Recently, I was helping a client with Windows who was unable to connect to his home wireless network one day even though it had been working fine for a few months. When he went to Network and Sharing Center, he had the following listed:
Instead of his normal network connection, it said Unidentified Network and No Internet Access and sure enough, he could not connect to the Internet! The same thing showed up in the taskbar icon for network connections:
I’ve seen this problem on a couple of Windows machines and depending on your system, there are multiple possible solutions. Try each one listed below and check to see if it fixes your problem before moving on.
Method 1 – Disable McAfee Network Agent
One common culprit has been the McAfee Network Agent service. You can disable the service by going to Start, typing in MSCONFIG and then clicking on the Services tab. Find McAfee Network Agent and uncheck the box.
It also might be a good idea to disable any third-party firewall like McAfee firewall or Norton firewall, etc.
Method 2- Update Your Network Card Driver
You can update your driver in one of two ways: either via Windows or by downloading the driver yourself manually from the manufacture’s website. I highly recommend downloading the latest driver yourself as Windows usually does not do a very good job, but here are the instructions in case you want to try it.
Click on Start, type in devmgmt.msc, press Enter and then expand Network Controllers and right-click on the problem network card.
Now click on the Driver tab and choose Update Driver.
If that doesn’t work, you can also uninstall the network driver and then reinstall it after a restart. This has also been known to fix the problem with some people. Note that Windows will automatically reinstall the driver for you. In case it does not, you can always download the latest driver and then install it.
Method 3 – Restart Your Router and Modem
Just in case, make sure you restart your wireless router and your modem because you’ll waste a lot of time messing with your computer for no reason if it’s actually a problem with the router.
Method 4 – Reset TCP/IP Stack
You can try to reset your network settings and fix any problems with the TCP/IP stack by running the Microsoft FixIt solution here:
Method 5 – Upgrade Router Firmware
If nothing else has worked so far, try upgrading the firmware on your router. This is a slightly more technical process because you have to connect to your router via a web browser, but a little searching on Google will give you step by step directions. It’s a fairly easy process and might solve your problem, especially if you have an older router or have had one for a long time and have never updated the firmware.
Method 6 – Use One Connection or Bridge Connections
If you have both an Ethernet connection enabled and a wireless connection on your laptop or desktop, that could be the cause of the problem. You can either try disconnecting one, restarting and then seeing if you can get Internet access for each individually or you can try to bridge the connections.
You can do this by going to Network and Sharing Center, click on Change Adapter Settings, then select both the Local Area Connection and the Wireless Network Connection and right-click on either one. You will see the option to Bridge Connections.
Doing this can fix the problem of both networks conflicting with each other. Give it a shot if nothing else has worked until now. You can always unbridge the connections later on if you like.
Method 7 – Check Adapter Settings
This solution is a little tricky because it can be something random, but you need to go to Network and Sharing Center, click on Change Adapter Settings, then right-click on Local Area Connection or Wireless Network Connection and choose Properties.
You’ll see a box that says This connection uses the following items, which contains a list of protocols used by the network card to communicate. It should look something like this:
Now if you installed some network related software like VPN software or something like that, you might have some strange extra stuff listed in there. You need to uninstall those items and basically have something that looks like the list above. Once those are removed, restart and see it that solves your problem.
Also, click on Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) and check to make sure that you are obtaining an IP address automatically from DHCP. If you are using static IP addresses, make sure it’s the correct IP address and subnet mask.
Method 8 – Disable Virtual Ethernet Adapters
If you have VMWare or any other virtual machine software installed, go to Device Manager and disable any virtual network adapters that may appear there under Network Controllers. You won’t be able to connect to the Internet from your virtual machine, but you can always re-enable them for that. If the problem goes away though, it might be worth upgrading to the latest version of the virtual machine software to see if it’s more compatible with Windows.
Method 9 – Enable/Disable Network Connection
You can go to Network and Sharing Center, click on Change Adapter Settings and then right-click on the network adapter and choose Disable. Wait a little while and then re-enable the network connection.
Method 10 – Run a Troubleshooter
Windows has a bunch of built-in troubleshooters that can try to fix the problem for you automatically. Just click on Start and type in troubleshoot. Click on the first choice at the top. This should open the troubleshooting dialog.
Click on the Internet Connections troubleshooter. That should check your network adapter and make sure it’s enabled, it’s working properly, it’s got the correct network info, etc.
That’s all the solutions I could find for fixing this problem. If you still have unidentified network with no Internet access, then post your specs here and we’ll try to help! Enjoy!