Have you ever run into the situation where you could connect your laptop to your wireless router, but could not browse the Internet? There could be several things going on in this kind of situation, either your computer has a problem or the router cannot connect to the Internet via your ISP.
So if you’re able to connect to a wireless network, but can’t get out to the Internet, then first check to see if it’s your compute or the router. You can do this by trying to connect to the Internet from another computer connected to the same wireless network.
If the other computer can browse the Internet fine, then your computer is having issues. If not, you should try restarting the wireless router along with your cable modem or ISP router, if you have one. If that doesn’t work, call your ISP and they can run some tests to see if they can reach your router.
On the other hand, if you have a problem with your laptop connectivity, it’s much harder to solve! Why? Because there are basically a lot of reasons why an Internet connection may be be functioning properly. I’ll try to go through as many solutions as possible to fix this and hopefully one of them works for you!
So if other computers on the network can connect to the wireless router and to the Internet, first let’s see if it’s a problem with your wireless or your entire Internet connection. Connect your computer to the router using a Ethernet cable and see if you can connect to the Internet.
If so, that means there is something wrong with just your wireless network connection. If you can’t connect, your TCP/IP Internet stack may be corrupted. Try these fixes.
Also, make sure your Wireless switch is set to ON before moving on because a lot of times the Wireless on/off switch accidenality gets switched to OFF.
Method 1 – Reset TCP/IP Stack
You can try to reset the TCP/IP stack in Windows to possible repair the Internet connection if it is corrupted. Go to Start, Run and type in CMD. Type the following commands:
netsh int ip reset reset.log
netsh winsock reset catalog
Reboot your computer and see if the Internet connection works. If you have more serious problems with Winsock, read my post from OTT on how to repair Winsock errors in Windows.
Method 2 – Update driver in Device Manager
Sometimes Windows can have problems with a particular wireless card because of it’s driver. This problem especially occurs on Windows Vista machines that have older drivers for wireless card.
Go to Device Manager by right-clicking on My Computer and going to Properties. On the Hardware tab click on Device Manager.
If you see anything with an exclamation point or red X under network adapters, that might be causing the network connection problems. Download the latest drivers from the manufacturers website on another computer and copy them over using a USB stick or CD. Update the drivers and restart the computer.
Method 3 – Reset wireless network
Sometimes your wireless network may have MAC address filtering enabled, which means only certain computers can connect to the router. You can quickly tell if this is the case by simple resetting the wireless router to default factory settings.
This will remove all security, filtering, port forwarding, or any other settings that could possibly be preventing your computer from connecting to the Internet.
Method 4 – Update computer hardware drivers
Sometimes you simply have to update your laptop hardware drivers for all devices such as the BIOS, firmware, system drivers, etc. It’s also a good idea to update the operating system with all the latest service packs and patches.
The problem may not be related to your wireless network card per say, but on the hardware that your OS is running on.
Method 5 – Unsupported wireless security settings
Another issue that can cause connectivity problems to the Internet is unsupported wireless security settings. Sometimes if you buy a new wireless router and setup security using WPA or some other strong encryption, your wireless card may not support it.
In that case, try to turn off all wireless security and see if that solves your problem. It’s best to just make the network an unsecured wireless network temporarily so that you can figure out whether it’s the security settings that are causing the problem. If you can connect to the Internet when there is no security, then try a different protocol like WEP.
I really can’t think of any other way to fix this problem other than trying a full reformat of your computer. However, if it’s a hardware issue, even that won’t fix the problem. If you tried something else that fixed your problem, post it in the comments!