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5/24/2018 10 Wi-Fi Problems - And Solutions | Digital Trends

COMPUTING

Wi-Fi troubles? Here are the most


common problems, and simple
solutions
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5/24/2018 10 Wi-Fi Problems - And Solutions | Digital Trends

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Wireless internet is like electricity at this point — you only notice it exists


when it stops working. Then you panic.

Don’t just panic! Fix it. There are many unique ways that your router can
stop working, but you’d be surprised how many such issues can be easily
fixed. Here is a list of things that commonly go wrong with Wi-Fi, and
simple things you can try to solve those issues.

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Slow Internet speeds in certain rooms

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Potential solutions

Now Reading: Wi-Fi troubles? Here are the most common problems, and simple solutions
Move your router. Wi-Fi is radio waves, meaning your router broadcasts in all
directions from a central location. If your router is in a far corner of your house,
you’re covering a great deal of the outside world and not enough of your home.
The closer you can put your router to the center of your coverage area, the better
reception will be throughout your house.
Adjust your antennas, if possible, and see what helps. If your house is tall,
alternating between fully vertical and fully horizontal positions can help reach in
multiple directions.
Other routers might be interfering with yours. If you live in an apartment building,
or any area with a lot of people nearby, changing your router’s channel can help.
Free software like NetSpot on Mac and Windows and Wi-Fi Analyzer for Android
can show you every wireless network nearby, and what channel they’re using. If
your router overlaps with nearby networks in particular rooms, considering
switching to a less-congested channel.
If none of this helps, your home might be too much for one router to handle.
Consider purchasing a wireless repeater, or setting up an old router to serve as a
repeater or second access point, to extend the range a little bit.

Slow Internet speeds everywhere

Potential solutions

Try plugging your laptop into your modem directly, and see if the speeds are still
slow, using a site like speedtest.net. If speeds are way down, the problem is likely
with your Internet connection, not your router. Contact your ISP.
If that’s not the issue, consider changing the channel on your router. Free software
like NetSpot on Mac and Windows and Wi-Fi Analyzer for Android can show you
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every wireless network nearby, and if yours overlaps with nearby networks that
could really be slowing you down. Considering switching to a less-crowded
channel.
If that doesn’t help, consider resetting your router and setting it up from scratch.
On most routers, there’s a “Reset” button which you can hold down with a
paperclip. Do so for 30 seconds and the router should default from factory
settings. Use our guide to setting up a wireless router to get everything properly
configured, and see if that helps.
If the problem persists, your router might be dying, which sadly does happen.
Consider buying a new one; here are five of the best routers we know of. If the
router seems fine, then it might instead be your modem, which could suffer
connectivity issues if it’s on its way out.

Wi-Fi doesn’t reach certain rooms at all

Potential solutions

Move your router. Wi-Fi is radio waves, meaning your router broadcasts in all
directions from a central location. If your router is in a far corner of your house,
you’re covering a great deal of the outside world and not enough of your home.
The closer you can put your router to the center of your coverage area, the better
reception will be throughout your house.
Adjust your antennas, if possible, and see what helps. If your house is tall,
alternating between fully vertical and fully horizontal positions can help reach in
multiple directions. Check out our article about moving your router to improve Wi-
Fi reception for more tips.
Other routers can interfere with yours. If you live in an apartment building, or any
area with a lot of people nearby, changing your router’s channel might help. Free
software like NetSpot on Mac and Windows and Wi-Fi Analyzer for Android can
show you every wireless network nearby, and if yours overlaps with nearby

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networks in particular rooms you should considering switching to a less-congested


channel.
Consider buying a powerful router, because whatever you’re using isn’t powerful
enough for your home. Alternatively, consider purchasing a wireless repeater, or
setting up an old router to serve as a repeater or second access point, to extend
your network just a bit.

No devices can connect to the network wirelessly

Potential solutions

Plug your laptop into the router directly using an Ethernet cable, and see if you
can connect that way. If this works, your Wi-Fi is the problem — but if it doesn’t,
then your internet connectivity may be down. Contact your ISP.
Reset your router and set it up from scratch. On most routers, there’s a “Reset”
button which you can hold down with a paperclip. Do so for 30 seconds and the
router should default from factory settings. Use our guide to setting up a wireless
router to get everything properly configured.
If setting up your router from scratch doesn’t help, your router might be dying,
which sadly does happen. Consider buying a new one; here are five of the best
routers we know of.

A particular device can’t connect to the network

Potential solutions

Maybe it’s just a momentary problem. Try turning off the Wi-Fi on your device,
then re-enabling it. Alternatively, unplugging the modem and plugging it back in 30
seconds later.

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If that doesn’t help, or the problem re-occurs, consider deleting your current
network from the list of saved networks on your device, then re-connecting again.
If on Windows 10, search for “wifi troubleshooting” and open the result “Identify
and repair network issues.” This will go through a series of diagnostics that may
restore connectivity.
On MacOS, you can run Wireless Diagonstics. Hold the Options key and click the
AirPort (Wi-Fi) icon on the menu bar. Find “Open Wireless Diagonistcs” and then
follow the on-screen instructions.
Last, should this all fail, try rebooting your device.

Connections drop at random times

Potential solutions

Is there some sort of pattern? For example, do connections drop whenever you
use the microwave? It may sound weird, but some routers have trouble with this,
especially on the 2.5GHz frequency, and especially if you’re using an older
microwave with shield problems.
Other routers can interfere with yours, and if your neighbors are heavy Wi-Fi users
at a particular time each day, this could be slowing you down. Changing your
router’s channel might help. Free software like NetSpot on Mac and Windows and
Wi-Fi Analyzer for Android can show you every wireless network nearby, and if
yours overlaps with nearby networks in particular rooms you should consider
switching to a less-congested channel.
If none of this helps, consider resetting your router and setting it up from scratch.
On most routers, there’s a “Reset” button which you can hold down with a
paperclip. Do so for 30 seconds and the router should default from factory
settings. Use our guide to setting up a wireless router to get everything properly
configured.

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Wi-Fi network disappears entirely

Potential solutions 

It’s possible that your router reset itself. Do you see an unprotected network
named after your brand of router? That might be your router. Plug into your
router with an Ethernet cable, then use our guide to setting up a wireless router to
get everything properly configured again.
If you don’t see such a network, plug your laptop into the router with an Ethernet
and see if you get a connection. Use our guide to finding your router’s IP address
and login information

The network connects, but there’s no internet access

Potential solutions

Try resetting your modem but unplugging it and plugging it back in. If that doesn’t
work, try also resetting your router the same way, assuming it’s a separate device.
Connect to your router with an Ethernet cord. If this works, then the router is
having a problem, and may need to be reset. If there’s still no internet, though,
your may have an outage. Contact your ISP.

Router crashes regularly, and only restarting it helps

Potential solutions

Reset your router and set it up from scratch. On most routers, there’s a “Reset”
button which you can hold down with a paperclip. Do so for 30 seconds and the

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5/24/2018 10 Wi-Fi Problems - And Solutions | Digital Trends

router should default from factory settings. Use our guide to setting up a wireless
router to get everything properly configured.
If setting up your router from scratch doesn’t help, your router might be dying,
which sadly does happen. Consider buying a new one; here are five of the best
routers we know of.

Can’t remember the wireless password

Potential solutions

Did you check everywhere? Is there a sticky not behind the door? No?
If not, you probably need to reset your router and set it up from scratch. On most
routers, there’s a “Reset” button which you can hold down with a paperclip. Do so
for 30 seconds and the router should default from factory settings. Use our guide
to setting up a wireless router to get everything properly configured.

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