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Why, oh Wi-Fi! Troubleshooting Your Wireless Connection at Home

Friday Jan 18, 2013
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We have all been there: After hours of online searching, you finally discover the man of your dreams on that "legitimate dating website" and start chatting him up, only to have your Internet connection disappear like Brittany Spears’ career.

Post-tantrum, consider these five useful tips provided by Geeks on Site CEO and Founder George Otte. With years of experience in computer repair and tech support, Otte may be able to help expedite Cupid’s arrow by getting your signal up and running while you keep your cool.

Make sure your modem and router are plugged in correctly and have power.
Start out by making sure the modem/router is plugged in correctly and powered on. Although it may seem that this could not be the problem, you may consider your cat ’Liza with a Z’ accidentally brushing up against a power cord or stepping on a fuse breaker. Even an unexpected surge causes a partial power outage. Test different power sockets to verify socket failure.

Make sure your router’s wireless feature is working and if not restart it (don’t reset it).
The next reason for Wi-Fi failure may be losing the wireless signal. You should try to diagnose if the router is emitting a signal by checking the router’s light indicators first. If the lights indicate the connection is lost, restart the device by unplugging it from the wall.

There’s a huge difference between restarting a device and resetting a device. Don’t reset the device. If you reset the modem/router, you will restore its factory settings and in so doing, delete its configurations. Restarting the device by either unplugging its cord or pressing the restart button will only reboot the device in a manner similar to that of shutting off your computer and turning it back on. If you reset your device you will lose your Internet connection.

Check to see if your wireless feature was disabled.
To see if the problem lies from the source of the connection, you should proceed by plugging the Ethernet cable into the router and the router to your computer. This may mean getting on your hands and knees earlier than anticipated. If you can access the Internet then it’s likely your router has lost its configuration but the modem is fine.

You can attempt to fix this by typing the standard IP address "192.168.1.1" in your Internet browser’s address box. This address should open the router’s setup page. This page will likely ask for a user name and password, which you can find printed on a label on your modem/router, or a text somewhere in the modem’s box. Once you have entered the page, make sure that the wireless feature is marked as active or on.

Verify there are no devices that may interfere with your Wi-Fi signal. Move potential interfering devices away.
If your wireless feature is marked as active or on and your Wi-Fi still doesn’t work correctly, then perhaps the loss of signal can be attributed to a signal interruption. Most routers and modems emit a 2.4GHZ frequency radio signal.

Nobody likes a third wheel (at least at the beginning.) Other devices such as a cordless phone or a microwave oven can cause interference if they have a similar or identical frequency. In these cases it is best that you move these items away from your modem/router.

Make sure your PC is not the problem by using another device to access the wireless connection.
We all like to play the blame game, but sometimes your computer may be the cause of the problem. To verify this, try accessing your Wi-Fi network with another computer, tablet or Smartphone. If one of these can connect to the network, then your computer is definitely the problem. Try rebooting your computer and if that doesn’t work you may need to update and/or reinstall your computer’s wireless adaptor’s drivers.

George Otte is the Founder and President of Geeks on Site computer repair. He has been in the IT industry for over 10 years. A Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer, Mr. Otte quickly developed his own computer repair business at the age of 21. His company is one of the first of its kind to repair computers remotely via the Internet.

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