Wifi Troubleshooting: How to Fix Your WiFi Connection
Wireless connection problems are something that can crop up whenever you are joining wireless clients with any network. It can be a real pain to try and get the WiFi to work in such situations. If you’re having trouble connecting your smartphone, laptop, tablet or any other device to a WiFi network, there are a few things which you can try.
Let’s take a look at a few of the troubleshooting options that can help you out when you’re wondering, “Why is my WiFi not working?”
How to fix WiFi connection
Physical connections are usually the culprit. Unfortunately, they are also overlooked most of the time. So what you need to do first is check every wireless access point or router port to make sure the Ethernet cables are tightly inserted, and the link status LED’s are green. If they aren’t, here’s what you do:
– Verify that the device at each end of the cable has been powered on and that the ports have been enabled. You might be using a wall port which is disabled, or your modem might be off.
– You can also try to swap Ethernet cables in order to isolate any damaged connectors or cables.
– Check your router or AP manual to make sure you are using the correct cables. Some ports might require crossover cables.
– Connect another Ethernet device like a laptop to the router or AP port. If the status LED’s change to green, the device you replaced is where the problem lies. Check configurations at each end and reconfigure the device.
My WiFi is not working
On Windows, choose your network adapter from “Control Panel” > “Network Connections” and see if it is enabled. If not, enable the connection. If this doesn’t work with your laptop, look for a physical button or function key which will take your laptop off airplane mode. If it still doesn’t work and if you’re using a removable client like a USB adapter, take it out and re-insert it.The next thing you can try to do may seem like a very obvious step but it’s strange how so many people ignore it. You need to ensure the WiFi adapter you are using is ready to connect. If the device isn’t ready to connect, everything else you do is pointless.
On iOS, verify that your device isn’t in airplane mode through the “Settings” app. Also, check that the WiFi is turned on.
On Android, use the “Settings” app to ensure your WiFi is turned on and the device isn’t in airplane mode.
WiFi connection problems
If your WiFi still isn’t working, use the administrative GUI or a wireless access point to verify that the network settings for your SSID (Service Set Identifier) are correct. Here’s how you do this:
Step #1: Find the SSID you’re troubleshooting. On a basic router, there will most probably be only one SSID. Others may have several SSID’s.
Step #2: Identify the subnet that has been assigned to the SSID. Once it’s connected successfully, your WiFi client will receive a local IP from the subnet.
Step #3: Confirm that the local IP address of the AP or router is reachable through the subnet. Do this by checking the events log.
How to troubleshoot WiFi
Even though we have focused on Windows clients for most of this article, troubleshooting is pretty much the same conceptually even when you’re using other WiFi clients too. If none of the above steps are helping, you should check the TCP/IP settings.
1.) Open “Control Panel” > “Network Connections” and select the “Wireless Network Adapter.” If the status shows disabled, go back to the earlier part of this article which tells you how to enable it.
2.) If the status is showing “Not Connected,” choose the SSID of your wireless network and click on “Connect.” If the SSID isn’t appearing in the list or you can’t connect to it, you will need to debug your wireless settings.
3.) While trying to connect, the status might change briefly to “Acquiring Network Address” or “Authenticating” before it changes to “Connected.” Once connected, using the “Status/Support” section in order to determine the assigned IP address of the client. If it shows 0.0.0.0 or 169.254.x.x, click on “Diagnose.”
4.) If the IP address of the WiFi client isn’t on your router or AP’s subnet, go to “Properties” > “Internet (TCP/IP)” and reconfigure the connection so that it automatically picks up a connection. Then repeat this process.
When your wireless client gets a valid IP address, you can use ping to check the connectivity.
To do this, you will need to open a “Command Prompt” window from the “Start Menu” of your wireless client and then use it for pinging your router or AP’s IP address.
If this is successful, ping any other wireless or wired client which you want to share files or devices with. If the ping fails, then there may be a firewall being used by the destination device that’s blocking any incoming messages. Disable the destination firewall and try again. If it’s successful, then it is the firewall which was blocking network protocols. Reconfigure the firewall in order to permit the traffic which you want to exchange between the clients.
If pinging repeatedly fails, then it is time for you to check some wireless specific problems:
1.) Make sure you are using an 802.11 compatible wireless router or AP and SSID.
2.) Use the admin GUI to check WLAN settings and confirm they are the same as the wireless connection parameters.
3.) If the SSID doesn’t appear in the list of available networks, enable SSID broadcasts from your router or AP.
4.) Alternatively, add the SSID to the list of wireless networks and let devices connect even if the SSID’s hidden. Be sure you match the SSID properly and check for capitalization errors.