Why you can’t connect to Wi-Fi at home and what to do about it
You get home and try to connect your laptop to your home Wi-Fi. Although it usually connects immediately, sometimes the network doesn’t allow you to continue. You might get a new phone but it won’t connect to Wi-Fi when you bring it home. What’s going on with your Wi-Fi?
There could be many reasons your internet isn’t working. Sometimes, the solution is as simple as plugging in a router or modem back into your computer after your pet has accidentally taken it out. Restarting your laptop’s network drivers (the hardware that allows a device to communicate with other devices, also known as the network adapter), can sometimes get it back online. Use this guide to potential internet network problems to figure out why you can’t connect to Wi-Fi at home and how you can fix it on your own.
These Wi-Fi network problems are first
- Are you having problems with your router’s power supply? The solution could be as simple as plugging in the router again or restarting it.
- Are you trying to connect to another Wi-Fi network with your device? Your device usually connects to your home Wi-Fi network. However, it might be trying to connect with a different network. It may be necessary to manually connect it to your home network.
- Have you recently changed your Wi-Fi password? You may need to reenter the new password in your device if it didn’t automatically save the changed passkey.
- Are other websites and internet browsers still working? Sometimes websites and servers can go down. You can check other websites or another browser to confirm if it is your Wi-Fi or a particular site.
- If you move your device closer, can you still connect? You may experience strong signals in distant rooms but then suddenly lose connection. If it can pick up a signal in a closed room, you may have a long-range signal issue, not a Wi-Fi connection problem.
Our Tip: Learn about how Wi-Fi interference from other networks can affect your speed!
Troubleshoot connectivity issues
Sometimes, the problem is with your phone or laptop. There are many reasons why your connection problems can range from software bugs to network adapter issues. It’s best to get started with troubleshooting smart devices.
How to determine if your device is having problems
Your device may be having trouble connecting to the Wi-Fi network.
How to fix various device problems
1. Your first step should be to restart your device, as your IT guy will explain. This is a common troubleshooting step and maybe all you need to reconnect to Wi-Fi.
2. Next, check your network adapter. Sometimes, connection problems can arise when your computer’s networking adapter is not enabled.
Check your network adapter on a Windows computer by going to the Network Connections Control Panel and selecting it. Verify that the Wireless connection option has been enabled.
Look for the Wi-Fi card (AirPort) in the upper right corner of your Mac’s screen, next to your sound and battery icons. Click on the “Turn Wi-Fi On” option. If the menu icon does not show any information, Apple suggests selecting “System Preferences”, then select the Network icon, and finally clicking on Wi-Fi. Check the box that says “Show Wi-Fi status in the menu bar”
Check your settings to see if the wireless adapter is available on other Apple devices. Check your Android device settings to ensure that the airplane mode is turned off and Wi-Fi connectivity is enabled.
3. A problem with your network adapter driver could also be a problem for computers. Computer drivers are software that tells your computer how to function. You can update your network adapter driver by visiting your Device Manager, selecting Network Adapters, and then selecting Update Driver. Follow these instructions to connect to Wi-Fi again after your computer has restarted.
4. If this doesn’t work, you should investigate possible hardware or software issues. Although hardware problems are not common, an older tablet or computer’s network adapter may suddenly stop working due to overheating. You can repair hardware problems by taking your device to a shop. You may need to buy a newer version depending on how old your computer is.
If you have a computer infection, software issues may arise. This could cause your Wi-Fi connection to be unable to work or become unreachable. It is important to scan your device or computer for viruses, and then remove them if you find any. Restart your computer, and then try to connect again.
Troubleshoot Wi-Fi network problems
There are many reasons why your wireless network might be having problems. These tips can help you evaluate your home network to determine if your device is not responsible for connectivity problems.
How to determine if your network is having problems
You may have a network problem if you tried to troubleshoot potential device issues but it didn’t work. Connecting other smart devices to the Wi-Fi network will confirm that it is your network, not your device.
How to fix network problems
1. Your IT guy begins with a computer restart. The Internet service provider will instruct you to unplug the modem, then plug it in again. If this doesn’t work, unplug the router and wait for it to cool down before plugging it back in again. Sometimes the problem disappears by simply restarting your router or modem.
2. Next, check your wireless network configuration. Dual-band technology is used by many routers to increase the router’s range as well as Wi-Fi speeds. This means that your router can enable Wi-Fi communication via either 5 GHz or 2.4 GHz channels.
Your router settings could have been changed without your knowledge. You may need to set up a channel on your device. Sometimes these channels can appear as separate Wi-Fi networks. Sometimes your phone or laptop will try to connect to a channel that appears available but is not required by your router’s network connection. Check what channel your router’s using by logging into your router’s web interface.
You can reset the channel that your router is using once you have determined if it is set to a particular channel. You can reset the channel to fix problems with connection due to an overcrowded Wi-Fi channel. Most 2.4 GHz routers come with a default channel of 6, but you can change the channel by logging into your router’s control panel using the router’s IP address.
3. Use your laptop to reset your network. Go to Windows and select “Settings,” “Network & Internet,” “Status,” and then click “Network Reset.”
In a Mac operating system, Apple recommends you check your TCP/IP settings in your “System Preferences” Network pane. Click the “Renew DHCP Lease” button. Next, select Wi-Fi. Click OK to navigate to your “Preferred Networks.”
4. Verify that the SSID of your wireless network adapter is active and in good condition. Click “Connect” if your Network Adapter says “Not Connected”. One of two possible outcomes may occur. You may need to restart your computer if you are unable to connect to your network. debug your wireless network settings(for advanced technical troubleshooting issues). You may also see “Acquiring Network address” or “Authenticating” in your status. If this happens, you will need to click “Diagnose”, to resolve an IP address problem.
Internet service provider issues
Your internet service provider can fix these problems and you might be completely blocked from Wi-Fi:
- You have not paid your bill
- You illegally stored/transmitted certain types of information
- Network issues related to weather or disasters
How to determine if your internet service provider is having problems
To check if your internet connection is being affected by local outages, the first thing you should do is to visit your internet provider’s customer support site.
Call your internet provider if there aren’t any local outages. You might hear about outages that haven’t been updated online. They may also inform you if they have detected illegal data or late payments and you are unable to get a connection.
Internet throttling is another issue that you may experience with Wi-Fi. Run a standard internet speed test and then a VPN speed test during different online activities and different times of the day. You can then compare the speeds and see if your internet provider is throttling your internet connection.
How to solve your provider problems
You cannot control some provider-related issues. You may have to wait for weather problems that cause cables to go down.
If late payments have caused your internet service to be disconnected, you can talk to your provider to discuss paying to restore it.
Talk to your provider about ways you can restore service if illegal content was transmitted.
Let your internet service provider know if you feel your internet is being throttled unfairly. You can email, call or visit them in person with speed test data. You should also keep in mind that not all internet plans allow internet throttling. This could mean that you might not be able to resolve slow connections due to throttling.