WiFi Troubleshooting and Tips
Updated: Sep 26, 2020
I’m having trouble with my WiFi, what should I do?
1. What are some of the common issues people have with their WiFi?
Can’t connect to the internet:
Your computer just won’t connect at all and you can’t access any online applications or websites.
Frequently drops connection to the internet:
You’re on a call or working on an internet application, and the application stops working. It just drops your connection without any warning and then it might come back up again after a few seconds. So annoying!
Videos aren’t playing well, audio is patchy, it takes a long time to load internet applications like Zoom or websites. This can be so frustrating! You’re trying to connect to a Zoom call or log into a website and it won’t connect, or it connects but the video or audio quality is spotty or laggy.
2. Let’s start with not being able to connect to your Internet at all - what should people do if they can’t connect to their WiFi?
Are you connected:
First you should check to make sure your computer is connected to your WiFi Router - you can do this by looking for the WiFi signal icon on your computer desktop. On a Macintosh Computer it’s the Icon that looks like a little fan of lines or a pizza slice of lines and you can find it at the top of your desktop. On a Windows computer, it's the same pizza slice icon or it looks like a little Monitor screen at the bottom right of your desktop. If you’re not connected, the Icon will be grayed out or the lines in the pizza won’t be showing. If you click on that icon, it will have a check next to the WiFi Router that you’re connected to or it will say that you are connected. This icon is where you can also go to change the WiFi router you’re connected to, or to connect to a new WiFi router if you’re in a new location.
Restart your computer:
If you’re not able to connect to your WiFi Router, restart your computer. That sounds silly - but if something isn’t working, the first step should be to restart your machine.
WiFi Router on - restart WiFi Router:
If that doesn’t work, you should check to make sure your WiFi router is turned on. The WiFi router is the box that your internet provider gave you where your internet line connects in. It usually has flashing lights that indicate activity. If the lights aren’t flashing or aren’t on, check the power and the wired connection cable. If those all look ok, you can reset your router to try to fix the WiFi connection. You do this by simply unplugging the power cord from the actual router. Leave it unplugged for 1 minute and then plug it back in. The router will take a few minutes to start up, and then you can see if your connection at your computer has been fixed.
If your router seems to be working, but you still can’t see it from your computer - make sure you’re close enough to the router. You can move your computer closer and see if that helps.
Keep in mind, that sometimes Internet providers have outages. If your router isn’t flashing lights and isn’t working - you can also check with your internet service provider and see if they’re having any trouble on their end.
3. What about if they’re just having slow connections or poor connections?
When in doubt - restart your computer!
Always a good first step. :-)
There are lots of reasons for slow or poor internet connections. It could be that you’re too far from the router - move closer and see if that helps your connection.
Internet Bandwidth Speed too Slow:
Or it could be that the speed of your Internet connection that you purchased is too slow for high bandwidth applications like video calls. When you sign up for Internet, you typically have options for the speed of your connection. The bigger the bandwidth (or speed) of the connection that you sign up for, the better it will handle hi-bandwidth applications like Video. Of course, the price also goes up with larger bandwidth connectivity.
Too many connections:
You might have too many people trying to connect and use it at the same time. Video is a big bandwidth hog - so if you have multiple people trying to do video calls or watch internet videos at the same time, it can slow a connection and cause poor connectivity. You can try to stagger when people need to use high-bandwidth applications (like video). So disconnecting any devices that don’t need connectivity can help. Having only those devices that really need the connection connected is a possible fix.
Turn off video:
Another option if you’re having a poor connection on a video call is to turn off your camera and/or ask the other people to turn off their cameras. You should still be able to hear the call, but the connection can get better if you’re not using both video and audio over your connection.
Check with your Internet Service Provider (ISP):
And if you think you have a fast enough internet connection and shouldn’t be having these issues, contact your internet service provider and have them run a speed test. They can tell you if there’s something else going on or if you need a new, faster router. You can also check your internet speed yourself by going to websites like speedtest.net. This way you can see if the speed you’re actually getting, is the speed you signed up for and are paying for.