How To Troubleshoot Your WiFi Connection [Windows]

This how-to guide goes through a number of well-known and some not so well-known methods for troubleshooting your wireless connectivity issues. Before following this guide, it is important to establish the root cause of your connectivity issues. If you have another computer in the house, use it to test the connection to see whether or not the issue is isolate to your PC only. If the other system has issues as well, you may want to check with your ISP to ensure there are no issues with your internet connection. Some of the points in this guide may be relevant to your situation (rebooting the router, checking router settings), but by and large this guide is aimed at resolving issues on a specific computer and not troubleshooting your router itself.

1. This is the simplest method but can be highly effective in most cases. Switch off the wireless router, leave it off for at least 60 seconds and then turn it back on again.

2. Try connecting to your wireless network.

1. Navigate to “Start -> Control Panel -> Network and Internet -> Network and Sharing Centre”.

2. Click on “Change Adapter Settings”.

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3. Right click on your Wireless Network adapter and select “Diagnose”.

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4. Diagnostic repair will try and (hopefully) resolve the issue.

1. In “Network and Sharing Centre,” select “Manage wireless networks”.

2. Right click on your wireless network and choose “Remove network” from the drop down list.

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3. Return to “Network and Sharing Centre” and click on “Connect to a network.” Select your network from the list.

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1. If this issue occurs after resuming from hibernate or sleep mode, or are having intermittent connectivity issues, adjust your Power Management profile to set your Wireless Adapter Settings to Maximum Performance.

2. Navigate to “Start -> Control Panel -> Hardware and Sound -> Power Options -> Change plan Settings”

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Note: This example is where the laptop uses Power saver, but this method can apply to the other plan settings (Balanced and High Performance).

3. Select “Change advanced power settings.”

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4. Scroll down to “Wireless Adapter Settings” and change both configurations (battery or plugged in) to “Maximum Performance.” If you prefer, you can do this for all of your power profiles. Click “OK “to finalise changes.

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1. In the “Network and Sharing Centre “select “Change Adaptor settings.” Right click on the network device you use to connect to the internet and select “Status.” The Wireless Network Connection Settings dialog box comes up. Select the “Details”button.

2. The Network Connection Details dialog box appears. Note down the “IPv4 default address”.

Note: The above points may not be possible if you are unable to connect to the wireless network at all. In which case if you know the IP address of your router then utilise it for the next points or else try 10.1.1.1, 192.168.0.1, 192.168.1.1, 192.168.2.1. Alternatively you could use another computer or laptop on which the internet connection is working properly to check these details.

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3. Navigate to an internet browser and enter in the relevant IPv4 address into the browser bar.

4. Your wireless router login page should appear, prompting you to type in a login and password. Unless you have previously saved a password, the credentials are usually admin / admin, admin / password, admin / blank (with the first word being the username and the second being the password, and blank meaning just hit enter instead of typing something. Failing that you may need to look up the default username and password for your modem).

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5. Browse through all the settings and check that the router is set to broadcast it’s network name (SSID), ensure that you are connecting to the correct wireless network (SSID) and that you are using the right WEP/WPA/WPA2 passkey on both devices. We advise to use ‘Windows Connect Now’ or ‘Wi-Fi Protected Setup’ (if available) on your wireless router to ensure that the connection is setup correctly. The example below shows the correct wireless settings on a Netgear DGND3700 wireless router.

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6. If you are trying to use WPA or WPA2, ensure that both your network adapter and wireless router support this protocol. If you are having issues detecting your wireless network when using WPA or WPA2, try configuring your router to use WEP instead and see if you can connect. If you can only connect to the internet via WEP, then your networking hardware may require a firmware upgrade. If you are unfamiliar or unsure about updating your firmware, we suggest contacting your hardware/router manufacturer for advice on the matter.

Note: The change between WEP/WPA/WPA2 will need to be performed on both your wireless router and computer(s).

7. Once you have reviewed the wireless router settings and made changes (if required), logout of the router. Turn the wireless router off and on again for changes to take effect.

1. Click “Start” and type “Device Manager” into the search bar. Click on Device Manager to open it.

2. Navigate to Network Adaptors, right click the Wireless Network device and select “un-install.”

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3. A warning message will appear requesting confirmation that you want to uninstall the Wireless Network device. Click “OK “to continue.

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4. Exit out of Device Manager and reboot the laptop/PC.

5. Upon startup, a message will pop stating that new hardware has been found and installed. A pop-up window will then appear advising “One or more wireless networks detected, click here for more options”. The “Available Wireless Networks” window appears that lists all networks in range. Select desired Access Point to connect to then once connected, test trying to access the internet.

1. One of the main Windows components of your internet connection is the TCP/IP stack which can become corrupt or damaged in some cases. Resetting the TCP/IP stack using the Netshell utility (Netsh) may resolve the problem.

2. Access the Command Prompt by navigating to “Start” and typing “CMD” in the search bar. Right click CMD and select the “Run as Administrator” option.

3. Type in the following commands:

netsh int ip reset reset.log
netsh winsock reset catalog

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4. Restart your computer and try to connect to the internet.

If all else fails, post a comment below or contact your modem/router provider or ISP for further assistance.