them. I hadn’t logged into Steam for a long time so I thought perhaps it is pushing a higher standard with the answers. Then it said I was locked out for passing the number of attempts and I had to wait an hour. I did some research and apparently, this has to do with your internet connection.

The page that I found talked about some simple network software things that you could do on your Windows computer. I had done those in the past for another network problem I had and they didn’t help. I figured it was time to reboot the Verizon FIOS router. I unplugged it and waited and five minutes later I was back online. When the hour passed I did the captcha test again and passed on the first try.

Captcha Test Comic
captcha test comic

Now this is maddening. How many people have suffered with captcha problems and didn’t realize it was because of their network/internet connection? Captcha needs an active internet connection and at some level, either the browser, computer, or any other number of things stops it from being active. I wanted to share this so that if you have this situation you don’t waste time troubleshooting things that don’t help. The next time I have a captcha problem, rebooting my router will be the first thing I will do.

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As IT people we are open to rebooting devices. In the past, I often had to reboot my router due to having terrible ISPS, cheap standard/assigned equipment, or other factors outside of my control. You should always think of rebooting a router when your internet doesn’t behave as it normally does. When it gives you error messages that you have never seen before or when you go to fast.com and your speed isn’t what you are paying for. For the most part, I asked clients to call their ISP if they got less than 80% of their rated speed. Often latency was the issue, not the speed itself and a technician visit often fixed the problem with latency and also improved the speed. Don’t be shy to ask your ISP for help. It is not always set it and forget it. Sorry, Ron Popeil.

Is there a disadvantage to rebooting the router? I haven’t seen one. Theoretically, your router’s lifetime can be shortened by unplugging it like I did, but honestly, it has never been an issue. Most people rent their router and if you buy it like I did, I am willing to take the risk. There is always better equipment to buy and if it breaks then you just buy something better. I have never had a router fail in all the times/companies I have used them. It wasn’t worth it for me to log in and reboot from the webpage. Even the ISP tech support often tells people to pull the plug so it’s a non-issue in my humble opinion.

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Good luck and may all your gaming not frustrate you with stupid captcha tests.