Detect the Internet connection is offline?


How to detect the Internet connection is offline in JavaScript?

You can determine that the connection is lost by making failed XHR requests.

The standard approach is to retry the request a few times. If it doesn't go through, alert the user to check the connection, and fail gracefully.

Sidenote: To put the entire application in an "offline" state may lead to a lot of error-prone work of handling state.. wireless connections may come and go, etc. So your best bet may be to just fail gracefully, preserve the data, and alert the user.. allowing them to eventually fix the connection problem if there is one, and to continue using your app with a fair amount of forgiveness.

Sidenote: You could check a reliable site like google for connectivity, but this may not be entirely useful as just trying to make your own request, because while Google may be available, your own application may not be, and you're still going to have to handle your own connection problem. Trying to send a ping to google would be a good way to confirm that the internet connection itself is down, so if that information is useful to you, then it might be worth the trouble.

Sidenote: Sending a Ping could be achieved in the same way that you would make any kind of two-way ajax request, but sending a ping to google, in this case, would pose some challenges. First, we'd have the same cross-domain issues that are typically encountered in making Ajax communications. One option is to set up a server-side proxy, wherein we actually ping google (or whatever site), and return the results of the ping to the app. This is a catch-22 because if the internet connection is actually the problem, we won't be able to get to the server, and if the connection problem is only on our own domain, we won't be able to tell the difference. Other cross-domain techniques could be tried, for example, embedding an iframe in your page which points to google.com, and then polling the iframe for success/failure (examine the contents, etc). Embedding an image may not really tell us anything, because we need a useful response from the communication mechanism in order to draw a good conclusion about what's going on. So again, determining the state of the internet connection as a whole may be more trouble than it's worth. You'll have to weight these options out for your specific app.


IE 8 will support the window.navigator.onLine property.

But of course that doesn't help with other browsers or operating systems. I predict other browser vendors will decide to provide that property as well given the importance of knowing online/offline status in Ajax applications.

Until that happens, either XHR or an Image() or <img> request can provide something close to the functionality you want.

Update (2014/11/16)

Major browsers now support this property, but your results will vary.

Quote from Mozilla Documentation:

In Chrome and Safari, if the browser is not able to connect to a local area network (LAN) or a router, it is offline; all other conditions return true. So while you can assume that the browser is offline when it returns a false value, you cannot assume that a true value necessarily means that the browser can access the internet. You could be getting false positives, such as in cases where the computer is running a virtualization software that has virtual ethernet adapters that are always "connected." Therefore, if you really want to determine the online status of the browser, you should develop additional means for checking.

In Firefox and Internet Explorer, switching the browser to offline mode sends a false value. All other conditions return a true value.


There are a number of ways to do this:

  • AJAX request to your own website. If that request fails, there's a good chance it's the connection at fault. The JQuery documentation has a section on handling failed AJAX requests. Beware of the Same Origin Policy when doing this, which may stop you from accessing sites outside your domain.
  • You could put an onerror in an img, like

    <img src='http://www.example.com/singlepixel.gif' 
          onerror='alert("Connection dead");' />
    

    This method could also fail if the source image is moved / renamed, and would generally be an inferior choice to the ajax option.

So there are several different ways to try and detect this, none perfect, but in the absence of the ability to jump out of the browser sandbox and access the user's net connection status directly, they seem to be the best options.


 if(navigator.onLine){
  alert('online');
 } else {
  alert('offline');
 }

Almost all major browsers now support the window.navigator.onLine property, and the corresponding online and offline window events:

window.addEventListener('online', () => console.log('came online'));
window.addEventListener('offline', () => console.log('came offline'));

Try setting your system or browser in offline/online mode and check the console or the window.navigator.onLine property for the value changes. You can test it on this website as well.

Note however this quote from Mozilla Documentation:

In Chrome and Safari, if the browser is not able to connect to a local area network (LAN) or a router, it is offline; all other conditions return true. So while you can assume that the browser is offline when it returns a false value, you cannot assume that a true value necessarily means that the browser can access the internet. You could be getting false positives, such as in cases where the computer is running a virtualization software that has virtual ethernet adapters that are always "connected." Therefore, if you really want to determine the online status of the browser, you should develop additional means for checking.

In Firefox and Internet Explorer, switching the browser to offline mode sends a false value. Until Firefox 41, all other conditions return a true value; since Firefox 41, on OS X and Windows, the value will follow the actual network connectivity.

(emphasis is my own)

This means that if window.navigator.onLine is false (or you get an offline event), you are guaranteed to have no Internet connection.

If it is true however (or you get an online event), it only means the system is connected to some network, at best. It does not mean that you have Internet access for example. To check that, you will still need to use one of the solutions described in the other answers.

I initially intended to post this as an update to Grant Wagner's answer, but it seemed too much of an edit, especially considering that the 2014 update was already not from him.


The HTML5 Application Cache API specifies navigator.onLine, which is currently available in the IE8 betas, WebKit (eg. Safari) nightlies, and is already supported in Firefox 3


You can use $.ajax()'s error callback, which fires if the request fails. If textStatus equals the string "timeout" it probably means connection is broken:

function (XMLHttpRequest, textStatus, errorThrown) {
  // typically only one of textStatus or errorThrown 
  // will have info
  this; // the options for this ajax request
}

From the doc:

Error: A function to be called if the request fails. The function is passed three arguments: The XMLHttpRequest object, a string describing the type of error that occurred and an optional exception object, if one occurred. Possible values for the second argument (besides null) are "timeout", "error", "notmodified" and "parsererror". This is an Ajax Event

So for example:

 $.ajax({
   type: "GET",
   url: "keepalive.php",
   success: function(msg){
     alert("Connection active!")
   },
   error: function(XMLHttpRequest, textStatus, errorThrown) {
       if(textStatus == 'timeout') {
           alert('Connection seems dead!');
       }
   }
 });

As olliej said, using the navigator.onLine browser property is preferable than sending network requests and, accordingly with developer.mozilla.org/En/Online_and_offline_events, it is even supported by old versions of Firefox and IE.

Recently, the WHATWG has specified the addition of the online and offline events, in case you need to react on navigator.onLine changes.

Please also pay attention to the link posted by Daniel Silveira which points out that relying on those signal/property for syncing with the server is not always a good idea.


I had to make a web app (ajax based) for a customer who works a lot with schools, these schools have often a bad internet connection I use this simple function to detect if there is a connection, works very well!

I use CodeIgniter and Jquery:

function checkOnline() {
    setTimeout("doOnlineCheck()", 20000);
}

function doOnlineCheck() {
    //if the server can be reached it returns 1, other wise it times out
    var submitURL = $("#base_path").val() + "index.php/menu/online";

    $.ajax({
        url : submitURL,
        type : "post",
        dataType : "msg",
        timeout : 5000,
        success : function(msg) {
            if(msg==1) {
                $("#online").addClass("online");
                $("#online").removeClass("offline");
            } else {
                $("#online").addClass("offline");
                $("#online").removeClass("online");
            }
            checkOnline();
        },
        error : function() {
            $("#online").addClass("offline");
            $("#online").removeClass("online");
            checkOnline();
        }
    });
}

an ajax call to your domain is the easiest way to detect if you are offline

$.ajax({
      type: "HEAD",
      url: document.location.pathname + "?param=" + new Date(),
      error: function() { return false; },
      success: function() { return true; }
   });

this is just to give you the concept, it should be improved.

E.g. error=404 should still mean that you online


I think it is a very simple way.

var x = confirm("Are you sure you want to submit?");
if (x) {
  if (navigator.onLine == true) {
    return true;
  }
  alert('Internet connection is lost');
  return false;
}
return false;

window.navigator.onLine

is what you looking for, but few things here to add, first, if it's something on your app which you want to keep checking (like to see if the user suddenly go offline, which correct in this case most of the time, then you need to listen to change also), for that you add event listener to window to detect any change, for checking if the user goes offline, you can do:

window.addEventListener("offline", 
  ()=> console.log("No Internet")
);

and for checking if online:

window.addEventListener("online", 
  ()=> console.log("Connected Internet")
);

I was looking for a client-side solution to detect if the internet was down or my server was down. The other solutions I found always seemed to be dependent on a 3rd party script file or image, which to me didn't seem like it would stand the test of time. An external hosted script or image could change in the future and cause the detection code to fail.

I've found a way to detect it by looking for an xhrStatus with a 404 code. In addition, I use JSONP to bypass the CORS restriction. A status code other than 404 shows the internet connection isn't working.

$.ajax({
    url:      'https://www.bing.com/aJyfYidjSlA' + new Date().getTime() + '.html',
    dataType: 'jsonp',
    timeout:  5000,

    error: function(xhr) {
        if (xhr.status == 404) {
            //internet connection working
        }
        else {
            //internet is down (xhr.status == 0)
        }
    }
});

My way.

<!-- the file named "tt.jpg" should exist in the same directory -->

<script>
function testConnection(callBack)
{
    document.getElementsByTagName('body')[0].innerHTML +=
        '<img id="testImage" style="display: none;" ' +
        'src="tt.jpg?' + Math.random() + '" ' +
        'onerror="testConnectionCallback(false);" ' +
        'onload="testConnectionCallback(true);">';

    testConnectionCallback = function(result){
        callBack(result);

        var element = document.getElementById('testImage');
        element.parentNode.removeChild(element);
    }    
}
</script>

<!-- usage example -->

<script>
function myCallBack(result)
{
    alert(result);
}
</script>

<a href=# onclick=testConnection(myCallBack);>Am I online?</a>

There are 2 answers forthis for two different senarios:-

  1. If you are using JavaScript on a website(i.e; or any front-end part) The simplest way to do it is:

    <h2>The Navigator Object</h2>
    
    <p>The onLine property returns true if the browser is online:</p>
    
    <p id="demo"></p>
    
    <script>
      document.getElementById("demo").innerHTML = "navigator.onLine is " + navigator.onLine;
    </script>
    

  2. But if you're using js on server side(i.e; node etc.), You can determine that the connection is lost by making failed XHR requests.

    The standard approach is to retry the request a few times. If it doesn't go through, alert the user to check the connection, and fail gracefully.


request head in request error

$.ajax({
    url: /your_url,
    type: "POST or GET",
    data: your_data,
    success: function(result){
      //do stuff
    },
    error: function(xhr, status, error) {

      //detect if user is online and avoid the use of async
        $.ajax({
            type: "HEAD",
            url: document.location.pathname,
            error: function() { 
              //user is offline, do stuff
              console.log("you are offline"); 
              }
         });
    }   
});

The problem of some methods like navigator.onLine is that they are not compatible with some browsers and mobile versions, an option that helped me a lot was to use the classic XMLHttpRequest method and also foresee the possible case that the file was stored in cache with response XMLHttpRequest.status is greater than 200 and less than 304.

Here is my code:

 var xhr = new XMLHttpRequest();
 //index.php is in my web
 xhr.open('HEAD', 'index.php', true);
 xhr.send();

 xhr.addEventListener("readystatechange", processRequest, false);

 function processRequest(e) {
     if (xhr.readyState == 4) {
         //If you use a cache storage manager (service worker), it is likely that the
         //index.php file will be available even without internet, so do the following validation
         if (xhr.status >= 200 && xhr.status < 304) {
             console.log('On line!');
         } else {
             console.log('Offline :(');
         }
     }
}

Here is a snippet of a helper utility I have. This is namespaced javascript:

network: function() {
    var state = navigator.onLine ? "online" : "offline";
    return state;
}

You should use this with method detection else fire off an 'alternative' way of doing this. The time is fast approaching when this will be all that is needed. The other methods are hacks.