Connection problems with home WiFi – how to solve them

Home Wifi
Home Wifi

In this article we will see how to solve the various connection problems with home WiFi, let’s move on. When we have a Wi-Fi modem or access point, we may experience problems when trying to wirelessly connect with our computer, laptop, ultrabook, smartphone, tablet, and other Wi-Fi enabled devices. Depending on the message of error shown by the operating system, we have to solve them in one way or another. Today we will help you solve the connection problems with home WiFi that usually appear when we connect to a wireless network.

The first thing we need to know is the Wi-Fi card model, as it may not support some of these frequency bands and it doesn’t support DFS channels of the 5GHz bands either.

WiFi coverage problems

2.4 GHz has a longer range than 5 GHz

One of the main limitations of WiFi networks is the coverage in our home. Under the same conditions, a 2.4 GHz frequency will go beyond a frequency of 5 GHz, but will do so at a rate lower due to the standard used and the width of the Access channel. If you have connected to your modem (in any of its frequency bands), but have very poor coverage, you will need to buy a Wi-Fi repeater or, better yet, buy a Wi-Fi Mesh system for your home that you will allow you to switch from one frequency to another without interrupting the Wi-Fi connection.

Smart connection

Many modems currently feature Smart Connect technology, which allows them to broadcast on both frequency bands with the same Wi-Fi network name (SSID) and password. This way, the modem will manage which frequency band to connect to wireless clients. In case of coverage problems, it is recommended to disable this option, as it is possible that the modem is “forcing” the Wi-Fi card to connect in the 5 GHz band to provide higher speed, however, being so far from the modem or AP, it is very likely that if you connect to the 2.4 GHz band the wireless connection will work better for you.

Automatic WiFi channels

Newer modems always automatically select wireless channels to avoid interference with detected nearby networks. However, this feature may not be well programmed on modems because they check Wi-Fi networks only when the modem is restarted, and not from time to time to “avoid” this interference. For this reason, it would be very good for you to check the channels used by your neighbors, we recommend Acrylic WiFi Home for use on a Windows computer and WiFi Analyzer if you use an Android smartphone.

WiFi speed issues

Lower speeds

One of the usual problems with Wi-Fi wireless networks is speed. The first thing we need to know is that the further we are from the modem or AP the lower the speed will be. If you are experiencing speed issues, poor wireless coverage is the reason why you can’t download or upload data quickly. One possible solution to this is to purchase a Wi-Fi Repeater, Mesh Wi-Fi System, or PLC devices.

Make sure you connect to 5 GHz for faster speed

If you are near the modem or AP, with good coverage (over 75%) and the wireless connection is not working fast, it is very likely that you are connected to the 2.4 GHz band, try connecting to the a band. 5 GHz whenever possible as it will give you a higher speed when you are relatively “close” to the modem or access point. If you only have a Wi-Fi network name (SSID), the modem cares about positioning you on one band or the other, it is recommended that you check the wireless sync speed, as it is very likely that it has positioned itself on a frequency 2.4 GHz. When Smart Connect functionality is not well programmed or gives you such problems, it is advisable to disable Smart Connect to choose which frequency bands to connect to.

Number of WiFi antennas on the device

Another speed issue could be due to the number of Wi-Fi antennas your device has, if it has only one antenna you won’t get more than real 250 Mbps in the 5 GHz band or more than around 90 Mbps in the 2.4 GHz band. If you were expecting to receive symmetrical 600Mbps over Wi-Fi, you need to buy a network card with three antennas and connect to the 5GHz band. Mobile devices like smartphones and tablets usually have 1 or 2 internal antennas, so don’t expect to get too much speed, although this will depend on many factors.

Many devices connected at the same time

Another problem with Wi-Fi networks is that the more wireless devices that are connected, the slower the wireless network will go, as the modem and AP should avoid collisions whenever possible and that makes the network generally slower. Technologies like OFDMA in Wi-Fi 6 and MU-MIMO allow us to optimize the wireless network in the best possible way, but as long as users who use the network support these two technologies, they will not gain anything. Another important aspect is that slow Wi-Fi clients (those with 1 antenna) damage faster clients (those with 3 antennas or more), so it would be ideal for slow clients to position themselves on a frequency band and the fastest on another. Whether your modem or AP has the “Transmission time fairness“, You will overcome this problem, as the modem will assign a certain “time” to each connected device at the same time. We recommend that you disconnect devices we are not using from the wireless network in order to leave the frequency band “free” and that current users can get the maximum speed.

Problems connecting to the 5GHz band

Unsupported device

If our device cannot “read” the 5 GHz band, it is very likely that it is not compatible with this frequency band or that the modem or wireless access point is using DFS channels that are not compatible with the device. You should always make sure that the channels used by the 5GHz band are 36 to 48, as they are the standard channels of this band and even older devices with Wi-Fi 5 can connect to these channels. We must remember that the DFS channels range from 52 to 64 and from 100 onwards.

Too far from the modem or band

Another possible problem is that we are too far from the modem or AP to receive the SSID of the 5 GHz band, the only solution is to get closer to the wireless node or buy a Wi-Fi repeater that boosts the Wi-Fi signal and reach us. We also need to make sure that the 5 GHz band is activated, otherwise we won’t be able to connect. You need to go directly to the modem administration website to see if it is enabled.

Outdated drivers

Manufacturers often roll out driver updates for their Wi-Fi cards, most notably Intel, the WiFi card that connects the vast majority of laptops and ultrabooks. Make sure you have the latest drivers installed, you just need to go to the Intel official website and find your Wi-Fi card model to download the latest software available. These updates can add compatibility to DFS channels and even fix problems you’ve had previously.

Problems connecting to the Wi-Fi network

“Unable to get IP”

This message is very typical when we connect to the Wi-Fi wireless network, this means that the modem’s DHCP server is not working properly, it has the whole “pool” of IP addresses occupied or that you are simply connected so far from the modem or AP that it is barely able to send and receive data. Try moving closer to the modem or AP, and if it persists, try turning the wireless modem off and on again. If you still can’t connect, you can try to set a fixed private IP by going to “Control Panel/Network and Sharing Center / Change Adapter Settings / Network Adapter Properties and double click on “IPv4 Network Protocol“.

SSID saved, but does not connect

When we save (remember) the wireless network, what must be clear is that we cannot change the configuration on the modem, that is, if once we save (remember) the wireless network on our computer, then change the SSID or password, it will be shown an error in the connection, because the basic parameters have changed. This can be easily fixed by clearing the stored network and reconnecting it.

I am connected well but I have no internet

If you are connected to the Wi-Fi network and do not have the Internet, try connecting by cable to the modem to check if it is a problem with the Wi-Fi network or directly with your Internet connection. If it does not work through the cable connected to the modem, it is very likely that the problem is with your carrier’s Internet service.

As you can see, many problems can occur when using the Wi-Fi wireless network in our home, however, we can quickly fix them if we can figure out where the problem is.

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