What you should do if your WiFi is not Working

Here’s what you need to check if your WiFi Is down

“WiFi is not working” is one of the most searched phrases related to the internet. We all know how frustrating it can be if your WiFi stops working. Sometimes all of a sudden, the WiFi just stops working for no apparent reason. In some cases, you might have a good WiFi signal but there is no internet connection. In other words, you are still connected to WiFi but you are not able to access the internet.

So, in this article, I will explain some of the best solutions that you can try to fix your wireless network issues.

Check this first if your WiFi is not working

First of all, please check to see if your WiFi is working on any of your devices. If the problem is only on device, then most likely that device is the issue. My suggestion then would be to go through that device’s WiFi settings and verify that you have them set correctly. I have a few other articles on how to connect to WiFi on Iphone, Android, and on laptops/PCs. One of these might help you verify your settings.

Here are a few scenarios that you might run into and some fixes that might help out.

WiFi isn’t working on any of your devices

If your WiFi isn’t working on any device then we need to start by looking at your connection Let’s take a look at what could be causing this. Here are a few different possibilities.

First, make sure you can see your WiFi network when you do a WiFi network search. Just do a WiFi scan on any of your devices and verify that you can see your WiFi network. Also, please check the signal strength icon. If the signal is not there at all or if the signal is very weak then go and check your wireless router to see if it is powered on or to see if something could be blocking the signal.

If you can see your WiFi network and the signal icon shows everything looks OK, then continue reading.

Restart Your Wireless Router

You might have already tried this one, but the first solution if your WiFi isn’t working is simply rebooting your router. Just turn off the power switch if it has one or unplug it from the outlet, then turn it back on again after about 10 seconds. It will actually fix the problem for most of the cases. While you are looking at your wireless router go ahead and verify that all of the cables are still connected securely. Sometimes the cable coming from your ISP, Internet Service Provider can come unplugged which could cause the issue.

Why does restarting the router help?

Restarting your router forces your Internet Service Provider, like Comcast, Frontier, Centurylink, etc. to “relocate” your router on its network. What I mean by this is each router has an “IP address” associated with it and sometimes it gets lost in the mix.

Think of your router’s IP address as a street address that you want Amazon to deliver your packages to. Well, your ISP assigns almost every customer what is known as a “Dynamic or DHCP” IP address. Long story short, this means that the IP address that your ISP gives you is temporary. When you reboot your router this forces your ISP to “find” your router and assign it a new IP address.

By doing this your “Amazon packages” or internet, in this case, can be delivered.

I will dive deeper into what a Dynamic/DHCP IP address is and the differences between it and a Static IP, or permanent, in another article. For now, just understand that this is, unfortunately, something that happens with DHCP/Dynamic IPs. Luckily the fix is quite simple.

Configuration issue

If this is the first time you have set up your WiFi router and you are having issues, then there might be some issues with the configuration. Luckily most routers come with an admin panel that is easy to access. If you do not know how to login to your router then you can check out my other article on How to change your WiFi password. It lists how to get into the admin panel of the most popular wireless routers.

Once you get into the admin panel it should walk you through the setup of your router if this is your first time using it. If so, simply follow the on-screen prompts that will ask you things like what you would like your WiFi network to be called and what password to use. It might also ask you to register the device by creating a user profile. This serves two purposes. First to give you easy access to software updates down the road and second so they can try to market different things to you. My suggestion is to use a “junk email” if you don’t want to see their advertisements.

What if I am using a router that my Internet Service Provider gave me?

If you got your wireless router from your Internet Service Provider and you are trying to do a “Self Install” then there are a few things to consider. First off, they usually give you a WiFi network name and password that comes pre-programmed on their router. You can simply use this if you like or change the password to something different for added security.

limit the options for you to change inside of their equipment. They want to eliminate extra trouble tickets caused by customers pushing “shiny buttons” inside their router, lol. Also, they should have active internet service working at the outlet that you are trying to use.

Is my Router connected correctly?

They should have given you a diagram that instructs you on how to connect it. Usually, it is an “All-In-One” modem/router that you should have two cables to connect. The power cord and also the cable that connects it to your ISP’s network. Some companies like Comcast normally use a COAX connection, while other ISP’s like CenturyLink might use a Telephone line/DSL connection. The other option is that some companies like Frontier use Fiber Optics to your house but then they will use an Ethernet cable to connect to the router.

Is my Router connected correctly? WiFi is not working

If you do think that you have the cables all connected correctly and it is still not working then call your internet service provider.

Check for interference with your WiFi

The second most common issue that could cause your WiFi not to be working is due to interference of other devices. WiFi uses either 2.4 GHz and/or 5 GHz. Some wireless routers are “Dual-Band or Tri-Band” and they can use both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequencies.

In most cases, you will see much more interference while using the 2.4 GHz frequency band. That is due to many reasons but the simple explanation is that lots of other household devices use that same frequency. Add to that the fact that 2.4 GHz signals travel further and if you live close to any neighbors you might be picking up interference from their WiFi networks.

Some of the devices that are known to also use the 2.4 GHz frequencies are cordless phones, Baby monitors, microwaves, and Bluetooth devices. If you think that you might be getting interference from other devices you can try one of these fixes.

  • Turn off whatever device you think could be causing the issue and retest your WiFi.
  • Use a Free App like “WiFi-Analyzer” to check your home for WiFi signals/interference.
  • Switch your devices to use the 5 GHz frequency if able, it has MUCH less interference.
  • If you can’t use the 5 GHz band then you should be able to change your “WiFi channel”

Change the WiFi channel

WiFi Bands are divided up into smaller sections called “channels”. Both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequency bands are dived into channels. There are only a certain number of channels that are available to be used. 2.4 GHz has fewer channels available than 5 GHz does so again, it is more likely to have interference issues. If you would like to know more about 2.4 Ghz vs 5 Ghz check it out here.

Very often you might be using the same WiFi channel as your next-door neighbor. Or another device in your house is sending out interference on the same channel that you are trying to use.

If there are some other devices that are causing interference, you can try changing the WiFi channel. To do this, you will need to log in to your wireless router’s admin panel. You can use the same procedure we talked about in method 2 to get into your admin panel if you missed it.

Once you are logged into the admin panel, go to network settings and you should see the channel options. This is where you will select a new WiFi channel to use. If you are using a 2.4 GHz band then you will want to select one of these 3 channels in the drop-down list. Channel #1, Channel #6 or Channel #11. These are the only “Non-overlapping” channels available to use in the 2.4 GHz range.

What is Channel Bandwidth? Could it be why my WiFi isn’t working correctly?

Channel bandwidth is the “size” of the WiFi channel that you are using. Think of it like different sizes of cars/trucks on the same road. A “20 Mhz channel” is the equivalent of driving a small car like a Smart Car or a Fiat 500, while a wider channel like “40 Mhz” is like driving a mid-sized car like a Toyota Camry or an SUV like a Jeep Cherokee. Then sometimes your router will have the two much larger channel options of “80 Mhz and even 160 Mhz” Those are like driving a Full-sized SUV like a Huge Hummer or like driving a Semi-Truck.

This is why I explain it this way. Each of those Channels’ “cars/trucks” can carry a certain amount of cargo/data at once. The smaller the channel/vehicle the less data it can carry at one time, and the larger the vehicle the more data it can carry.

How Many Channels should I use?

Usually, you would think you should select the larger channel/vehicle to carry as much as possible. However the issue is like I said before, there are only a certain amount of channels available. So selecting a wider channel can sometimes cause more interference.

So to sum it up, if you are using 2.4 GHz then leave the channel bandwidth set on 20 Mhz and select either channel 1, 6, or 11. If this doesn’t fix your issue just remember that you can switch it back to the previous settings.

Your WiFi has no signal due to poor placement or obstacles

This could be an issue if you are able to use your WiFi network in some areas but not in other areas. You might have not placed the router properly. The router should always be kept above the ground level and not inside or underneath any solid objects like cabinets or entertainment centers. If possible try to place your router in the open and above waist height. WiFi signals travel out and down and if the router is placed too low to the ground your coverage will be limited.

Is your WiFi router in the middle of the area you need to cover?

The best position of the wireless router or wireless access point is in the middle of the area that you are trying to cover. A router usually sends signals out in an “Omni-Directional” pattern. In other words, it sends signals out in every direction. Because of this, it is important to place the router or WAP in the center of your home.

If you do have a large home or a home with walls or other obstructions that could be blocking the WiFi signal then you might want to consider getting a WiFi mesh system that gives you multiple wireless access points to use throughout your home. I actually use the Google Mesh system myself and it easily covers our 2800 sq ft home. Another option is using a wireless extender to cover and “dead-spots”. Extenders will work in a pinch or if you are on a budget but I do suggest a wireless mesh system for many reasons. If interested you can check out the differences between WiFi Mesh and Wireless Extenders here.

WiFi is not working on laptop

If your WiFi is working correctly on except your laptop then you should try these methods.

Restart the Wireless adapter (WiFi connected no internet access Windows solution)

If you see the WiFi is connected but you are getting the “WiFi connected but No Internet” error on laptop windows 10, you can simply restart the drivers. Just right-click on the WiFi option on your computer and hit on “Open network settings”. If you are not able to find it, you can refer to the below screenshot or you can simply search “network settings” in your Windows computer.

Now, click on the “Change adapter options”. If you are facing WiFi not connected on laptop windows 10, you will see this option when you scroll down. Whereas, if there is no WiFi in the older version of windows, you will see this option on the right-hand side.

You will see various options. Find the WiFi options over there and right-click on it. Now, again you will see several options. Click on the “Disable”. Once you click on it, your WiFi will be disabled. Once you have done this process, do the same process again and enable it after waiting for a minute or two.

You will see the internet connection is back and you can now surf the internet. However, if this doesn’t work for you, there are several other methods for you to check.

Can my Firewall or Antivirus stop my WiFi from working?

The next reason why you are not able to access the WiFi network on your laptop or desktop is due to the firewall. Sometimes the firewall blocks the connection assuming it is from an unknown source. You need to make sure that the firewall is not blocking the connection.

You can firstly try disabling the firewall and check the connection again. Just search for “Firewall and network protection” in Windows search and disable it. If you are able to use the internet, then the problem is due to the firewall. You can simply allow your browser to access the internet connection.

You will see the option where you can add an app to go through the firewall. Open it and check the browser app you are using. Make sure it is checked for both private and public networks. Here, you can see we have taken Google Chrome into the condition. You can click on the “Add app” if your browser isn’t on the list.

In the same way, you also need to check for the antivirus. In most of the cases, antivirus is stopping your internet connection. You can try disabling the antivirus and check the internet once again. If you are still getting having no WiFi connection, you should check out our next method.

Update Your Router’s WiFi driver

The last thing you can do is update your WiFi driver. If you are not aware of it, you can only access the WiFi when you have proper network drivers installed on your computer. You can simply download the drivers from the official website of your laptop.

Alternatively, if you can use some of the driver tools such as Driver pack solution or Driver easy. These tools will automatically check all the drivers on your computer and will point out the outdated or missing drivers. You can simply install the drivers from the software itself. Hence, it is one of the best solutions for WiFi is not working or no signal in WiFi.

WiFi is not working on cell phone

Here, we will cover both of the possible scenarios including WiFi is not working on Android and WiFi is not working on iPhone. There are several methods that you can implement in any of the mobile.

No WiFi on iPhone

Here, are some of the tricks you can try on your iPhone if you are not able to connect to your WiFi.

  • First of all, if WiFi is not working on your iPhone, you should try to force reboot the device. Just press and quickly release the volume up and down button. Now, press the power button till the time you see the Original Apple logo. It will force reboot the phone.
  • Go to Wlan and forget the network. Simply find the network and click on forget the network. You will now have to enter the password again. Do the procedure and see if you are able to use the internet.
  • iPhone has one best feature where you can reset the network settings. Just in case, you accidentally made some of the changes, you can reset the network settings. Go to Settings > General > Reset > Network settings. When you click on it, you will be asked for the passcode. Enter the passcode and try connecting to the WiFi again.
  • If none of the above tricks are working, you can go to Settings > Cellular > Wlan assists and turn it one. It will solve the issue.

No WiFi on Android

If you are getting no WiFi on Android. These tricks will help you to get the signal back from no signal.

  • Reboot your Android phone. You can first try rebooting your Android phone.
  • Go to WiFi and forget the network you are connected to.
  • Make sure there is no VPN, you can simply go to Network and Internet and check the VPN option. Also, check if any external app is using the internet.
  • The last trick you can use here to get back your WiFi connection is going to the network and settings option. Click on Advanced and you will see an option for private DNS. Click on it and select Automatic. Turn your WiFi off and turn it back on, your WiFi will start working again.

Please note that, in Android, the settings are located at different places according to the brand. So, you can search for the option if you are not able to find it directly.

Final words

To conclude, these are some of the tricks and methods that you can use to solve no WiFi problem and get the WiFi back. If none of these are working for you, you should call your Internet Service Provider. There might be an issue with the service coming to your home or office.