Wireless Networking (Wi-Fi) in Windows 10 (Oct 2017)

Technology Tips – published October 2017 in the Guide and Digest

by Don Trauger – Kennett

By now I’m sure you all have experienced the problem of being unable to connect to the Internet. It means you are not able to browse your favorite web sites or even get your email. Wireless networking or Wi-Fi is common place in our homes and it allows Internet activity to take place, primarily with laptops and tablets. Unfortunately it is more complex behind the scenes than you may realize. I won’t get into specifics here but let’s say many things have to work together correctly to permit a wireless connection. Here are some things you can do to recover from a “no connection” scenario.

On a Windows 10 computer, with a Wi-Fi connection, there is an icon near the clock that shows several white bands in an arc shape from 9 o’clock to 12 o’clock. If you hover the mouse arrow over top of it it should say the name of your household connection followed by “Internet access” This indicates a successful connection to the Internet. The number of white arcs roughly indicates signal strength. Three arcs is optimal, two are satisfactory, and one arc may cause intermittent connectivity problems. If you only have one arc move your computer closer to your modem/router to improve signal strength.

If you have lost your connection the icon goes dark and will show a tiny asterisk at 10 o’clock. Next, click the Internet icon. It should bring up a list that includes your connection name along with a list of your neighbors connections. Now click your home’s listing. In the pop-up window click the box next to “Connect automatically” then click Connect. If all goes well it should say “connected, secured”.Click the mouse again in any unused area to remove the Wi-Fi window. Remember Wi-Fi is a radio type transmitter. You “broadcast” your signal about 300 ft. depending on your home’s construction. The more walls/floors you have between your computer and the modem/router, the weaker the signal. If this does not work – read on.

It may be necessary now to power down your modem/router to allow it to reinitialize on power up. If you have a separate modem and router turn off the power to both so all of the lights are off. Wait about 30 seconds and turn on the modem first (important) and allow the lights to stabilize. Then turn on the router allowing the lights to stabilize. There will be blinking on some lights but the idea here is that the overall pattern should remain constant. Next, try your computer to see if it can connect to the Internet using the previous instructions if necessary.

At this point If you cannot connect, then try another Wi-Fi computer or device. If that doesn’t connect call Comcast or Verizon for help. If the other Wi-Fi computer or device connects to the Internet then the problem is in your computer. Here’s something else to try.

Press the Windows key (4 white panes on the lower left ) of your keyboard. This will show a “gear” just above the “Power” icon on the far left side. Hover the mouse over it and it will show “Settings”. Click it and the Settings window will open. Click “Update & security”. Click “Troubleshoot” on the left side then click “Internet Connections” near the top of the window and click “Run the troubleshooter”. Follow any screen prompts.

One last thing to try is the following: In Windows 10 you can reset your networking by clicking a button. Follow the previous instructions to open “Settings” Click “Network & Internet” then click “Wi-Fi”. Click to turn it on if it’s off. Then click “Status” just above Wi-Fi. Scroll all the way to the bottom and click “Network reset”. Follow any screen prompts to complete the task.

I’ve given you some things to try that should help in resolving Internet connectivity problems. It is not a complete list but it does cover the more common problems encountered with Wi-Fi in Windows 10.

Be sure to attend our PC Club meetings on the 3rd Tuesday of each month at 7 PM upstairs in the Community Center. We’ll cover this subject and answer any questions you may have.