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Here's how to troubleshoot and fix the most common Wi-Fi issues
It wasn’t that long ago that if you owned a Wi-Fi router or device in your home, or used one at work, you were at ahead of the technology curve. Today, having a Wi-Fi router at home is almost as commonplace as a refrigerator or TV, and Wi-Fi devices come in all shapes and sizes.
However, if you own a smartphone, you know that Wi-Fi hardware is never 100 percent reliable. Sometimes, your phone is unable to connect to your home router, or perhaps you can’t access the free Wi-Fi at your local coffee shop. Here are some ways you can troubleshoot and fix some common Wi-Fi issues.
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No connection to Wi-Fi router
Sometimes your smartphone simply doesn’t want to connect to your home Wi-Fi network, or a public hotspot like you find in a coffee shop, hotel or airport. If this happens to you, there are a few ways you might be able to troubleshoot and solve this problem.
- First, just turn off the Wi-Fi on your smartphone, and then turn it on again.
- If this doesn’t work, you might want to delete the network you are trying to sign into from the list of saved networks on your device, and then try to reconnect to that network.
- If that doesn’t work, and if you are at home, you might want to try unplugging your Wi-Fi router and then power it back up again 30 seconds later. Then try to connect the phone to the network again.
- The final thing you might want to try is to simply reboot your smartphone. Just shut it down completely, wait 30 seconds, then start it up again. Once the phone is fully rebooted, you can try to connect to your home or outside Wi-Fi router.
No internet access after connecting to home Wi-Fi router
If you are able to connect to your home Wi-Fi router with your smartphone but are unable to connect to the internet from that router.
- First, unplug your modem, wait 30 seconds, and then plug it back in again. Wait until it fully restarts and then see if your internet connection is back up and running on your phone.
- If that doesn’t work, assuming your router is a separate device from your modem, try unplugging the router, wait 30 seconds, and then plug it back in to see if that solves it.
- If neither of these solutions work, try to connect your laptop directly to your modem, bypassing the router, with an Ethernet cable. If your laptop can connect to the internet, then there is some kind of problem with the router and it may need to be reset. On most routers, there’s a “Reset” button, but you might need to use a paper clip to hold it down. After holding it down for about 30 seconds, the router should go back to its original factory settings and you can start from scratch.
- If none of these solutions work, your ISP might be experiencing an outage. You will need to contact its customer service line directly.
Wi-Fi connection drops off
Sometimes when your smartphone or any other Wi-Fi-enabled device connects to your home network, the connection later falls off.
- You might want to take a look to see if any non-Wi-Fi devices are being turned on when your smartphone loses its connection. Specifically, older microwaves can actually interfere with the Wi-Fi signals coming from your home router.
- Your neighbor’s Wi-Fi router might also be sending out signals that can interfere with the connections to your router. It’s possible that both of these routers might share the same channel. If that’s the case, you can consider changing the channel of your router, or ask your neighbor to change their router’s channel.
- Finally, you might want to simply reset your router if none of these solutions work. If the problem persists even then, try contacting your provider for assistance.
Wi-Fi connection doesn’t reach everywhere in your home
If you have a large home, or simply one that has a lot of rooms and walls, sometimes your Wi-Fi signal cannot reach everywhere. Depending on where you are in relation to your router, your smartphone might not be able to connect to your home network.
- Try physically moving your Wi-Fi router, if you can, to another location in your house. Sometimes, a router could be placed in a corner of the house, or somewhere where there are a lot of walls, that could block the signal from reaching everywhere it needs to be. Try to position it centrally with as little resistance in the form of walls etc as possible.
- If you cannot move your router, due to needing to keep it next to your modem location, you might try adjusting the router’s antennas. This might help if your house is taller than usual. You might try alternating the antennas, with one positioned vertically, one positioned horizontally, and so on.
- Again, it’s also possible that another nearby Wi-Fi router is causing issues with your network’s signal. If that’s the case, try changing the channel of your router.
- Finally, you can buy Wi-Fi extenders, which can plug into your wall power sockets. They are made to help spread out the signal from your home router. You could also consider simply replacing your router with one that generates a more powerful signal.
Slow internet speeds from your Wi-Fi router
You may have a powerful router, and its signal may reach everywhere in your house, but your internet speeds may be much slower than they are supposed to be.
- The first solution is a familiar one; try just moving the router to a new location.
- You might also try, as we mentioned before, making adjustments to your router’s antennas. You can also try changing the router’s channel or even resetting it, as described above.
- If this doesn’t work, try getting a Wi-Fi extender or a more powerful router. Believe it or not, routers can and do fail and no amount of moving, antenna adjustments or channel switching can save them once they’re kaput.
- If none of these solutions work, plug your modem into your PC directly with an Ethernet cable. If you still get poor internet speeds, the issue may be with your ISP, and you will need to contact them directly. Sometimes a quick reset on their end can clear everything up on yours.
Troubleshoot and fix Wi-Fi issues – Conclusion
As you can see, there are many possible issues you might encounter when you connect your smartphone to your home Wi-Fi network, or someone else’s. We hope that these solutions help if you encounter any of these problems. Do you have any other possible fixes for Wi-Fi issues? Let us know in the comments!