The most common Wi-Fi problems and how to fix them

We’ve grown so accustomed to Wi-Fi being readily available for listening to music, streaming our favorite shows, and allowing us to work from home that we rarely think twice about being connected until we’re suddenly experiencing a Wi-Fi problem.

A loss of connection is disruptive to a daily routine, but most Wi-Fi issues are easy to fix, so you can get reconnected relatively quickly. When your Wi-Fi goes down, you can restore access on your own by troubleshooting some of these common problems.

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Slow or no internet access in certain rooms

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Wi-Fi is radio waves, meaning your Wi-Fi router broadcasts in all directions from a central location. If your router is in a far corner of your house, then you’re covering a great deal of the outside world unnecessarily. If you can, move your router to a more centralized location. The closer you can put your router to the center of your coverage area, the better reception will be throughout your house.

If you have external antennas, you can try adjusting those, too. Alternating between fully vertical and fully horizontal positions can help it reach in multiple directions.

If you live in an apartment building, other routers might be interfering with yours. Free software, like NetSpot on Mac, Windows, and Android or 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, consider switching to a less congested channel. If you need help switching to a less congested channel, be sure to visit our guide on changing the channel on your wireless router.

If none of that 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 one to extend the range of your main router. Upgrading to a whole-home mesh wireless system can also help with dead spots in certain areas of your home.

Slow internet everywhere

If your Wi-Fi speed is slow no matter where you are, try plugging a laptop into your modem directly and test your internet speed using a site like speedtest.net. If speeds are still down, the problem is likely with your internet connection, not your router. Contact your ISP.

If that’s not the issue, it could be that your current wireless channel is overcrowded by your devices or by those of other nearby networks. Consider changing the channel on your router in your router settings. Each router brand does that a little differently, though.

If that doesn’t help, performing a factory reset on your router and setting it up again may help. On most routers, there’s a Reset button that you can hold down with a paperclip, but we also have a guide if you need further help on resetting your router. Do so for 30 seconds, and the router should default to factory settings. Use our guide to setting up a wireless router to get

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