Can Connect to Wireless Router, but not to the Internet?

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.

cannot connect to Internet

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!

Comments [110]

  1. I'm having similar problems with my daughters a brand new Advent laptop (vista). It's the third newish laptop in the house, the other two connect fine (one is Vista one is XP). Sometimes the network indicates that it is connected to the Internet with a small earth symbol included on the network icon sometimes it doesn't in both cases I cannot connect to the internet without soft resetting the wireless router, its so annoying

  2. Thank you so much. The laptop was about to go out the window (and i live on the forth floor). Method 1 worked for me.

  3. Method 1 worked for me. Thank you very much. You saved me time, money, and aggravation. Thanks!

  4. Hi Aseem, Thanks for the wonderful article. Its very informative and to the point! The description of the solution was perfect. For me Method 1 allowed me to connect to the Internet again!

  5. I was hopeful that Method 1 was going to work, but alas, no. My situation is this: We have two laptops at home which ordinarily connect through a wireless network to the internet by way of a wireless router and a cable modem. Both were able to do this earlier today, now, only one of them can. The other connects to the wireless router fine, but can't reach the internet, and can't (as far as I can tell) reach the cable modem.

    I can reach the configuration web page for my router from the second laptop, and the status on that site indicates that the router can reach the internet, but my laptop cannot. I changed no settings, installed no software, did almost nothing between the time I could reach the internet and the time I couldn't. I have tried rebooting my computer, rebooting the cable modem, and rebooting the wireless router.

    The laptop is definitely reaching the local network, since I can see a network hard drive over it, but it claims to be unable to reach the cable modem, and cannot load any external websites. On the other hand, the router claims to be, and must be in fact, actually connected to the wider internet, because the other laptop can get to the internet just fine. I'm very confused by this problem, and would appreciate any help anyone can provide. Thanks!

  6. Thank you very much Method 1 worked for me! Thanks again!

  7. Mike, I have the same problem. So we have two laptops and one of them was working yesterday. My laptop, however, would work for a few minutes then STOP. I can connect to the wireless router, but not the internet. Right now, I have connection to the internet! haha. I don't get it. I have been on for over 20 minutes. I am afraid if I restart my computer it might not let me get online again.

    Crazy! Yesterday I was unable to get on at all!! I was thinking it was a weak signal from Comcast cable modem… and thought about buying a signal booster. But, now that it may work for now, I have a feeling it might not be on Comcast side, and might just be my old '05 Dell laptop. Hmmm… I don't know what to do either!

  8. I was losing my mind and then I found this article. Method 1 did the job. I typed in both commands, restarted and now the internet works great. Thank you so much!

  9. You saved me! Now I can connect to the Internet also!

  10. I had this problem for about 2-3 weeks, I finally figured it out last night, what I did was use Internet explorer, I normally use safari, so if you use firefox or anthing different, just use internet explore 1 time. When you click on it, it brings up the usual screen, no internet. In the middle of the page, it has a button or link called network diagnostics or something.

    Click on that. It test your system, why you are not connecting. 1st it says the usual thing, turn off router, everthing else, blah, blah, blah, we've all done that before doesn't work. then keep clicking continue or what ever it is, then for me it said the problem is your key is not identical with the router, I've put the key in a billion times before, but I clicked on there little blue link, followed there directions, typed my key in again, an ta dah.

    It somehow worked. I now have wireless internet again. I tried everything, turning off firewall, removing software, going through my computer changing stuff, all the ipconfig stuff, ping stuff, resetting computer a billion times. For whatever reason this worked for me. I had to put my key in that exact spot or program whatever and it worked. Hopefully its works for you.

  11. Thank you so much for your article. What a frustrating problem.

    Turns out my issue was self-inflicted as the other day, thinking I was slick, I unplugged the phone line from the wall jack (and therefore unplugging the router) before taking a nap. When I plugged it back in I couldn't connect wirelessly, but could cabled.

    I reset every last thing until I finally retyped in the pass code. Turns out a few of the digits were 'deleted' somehow when I unplugged the wall jack and so the security wasn't allowing me onto the internet. I still have that little globe in the Network Connections icon mentioned above..but everything seems to be working ok.

  12. Thanks for the article. My Toshiba Qosmio G55-804 could see the wireless network but could not connect. However, wired network could. Tried Method 1., ignored comments about requiring elevation,etc. and restarted computer. Works. Thanks again

  13. I have a problem and I'm not sure how to do any of this so I'll wait till tommorow for my room mate to wake up but here's the jist of it

    we have one desk top computer connected via ethernet cable, one lap top, one nintendo wii and a playstation portable connected through wireless, we use a wep key and until yesterday were working fine

    they all won't connect now and the error my psp gives is "The WEP key you entered may not be correct." hopefully one of these will work because they sound like they will. thanks


    You just ended 3 hours of frustration for someone who thought they knew what they were doing (having set up a couple wireless networks in the past).

    Resetting the TCP/IP stack did the trick for me.

  15. Thanks for the netsh suggestion! It worked!

  16. Thank you so much Aseem, the post is just amazingly nice and solve my problem with just several commands.

    I'm from China, and i search the Chinese web for possible solutions and

    after every try, the frustration is just around me. But i said in the heart that i can't just give it up :) And finally the googling of web leads me here. And after the reading, i tried the First One, and i also prayed in heart. And i just got surprisingly happy.

    Thank you very much for the gr8 post again :)

    Leon Lee 1:48 am (staying so late just for finding the nice solution ;)

  17. Thanks much! Number one worked like a charm. Found out there are viruses eating up the resources as well so a reformat is in order shortly!

  18. Hi,

    Please can you help. We have Windows Vista on an HP laptop. We installed Sky broadband (inc Mcafee) and the internet worked fine, connecting wirelessly. The next day it no longer worked – we can connect to the wireless router but cannot connect to the internet. All other laptops and phones can connect using the Sky broadband. This laptop can connect to our neighbours' wireless, but not access the internet which it could do before.

    One other thing….. when it WAS working, a prompt came up from McAfee asking if we wanted it to work more efficiently…I clicked ok, the computer restarted, and from then on it didn't work.

    We have uninstalled McAfee/changed Firewall settings etc, system restore to a previous date, nothing has worked. we have just tried method 1 which has not worked. PLEASE help!

  19. I had a problem where on laptop connects to the net and the other says "connected" but cant surf the internet. i called the ISP and spent half hour with them and they couldnt figure it out. I tried method one and it worked !! after months of desperation finally the problem is solved !!! THANK YOU FOR WRITING THIS ARTICLE man you'r really smart

  20. Thank you very much Method 1 worked for me! Thanks again!

  21. Method one worked great.. It had been about 3 months of frustration, I was ready to give my laptop a good pounding.. I had tried reseting the router, modem, you name it. Now when it asks for elevation, in the command window. You can open the command window by right clicking, on the icon, before opening the command window. and run as administrator. All elevation means, is that is administrator. Again.. Thanks

  22. You ARE AMAZIN Method 1 WORKED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you so much!!!!! ^o^ v that was the first time I ever heard that method being used thanks for it ur are so awesome!!

  23. Method 1 worked for me just in time – I still had a few strands of hair left to out!!

    Many thanks

  24. Aseem,

    Thank you so much for the article, method 1 worked !!

  25. I am experiencing a rather strange problem with my WIFI connection

    I have a Dell Latitude D410 running XP pro with INTEL(R)PRO /wirless 2915ABG Network Connection. I use a Dlink DI542 router.

    The connection is kind of temperamental.

    Sometimes it is very fast and smooth, but at other times, it is dead in the water. It sends very few packets and receives even less (sometimes 0) and I can't even ping to the router (ping and get "request time out ").

    I can't find anything wrong with the connection status. The task bar icon shows that it is connected with excellent signal, the IP address is valid ( and the router shows the MAC address on the attached device list.

    I have gone through all the usual steps for trouble shooting with no luck: Driver is up to date, driver has been uninstalled and reinstalled, Ip address was renewed, DHCP is enabled, firewall was opened.

    It can't be a virus because it is a clean installation.

    When I manage to connect to the internet, it is sending and receiving a lot of packets, this lasts for a few hours and then suddenly I am hit with "limited or no connection". After I repair it it would stop receiving packets (and sending very few), IP address and everything are ok.

    I have two other laptops (a new Samsung and another old Dell) connecting to the same router using wifi with no problem so it can't be the router.

    I would appreciate it if someone can help or just give some suggestion to where the problem may be.

  26. Thanks alot, your method # 1 worked for me. But I dont know how this flaw came into my laptop. Actually my kids were playing game on it, and after that the internet was gone.

  27. Mate, you are an absolute champion. I spent hours trawling web pages trying things and got nowhere. Five minutes reading your page and trying out steps 1 and 2 and it was all sorted. Still don't know which of the two was the cause. Don't really care… as it's now FIXED!

    Thanks heaps and all the best!

  28. method 1 worked for me as well. So thank you so much. :D you're my savior. :)

  29. Thanks a ton boss. First method worked for me. Your help is awesome, else I was baffled….:-). Great job.

  30. WOW! :) Thanks a ton. My laptop randomly refused to browse the net even though it was "connected to the internet" via the wireless router. Resetting the TCP/IP stack did the trick.

  31. Thanks! My wife is in the hospital having a baby and I'm on the other side of the world for the military. We've been trying to get her laptop up in the hospital for Skype and method 1 worked!!!

    Thank you!!!

  32. thanks, method 5 worked for me. 12 month old laptop with brand new router! i used WEP security.

    thanks a million

  33. For method one, what does it mean if the reply I got said

    "The following command was not found: int ip reset.log" ?

    Im really stuck here… my computer will connect wirelessly to my router, but not to the internet through the router.

  34. Thank you! Thank you! Method one works great. Been struggling with this for a while. Can't thank you more.


  35. Method 1 Rocks!!!! I love you for this. My too Belkin Desktop Wireless N Adapter was going out of the window. Thanks a lot author for this blog. Will always follow your blog.

    – AeKay

  36. Thanks aseem, method 1 did it for me buddy !!

  37. Well played that man (Aseem). Method one worked a treat. I'd never heard of the TCP/IP stack before. I won't be forgetting it in a hurry. Thank you kindly.

  38. my problem is in method2 how can I download it? and what driver should I download for my laptop?

  39. I just wanted to say Thank You!!! I tried method one and I am online after a month of not being able to connect wirelessly. Comcast wasn't helpful. Over 10 different phone calls and they wanted me to pay (!!) to have someone "maybe" fix the problem. You Did It!

    I can't even tell you how appreciative I am. I hope something Super Fantastic happens to you!

  40. I can't thank you enough for this. Method one was the magic.

  41. I'm trying method one and it keeps telling me I need to run as administrator. I am the administrator. How can I fix this?

  42. I could kiss whoever posted solution #1. I was 2 seconds away from reformatting my hard drive after countless hours spent trying to figure out why the PC that was hardwired to my router would not get past the access point to the internet — but every other computer (4 of them) in the house was wirelessly connecting. After 2 hours of my life lost to Verizon Fios' help desk, I googled the simplest construct of this problem I could conceive and lo and behold, this elegant solution popped up. I am eternally grateful. My freaking TCP/IP stack had a problem!! I have written this solution down in the likely event i need it again.

  43. I have used the first method twice (once about a year ago and once just now) so I felt like I should say THANK YOU! Such a simple fix for something I banged my head against the wall about for hours the first time!

  44. Thank you. Methods 1 and 3 worked for me. Thank you ever so much!

  45. Go to Control Panel > Network and Internet > Internet Option > Advanced>Reset > OK and then close everything you have open / running and connect to the Internet.

  46. The first thing fixed my computer's problem.

    Thank you so much. It was very helpful.

  47. Method one worked perfectly for me too just remember to restart computer after.

    Thanks a lot!!!

  48. Wow, this blog is amazing. Method 1 is worked!!

    Thanks again!!

  49. Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!! My only regret is that I didn't find your Method 1 about 5 hours earlier.

  50. Excellent article, I must say, but, it didn't work for me. In my case, it was internet explorer 8. I found I could ping to servers (e.g. but couldn't browse them. So I reset IE8 and it worked for me. If there's anyone out there with the same problem, try the following:

    1. Open IE.
    2. Tools tab > Internet Options > Advance Tab.
    3. Click on Restore Advanced Settings.
    4. Click on Reset Internet Explorer settings.
    5. Restart IE.

  51. Thank you so much for this! Method 1 worked just fine! I switched my internet provider recently and got a new router, and the wireless connection worked fine for a couple of weeks on two laptops. Then, inexplicably, I couldn't connect to the internet on one laptop via either Internet Explorer or Firefox (though bizarrely, Norton 360 still managed to do definitions updates), even though it said I had an excellent signal. The only way to connect was using a cable. There was no problem with the other laptop using wireless though. Anyway, it's all sorted now and I'm so grateful I had to leave a comment.

    Thanks again!

  52. Wow! Thanks so much! This one was about to drive me nuts! I had done everything I knew to get it to work and Fix #1 worked like a charm. Thanks.

    Now if you can tell me how to get one to let me push Ctrl-Alt-Delete at startup, I'll be really happy!

    Thanks again.

  53. How are you supposed to enter the method one stuff? It's not working for me.

    Please Help!

  54. Method 1, fix number one, worked for me, too!!! Many thanks!!!

  55. Just wanted to drop a line and say Method 1 worked for us! Thanks so much. :)

  56. All,

    I tried method #1 and several things in three days, no luck. Finally, I followed the advice from Pablo Diabalo as follows:

    Go to Control Panel > Network and Internet > Internet Option > Advanced > Reset > OK and then close everything you have open / running and connect to the Internet.

    It works like charm. Thank you, thank you, and thank you.


  57. Thank you very much for the working number one!

  58. Endless thanks! Method 1 works like a charm! Only a 5 second job!

    Hats off to you!

  59. I agree with kwanage above. Do you have to enter the commands separately, or right after one another in the command prompt window?

  60. I managed the commands in the end, but none of these options work for me. Only thing left is to reformat the machine and start again.

    Any other ideas?

  61. I have tried all of the options above, and still no luck. I have run Windows updates to make sure that the latest drivers for the network card is on the machine. Still no luck.

    Weirdest thing is that I can connect the laptop to the router with an Ethernet cable and then it connects to the internet perfectly, but it's just the wireless that doesn't work. Yet, it still says that the wireless connection with the router is "Excellent."

    I am ready to throw this thing out the window.

    Please Help!!!

  62. Same problem for me! I reset my IE settings and it worked!

    Thank you so much!

  63. I have tried all of the options above, and still cannot connect. I am using an HP with Windows 7 installed on it.

    Can anybody help? I will greatly appreciate it.

    Thanks in advance.

  64. Thank you! This worked after trying a million other things.

  65. The final method worked. I was going crazy trying to install my step daughters laptop. Read the part about the security settings and that was it. Her laptop cannot connect to the more secure WPA2-PSK settings. I ended up creating a guest network with my router (love that feature) with the basic WEP security and it worked perfectly..Thank YOU so much for this solution…

  66. Ok guys for those having the problem where you can get the internet IF you are using the ethernet cable but could not get the internet with just wireless connection this way may help you, first connect your laptop/desktop to the router by the ethernet cable and then see if there is any internet connection available. 2nd is that right click on the internet connection and click "open network and sharing center"..and then click on the "local area connection" and then click on the properties. Then go to sharing and tick the box where it says "Allow other network users to connect through this computer's internet connection". I try to connect my laptop (windows 7) to the router signal and able to receive the Internet connection. Try it, it may help :D

  67. Another way…run a diagnosis on your router connection and it may resolve your problem :)

  68. I tried method 1 and it fixed my internet connection right away. It was on my daughters laptop and now she is able to get on facebook, etc etc again. I'm her hero. I had to act smart at first and tell her I figured it out. Had to tell the truth tho. Your site is now on my favorites list. Thank you for the help. Great advice.

  69. You are a genius. Method 1 work straight away. Thanks.

  70. "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."

    That's the problem I'm having. I can connect to other wifi when I'm traveling but for my own wifi, I can only go on the Internet when connected with an Ethernet cable. My sister's laptop connects to the Internet fine (without a cable). How can I stop using the cable?

  71. Dell Laptop worked fine WiFi @home but not @university. Method #1 fixed it. Thankyou.

  72. All of a sudden I can't connect to the internet. I can connect to a neighbors router but i get the yellow exclamation point and no internet connection. My neighbor has an unsecured router and i was connecting fine before.

  73. I have got dell latitude laptop but peculiar problem facing.

    my laptop works very much fine with Wifi in office and at my sister's home but wifi doesnt work in my home at all. In same flat two guys are browsing with the same wifi very well.

    But why cant I.

    1. In my flat two guys can brows but not me – some problem in laptop?

    2. If some problem in my laptop why it connects in other places.

    plz plz plz reply.

  74. Just need to give my thanks to you regardiing this fix. Method 1 worked for me, you are great!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!

  75. I can connect to the internet when running the ethernet cable to the router, and i can connect to the wireless network when not using the ethernet cable, but when on wireless network, i cannot access the internet at all…

  76. Same problem…solution that worked for me:

    I ran the Win7 control panel–>Internet connection Wizard to trouble shoot the connection problem. It said I had multiple connections open at one time/conflict. I caused the problem. I had installed Oracles VMware (virtual machine) software that allowed me to run multiple OS from within Win7. I shut down 2 of 3 connections, and it worked.

  77. Thank you sooooo much. Method 1, was my savior. It took 3 seconds and my computer was back to working like it should.




    OMG.. I lost 3 months on THIS SH*T !!!

  79. Tried all methods. None worked but I'm convinced it has to do with my tcp/ip stack. When I tried the reset commands it says all the actions failed due to "the requested operation requires elevation" help?

  80. Thanks! Method #1 worked! Bookmark added…why on earth doesn't Microsoft have this kind of useful information?!

  81. Thank you Thank you …great instructions fixed my problem fast

  82. When I tried method 1, I get "required operation requires elevation" for each command. What does that mean?

  83. Thank you soo much! Just spent 2 hours on line with tech support and method 1 worked the first time. Thank you for the help.

  84. wonderful I had a Windows 7 laptop that would connect and a XP that would not. Methos 1 solved the problem first time – thank you.

  85. Just want to say……THANK YOU….

  86. when i apply method 1 it doesn’t work. i get this error ” The requested operation requires elevation (Run as administrator)

    what does it mean…

    plz help

  87. Try running the CMD in Administrator mode. Right-click on CMD icon and click “Run as administrator”. That’s what I did and it worked.

  88. THANK YOU very much, method 1 worked for me tnx

  89. I LOVE Google search and I LOVE Help Desk Geek! Method 1 is a winner!

    Thanks, Sandy

  90. None of the above has worked for me, My husband can connect no problems. We don’t have a router but a access point. The thing is I can’t connect to our wi-fi with my Iphone either. I can connect with USB on my computer and I can connect to WI-Fi if I am using someone else’s WI-FI so it’s all got something to do with our WI-Fi settings?

  91. Thank you very much, method 1 did the trick

  92. Regards, I tried all methods but still have the same problem with the wireless connection.

    Everything is working fine through lan port connection however.

    Please help me and thank you in advance.

  93. Many thanks for this. I used the netsh command and before the reboot I also scanned the system using spybot which cleaned a few nasties. After reboot my system (Vista) said it needed to run Repair. I decided to bypass that and windows came up ok, I ran mozilla and bam – internet working just fine. Thanks Aseem.

  94. Thanks for your help ..

    Method 1 worked successfully.

  95. Count me in as another one that method 1 did the trick for. Thanks!!!!

  96. The NETSH commands resolved the connectivity issue on one of my 4 laptops that would not connect to the internet. “All of a sudden” one day it just would not connect although it communicated fine within its workgroup peers.

  97. Great. Method 1 fixed the wireless network connectivity problem with Windows 7 on Mac Book pro.
    Thank you

  98. Method 1 worked for an old home PC running Vista. The problem began after I installed MS Word 2010 (I know ancient stuff, but my employer requires that I take a MOUS test). I am actually a Mac user at home so I only have to deal with PC-related issues once in a blue moon :D. I REALLY appreciate your posting the article. Thanks a million.

  99. You rule. Many thanks because this solved my wireless networking troubles.

    Thanks a lot.

  100. Step 1 worked a treat. Thank you so much!

  101. Ok dudes…my case seemed to be one of those impossible ones! I couldn´t get internet neither wirelessly or wired. Nothing in the article could help me, but then it occurred to me to dig on my router and right there it said that the internet connection may not work if there is a proxy set to be used on my internet settings.

    So long story short:

    Control Panel/ Network and Sharing Center/ Internet Options/ Connections tab/ LAN Settings and just uncheck the box for using a proxy.. Presto!

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