How to Connect Two Computers or Laptops Wirelessly

If you’re trying to link two computers together, the easiest method is to join them to the same network. Wired connections using ethernet work best for speed and reliability, but it’s easy enough to link together two devices wirelessly, especially if you have an existing wireless network available to use.

If you don’t have an existing network, you could create an ad-hoc wireless network, use Bluetooth to make the connection, or use a portable WiFi router or a smartphone to create a temporary network for you. If you want to know how to connect two computers wirelessly, here’s what you’ll need to do.

Joining an Existing Wireless Network

If you want to network two computers wirelessly, the easiest method is to use an existing wireless network to make the connection.

While other methods listed below will allow you to make a connection, they won’t offer you the reliability that an established network will. A network with a dedicated wireless router will offer the best speeds and WiFi range, as well as potential internet access and access to other devices on a network (such as a network printer).

Once two devices are joined to an existing network, it’s a straightforward process to share files, play local games, and do much more.

Creating an Ad-Hoc Wireless Network

If you’re lacking an existing local network to connect to, you can use your PC’s or laptop’s wireless adapter to create an ad-hoc wireless network instead. This is a temporary network that uses a built-in or USB WiFi adapter to create a network that other devices can connect to.

  1. To set up an ad-hoc network on Windows 10, you’ll need to use the Windows PowerShell. To open this, right-click the Start menu and select the Windows PowerShell (Admin) option.

  1. In the open PowerShell terminal window, type netsh wlan show drivers. This will list information about your available WiFi devices, including whether they support the ability to create a virtual access point. If the Hosted network supported option is listed as no, then you may need to update the installed driver or try another device.

  1. If your device supports it, type netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allow ssid=adhoc key=password to create a virtual WiFi network, replacing the ssid and key sections with your own preferred network name (ssid) and WiFi network password (key). Once you’ve done that, type netsh wlan start hostednetwork to start the network.

  1. Assuming there are no errors, the ad-hoc wireless network you’ve created should be visible to other devices. Connect to it using the network password you specified to complete the connection.

  1. If you want to disable the ad-hoc network when you’re finished, type netsh wlan stop hostednetwork in the open PowerShell window. Any devices that are currently connected will be disconnected at this point and the ad-hoc network will no longer be visible to other devices.

Once an ad-hoc network has been established, you can use it to share files across devices or use internet connection sharing to share an existing internet connection.

Connecting Two Computers Wirelessly Using Bluetooth

While a WiFi network (permanent or ad hoc) is a great way to connect two computers wirelessly, an alternative is to use Bluetooth to create a connection. While the available range and speeds require both devices to be nearby, Bluetooth has been designed with short-term connections in mind.

To connect two devices wirelessly using Bluetooth, you’ll need to make sure that both devices have Bluetooth connectivity. Many modern laptops and PCs come with Bluetooth built-in, but you can use an external USB Bluetooth adapter to make a connection if it’s missing.

  1. To start, make sure that Bluetooth is turned on on the devices you’re looking to connect. You can do this on Windows 10 by selecting the action center icon in the bottom-right corner of the taskbar, then selecting the Bluetooth card to the On position.

  1. Next, open the Settings menu by right-clicking the Start menu and selecting the Settings option.

  1. In the Settings menu, go to the Devices > Bluetooth & other devices menu, then select the Add Bluetooth or other device button.
  1. In the Add a device window, select the Bluetooth option.

  1. A list of nearby Bluetooth devices will appear in the next menu. Select the other computer you wish to connect with to begin to establish a connection. You may need to authenticate by typing in a PIN code that will be displayed on both screens.

  1. Once you’ve established a connection, right-click the Bluetooth icon in the notifications area of your taskbar. From the menu, select the Send a File or Receive a File option to send or receive files, or Join a Personal Area Network to join or create a shared network that allows you to share an internet connection with the other device.

Using WiFi Direct to Send Files Wirelessly

If you’re struggling with an ad-hoc WiFi or Bluetooth connection, you could use WiFi Direct to share files instead. Windows fully supports the WiFi Direct standard, but to make things easier, you’ll need to use a third-party app called Feem to share files and establish connectivity instead.

If you plan on establishing a WiFi Direct connection on Windows, you’ll need to make sure that your WiFi adapter or device on at least one device supports the Microsoft Virtual WiFi Miniport Adapter. If this isn’t available, you won’t be able to create a WiFi Direct-capable network for another PC to connect to.

  1. To send files using WiFi Direct, download and install Feem for your operating system. Feem supports Windows, Linux, and macOS devices.

  1. Once Feem is installed on your PC or Mac, launch it. In the Feem window, select the Turn on Wi-Fi Direct slider to turn on the WiFi Direct network.

  1. On the other device, make sure to connect to the network created by Feem, beginning with FeemWiFi (eg. FeemWiFi-EducatedPelican). Once you’re connected, the other devices will be listed in the Feem window. Select the other PC in the Feem list, then select the Send File option to send a file to that PC.

  1. On the other device, the file being sent will appear in the Feem chat log. Selecting the file will give you options to open it, or view it in Windows File Explorer.

Creating a Mobile Hotspot Using a Smartphone or Tablet

As Windows’ ad-hoc mode shows, creating a temporary wireless network can be a good way to connect two computers wirelessly for a short period of time, but that relies on you having a Windows PC around to do so.

An easier method is to use your smartphone or tablet to create a temporary wireless network instead. This turns your tablet or smartphone into a wireless router, allowing other types of devices to connect through it to share files or an internet connection.

The benefit of this method is that, by setting up a mobile hotspot, your mobile data connection will be shared with all devices that connect to it. Android devices running Android 2.2 and later, as well as iPhones or iPads running iOS 4.2.5 and later (including iPadOS), are capable of becoming a mobile hotspot.

  1. To do this on Android, open the Settings app. The settings menu will vary for different Android devices and versions, but select Network & Internet or Connections > Mobile Hotspot and Tethering.

  1. In the Mobile Hotspot and Tethering menu (or Hotspot and Tethering on older devices), tap the Mobile Hotspot option, then tap the slider to the On position. Make note of the Password or change it, if required.

  1. On iPhone or iPad, open the Settings app. In the menu, tap Mobile Data or Personal Hotspot (depending on the device), then tap the Personal Hotspot slider to the On position. Take note of (or change) the Wi-Fi Password, as you’ll need this to connect to your temporary network.

  1. Once the WiFi hotspot is active, connect to the network using the selected password on both devices.

While a mobile hotspot will only be able to connect a small number of devices together, it will allow you to connect at least two devices together wirelessly. Once connected, you can then use existing services to share files between platforms or use shared services.

Using a Portable WiFi Router

While a smartphone or tablet can create a quick, temporary mobile network, a better solution for a wider number of devices is to use a portable WiFi router. These have been designed for establishing simple temporary networks while you’re away from home, but can also be used in day-to-day usage for two PCs or laptops to connect.

Devices like the TP-Link WR902AC create a network that any WiFi-capable device can connect to. More advanced routers, like the Huawei E5577Cs-321, also include built-in 4G connectivity, offering a dedicated mobile internet connection for devices that connect to it.

Most portable routers don’t require any setup—simply plug-in and connect. Others come packaged with a mobile app that can allow for quick configuration and device monitoring.

Other Connection Methods

If you’re researching how to connect two computers wirelessly, then the methods above offer your best options, with the ability to share files, internet connections, play games, and more.

If you’re trying to link two computers together, the easiest method is to join them to the same network. Wired connections using ethernet work best for speed and reliability, but it’s easy enough to link together two devices wirelessly, especially if you have an existing wireless network available to use.

If you don’t have an existing network, you could create an ad-hoc wireless network, use Bluetooth to make the connection, or use a portable WiFi router or a smartphone to create a temporary network for you. If you want to know how to connect two computers wirelessly, here’s what you’ll need to do.

Ben Stockton is a freelance technology writer based in the United Kingdom. In a past life, Ben was a college lecturer in the UK, training teens and adults. Since leaving the classroom, Ben has taken his teaching experience and applied it to writing tech how-to guides and tutorials, specialising in Linux, Windows, and Android. He has a degree in History and a postgraduate qualification in Computing. Read Ben’s Full Bio

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Why you can’t connect to Wi-Fi at home and what to do about it

“Why can’t I connect to Wi-Fi?!” We’ve all said it. Here’s how to troubleshoot common Wi-Fi connection problems at home.

Wifi connection issues at home

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You get home and try to connect your laptop to your home Wi-Fi. It usually connects right away, but for some reason, the network won’t let you on. Or you get a brand new phone, but when you bring it home, you can’t get it connected to your Wi-Fi. What’s going on with your Wi-Fi?

There are many issues that might be the reason your internet isn’t working. Many times, your fix is as easy as plugging a modem or router back in after a pet accidentally pulled it out. Sometimes, restarting your laptop’s network driver (the hardware that lets a device communicate to other devices and can be called the network adapter) can get it connected to Wi-Fi again. Use this guide to potential internet network problems to figure out why you can’t connect to Wi-Fi at home and how you can fix it on your own.

Check these Wi-Fi network issues first

  1. Is your router unplugged or did power to it cut out? Your solution may be as simple as restarting your router or plugging it back in.
  2. Is your device trying to connect to a different Wi-Fi network? Although your device typically connects right to your home Wi-Fi network, it may be trying to connect to a different network. You might have to manually make it connect to your home network and forget the other one.
  3. Did your Wi-Fi password change recently? You may need to reenter the new password in your device if it didn’t automatically save the changed passkey.
  4. Are other websites or internet browsers working? Sometimes, certain websites or servers go down. Check other sites or use another web browser to verify whether it’s your Wi-Fi or just a specific site.
  5. Can you connect if you move your device closer to your router? If you normally have a strong signal in rooms far away from your router but suddenly can’t connect, take your device closer to your router. If it can pick up a signal in a closer room, you may have a long-range signal issue, not a Wi-Fi connection problem.

Our Tip: Learn about how Wi-Fi interference from other networks can affect your speed!

Troubleshoot device connectivity issues

Many times, your laptop or phone is actually the source of your connection issue. Connection problems range from software issues to network adapter glitches, so it’s a good idea to start with troubleshooting your smart devices.

How to tell if you have device problems

If you’ve been able to connect your device to your home Wi-Fi network before, but suddenly can’t, it’s most likely a device problem.

How to fix different device problems

1. As your typical IT guy will tell you, your first step is to restart your device. This is a standard troubleshooting solution and could be the fix you need to get connected to Wi-Fi again.

2. Your next step is to check your network adapter. Sometimes connection issues arise because your computer’s network adapter might not be enabled.

On a Windows computer, check your network adapter by selecting it on the Network Connections Control Panel. Make sure the Wireless connection option is enabled.

On a Mac, look for the Wi-Fi (AirPort) card in the top right corner of your screen (next to the sound and battery icons in your menu). Click on the option to “Turn Wi-Fi On.” If your menu icon doesn’t show anything in the menu bar, Apple recommends selecting “System Preferences” from the main Apple menu, selecting the Network icon and then clicking on Wi-Fi. From there, check the box to “Show Wi-Fi status in menu bar.”

To check if your wireless adapter is enabled on other Apple devices, check your settings to make sure the device isn’t in airplane mode and that Wi-Fi connectivity is on. On Android devices, check your settings to make sure the device’s airplane mode is off and that Wi-Fi is on.

3. Another network adapter related issue for computers could be that your network adapter driver is out of date. Essentially, computer drivers are pieces of software telling your computer hardware how to work. Updating your network adapter drivers by going to your Device Manager, selecting Network Adapters and then selecting Update Driver. Follow the instructions and after your computer restarts, see if you can connect to the Wi-Fi again.

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4. If that doesn’t work, investigate potential hardware or software problems. Hardware problems aren’t prevalent, but an older computer or tablet’s network adapter could suddenly stop working if it overheats. To fix hardware issues, you can take your device to a repair store and see if they can assist in replacing any hardware. Depending on the age of your computer or other device, you may need to purchase a newer version of it.

Software issues might come up if you have a computer virus, which could disable or block your ability to connect to Wi-Fi. You’ll want to scan your computer or device for viruses and remove any if found. Then restart your computer and try connecting again.

Troubleshoot Wi-Fi network issues

Wireless network issues range from a specific router channel being overcrowded to router settings that mess with your connection. If your device isn’t responsible for connectivity issues, try these tips for evaluating your home network.

How to tell if you have network problems

If you’ve tried troubleshooting potential device problems, but they didn’t work, then you probably have a network issue. You can confirm it’s your network and not your device by trying to connect other smart devices to your Wi-Fi network.

How to fix your network problems

1. Just as your IT guy starts with a computer reboot, your internet service provider will tell you to unplug your modem and then plug it back in. If that doesn’t work, unplug your router, give it a minute and then plug it back in. Sometimes, restarting your modem or router will reset your network and the issue magically disappears.

2. Next, check your wireless network configuration. Many routers today use dual-band technology to extend the router’s range and Wi-Fi speeds. That means your router enables Wi-Fi communication via 2.4 GHz channels or 5 GHz channels.

However, settings on your router could have changed without you knowing and require your device to use a specific channel. Sometimes those channels appear like separate Wi-Fi networks on your device. Your phone or laptop may try to connect to a specific channel that seems available, but it’s not the network connection your router now requires. Check what channel your router’s using by logging into your router’s web interface.

Once you figure out if your router is set to a specific channel, you can also reset which channel your router uses. Resetting the channel can fix connection issues caused by an overcrowded Wi-Fi channel. Most 2.4 GHz routers come with a default channel of 6, but you can change the channel by logging into your router’s control panel using the router IP address.

3. Reset your network by using your laptop. In Windows, go to “Settings,” then “Network & Internet,” then “Status” and click on “Network Reset.”

In a Mac operating system, Apple recommends you check your TCP/IP settings in your “System Preferences” Network pane. There, click the “Renew DHCP lease” button. Then select Wi-Fi and you’ll see your “Preferred Networks.” Click OK and navigate to your stored network passwords using “Keychain Access Utility.” There, remove your stored network passwords and restart your computer.

4. Check that your wireless network adapter’s SSID is available and what its status is. If your Network Adapter reads “Not Connected,” click “Connect.” One of two things may happen. If you can’t connect to your network, you may need to debug your wireless network settings (an advanced, technical troubleshooting issue). Or, your status may say “Acquiring Network Address” or “Authenticating.” If that happens, you may need to click “Diagnose” to fix an IP address issue.

Internet service provider issues

You might be blocked entirely from Wi-Fi due to any of the following problems that can only be fixed by your internet service provider:

  • You haven’t paid your bill
  • You were illegally transmitting/storing specific types of information
  • There’s a weather- or disaster-related network issue

How to tell if you have internet service provider problems

The first thing you can do is go to your internet provider’s customer service site to check if local outages are affecting your connection.

If there aren’t local outages, call your internet provider. They may tell you about outages that haven’t been updated online yet. They can also let you know if you can’t get a connection because you have late payments or because they detected illegal data on your network.

Another Wi-Fi issue you might experience related to your provider is internet throttling. Run a standard internet speed test and then a VPN speed test during different online activities and different times of the day. You can then compare the speeds and see if your internet provider is throttling your internet connection.

How to fix your provider problems

Some provider-related problems are out of your control. For instance, you may just have to wait out weather issues that have taken down cables.

However, if late payments have resulted in disconnection, talk to your provider about paying to restore your internet service.

If illegal content transmission resulted in no service, pay any related fines and talk to your provider about how you can get service restored.

If you notice that your provider seems to be throttling your internet unfairly, let your internet service provider know. Call them, email them and visit a retail store with your speed test data in hand. Keep in mind that some internet plans have terms and conditions that allow for internet throttling, so you may not be able to resolve the slow connection issues from throttling.

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Get connected and maximize your speeds

Once your Wi-Fi’s up and running again, you can use different strategies such as moving your router or tinkering with its settings to make your internet faster. Some of the same strategies that can get your laptop reconnected to your network could also speed up your browsing, such as giving your hard drive a good sweep and updating specific programs or software.

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WiFi Network Not Showing Up on Computer [Best Fixes]

Here are some solutions for you to try. You don’t need to try them all; just try each one in turn until everything’s working again.

  1. Enable the WiFi service
  2. Turn on WLAN AutoConfig service
  3. Update WiFi network driver
  4. Restart your modem and wifi router
  5. Enable SSID broadcast for your WiFi
  6. Check the device interference
  7. Switch to ChromeOS

Why is my WiFi network not showing up in my computer?

Generally speaking, there are several causes for this issue:

  • The WiFi problem
  • The connecting problem
  • The incorrect WiFi configuration in your WiFi router and your computer
  • The missing or outdated WiFi driver issue

However, the good news is you can easily troubleshoot your problem and solve it. This guideline introduces 6 methods for you to troubleshoot.

Method 1: Enable the WiFi service

The problem happens most likely because your Windows disables the WiFi service. You can’t connect to the WiFi if your Windows disables it. So you can try these steps to enable WiFi service. There are two places you can check.

Way 1: Enable the WiFi service with the WiFi switch

Some laptops, such as HP, Lenovo, Dell, have a switch or a key on your keyboard to turn on/off WiFi (like Fn+F5). Check the switch or keys and turn your WiFi service on.

Way 2: Check your network settings

If you don’t have the WiFi switch on your laptop or computer, you can check it in your system.

1) Right click the Internet icon, and click Open Network and Sharing Center.

2) Click Change adapter settings.

3) Right click WiFi, and click Enable. Note: if it has enabled, you will see Disable when right click on WiFi (also referred to Wireless Network Connection in different computers).

4) Restart your Windows and reconnect to your WiFi again.

Method 2: Turn on WLAN AutoConfig service

WLAN AutoConfig service (also referred to Wireless Configuration in Windows XP) can configure wireless security and connectivity settings. When enabled, WLAN AutoConfig settings apply to all IEEE 802.11 wireless network adapters installed on your computer. Moreover, when the WiFi becomes available, it will automatically connect to a preferred wireless network. You can follow these steps to enable it:

1) On your keyboard, press Windows logo key + R at the same time to invoke the Run box, and type services.msc, then press Enter.

2) Right click Wlan AutoConfig (if you are using Windows XP, right click Wireless Configuration), and click Properties.

3) Select Automatic in Startup type, then click Apply, and click OK

4) Restart your PC and reconnect to your WiFi network to see if your WiFi shows up.

Method 3: Update WiFi network driver

Wireless network driver allows your operating system to communicate with your wireless and network adapters. If your wireless network is not showing up on laptop, it is probably due to the missing, outdated, or corrupt drivers.

There are two ways to update drivers: manually and automatically.

Manually update driver – You can manually update the network driver by searching the correct driver that is matched with your Windows OS on the manufacturer’s website, and install it in your computer. This requires the time and computer skills.

Automatically update driver – If you don’t have time or patience to manually update drivers, you can do that automatically with Driver Easy.

Driver Easy will detect the drivers condition in your computer, and install the correct drivers for your PC. More importantly, with Driver Easy, you don’t need to struggle figuring out the Operating System, and you don’t need to worry about making mistakes while processing. That will tremendously save your time and patience.

You can update your drivers automatically with either the FREE or Pro version of Driver Easy. It only takes 2 simple clicks with the Pro version (and you will get full support and a 30-day money back guarantee).

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1) Download and install Driver Easy (at first connect your computer to the Internet via Ethernet cable).

2) Run Driver Easy and click Scan Now. Then Driver Easy will scan your computer and detect any problem drivers

3) Click Update button next to the driver name to download the correct driver (you can do that with the FREE version), then install it in your computer.

Or click Update All to automatically download and install the correct version of all the problem drivers (you can do that with Pro version, and you will be prompted to upgrade when you click Update All).

4) After updating the drivers, restart your computer, then connect to the WiFi network again, and see if your problem solves.

Method 4: Restart your modem and WiFi router

If the problem occurs to your own WiFi network at home, you can also check the WiFi itself to see if it’s your WiFi issue, including the router issue, SSID broadcast and device interference mentioned below.

This problem can be probably caused by the Internet Service Provider (ISP) issue. Restarting your modem and wireless router can help you reconnect to your ISP. Note: anyone who is connecting to the network will be disconnected temporarily while you are doing this.

1) Unplug your wireless router and modem from power source (remove the battery if your modem has a battery backup).

2) Wait for at least 30 seconds.

3) Plug your wireless router and modem back into power source again (put the battery back to the modem).

4) On your PC, reconnect to your WiFi network, then see if it shows up.

What is WiFi Network Frequency

Tips: If it is the first time to connect to the WiFi, you will need to pay attention to the WiFi network frequency. You can’t connect if your computer uses mismatched frequency with your router’s.

Usually WiFi network frequency has 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. Luckily many routers are dual-band model now, so it both supports 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz band. To check your WiFi network frequency, you can go to the router manufacturer’s website. While you can also check your Windows WiFi network frequency: type netsh wlan show drivers in the Command Prompt and press Enter, then it will show you the supported protocols.

Generally speaking, 802.11a/ac uses the 5 GHz band, 802.11b/g uses the 2.4 GHz band, and 802.11n uses either the 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz band. if they don’t match or include the frequencies of your router, the WiFi network won’t show up on your computer.

Method 5: Enable SSID broadcast for your WiFi

Service Set Identifier (SSID) broadcast is what makes your WiFi network visible to your network adapter. Once you disable SSID broadcast, your WiFi network won’t show up in the list.

Tips: Many people disable SSID broadcast for security concerns. By doing this, they can hide the WiFi network, so the network name won’t be seen by others. But the first time to connect to the WiFi network, you’ll have to configure the profile settings manually, including the network name and security mode. After making the initial connection, devices can remember these settings and will not need to be specially configured again.

You can try the instructions below to enable your SSID broadcast. The specific interface may vary from different computers. Here we take TP-link WiFi router as an example:

1) Go and see the IP address, username and password on your wireless router.

2) Open your browser on PC or mobile phone (connect to the Internet via Ethernet cable on your PC or use mobile phone that has internet connection).

3) Type the IP address in your browser, and press Enter.

4) Type your User name and Password, then click Login.

5) Go to Wireless > Wireless Settings. Check the box next to Enable SSID broadcast, and click Save.

7) Restart your PC and reconnect to your WiFi network.

Method 6: Check the device interference

The WiFi signals can be interfered by many household devices, such as your cordless phone, microwave oven, Bluetooth speaker, etc. because they use the same 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz frequencies. Therefore, you can check these devices to see if it’s where the problem lies in.

1) Turn off those devices, and unplug the power source

2) On your PC, try to connect your WiFi again, and see if it shows up.

3) If the problem solves, it seems to result from the devices interference. Then move your modem and wireless router to another place, so they are not in the same light with the household devices.

In addition to the way mentioned above, you can also buy a 5 GHz router or dual band router, because many household devices use the frequency of 2.4GHz. So using a router of 5 GHz can avoid most interference.

Method 7: Switch to ChromeOS

Windows is a very old technology. Sure, Windows 10 is relatively new, but it’s still just the latest iteration of a decades-old operating system, designed for a bygone era (pre-internet).

Now that we have the internet, fast connection speeds, free cloud storage, and endless web apps (like Gmail, Google Docs, Slack, Facebook, Dropbox and Spotify), the entire Windows way of doing things – with locally installed programs and local file storage – is totally outdated.

Why is that a problem? Because when you’re constantly installing uncontrolled third-party programs, you’re constantly opening the door to viruses and other malware. (And Windows’ insecure permission system compounds this problem.)

Plus the way Windows manages installed software and hardware has always been a problem. If your computer shuts down unexpectedly, or a program installs, uninstalls or updates incorrectly, you can get ‘registry’ corruptions. That’s why Windows PCs always slow down and become unstable over time.

Also because everything’s installed and saved locally, it doesn’t take long before you run out of disk space, and your disk gets fragmented, which makes everything even slower and more unstable.

For most people, the simplest way to solve Windows problems is to ditch Windows altogether, and switch to a faster, more reliable, more secure, easier to use and cheaper operating system…

ChromeOS feels much like Windows, but instead of installing heaps of programs to email, chat, browse the internet, write documents, do school presentations, create spreadsheets, and whatever else you normally do on a computer, you use web apps. You don’t need to install anything at all.

That means you don’t have virus and malware problems, and your computer doesn’t slow down over time, or become unstable.

And that’s just the start of the benefits…

To learn more about the benefits of ChromeOS, and to see comparison videos and demos, visit GoChromeOS.com.

That’s all about it. If it helps, share with us which method that helps. If the WiFi network still doesn’t show up in the network list, and you are not sure how to deal with it, please feel free to leave us a comment below and we will see what more we can do to help.

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WiFi connected but no Internet? Fix it in 5 min!

A problem we all have encountered ones at least. You can connect to your (new) WiFi network, but you don’t have internet access. We are going to fix the WiFi connected but no Internet problem in 5 minutes.

The error indicates that your (Windows 10) computer or phone can connect to your local network, but it can’t connect to the internet. To fix the problem, we first need to know the problem only happens to one device or all devices in the network.

I have split the solutions into multiple scenarios and listed the most common issue (and solution for it) on top so you can fix your internet access. After you applied any of the following changes it can sometimes take a minute before it has an effect. If you are using Firefox, for example, it will take a minute before Firefox clears it’s own DNS cache.

WiFi Connected no Internet Error

You can recognize the problem in Windows by a world symbol with a no access symbol through it or on your mobile phone by a small cross in the Wi-Fi icon.

The error message can be something like No internet access or Wifi connected but no internet.

Important is to first test if it’s only one device that has the problem or multiple devices. When multiple devices have the problem then the cause can be related to one of the following:

  • Problem with your Router or modem
  • Problem with your wireless network (test your network with a network cable first)
  • ISP is down

When only a single device can’t connect to the internet, then the problem is most likey related to one of the following issues:

  • Corrupt DNS Cache
  • Wrong DNS server configured
  • Wrong or outdated network information (IP address / Gateway)
  • Anti-virus or firewall is causing problems
  • Wireless adapter related issue

Only one device can’t connect to WiFi

In most cases is it just one device that gets the error Wifi connected but no internet and can’t connect to the internet. To fix this issue we are going to focus on that device alone. There is no need to restart the router or access point if other devices can connect to the internet.

1. Device works somewhere else fine – Flush DNS

So your laptop is working fine at home or school (or any other location), but not here. We can then safely assume that it’s not an issue with drivers. The most common problem is a problem with the DNS. The DNS is responsible to translate a domain name to their corresponding IP Addresses.

Start with the following steps:

  1. Press Windows key + R ( a Run dialogue box will appear)
  2. Type the following command ipconfig /flushdns and press enter
  3. Check your internet access again

flush dns

What we just did is flushing the DNS cache. This removes all known DNS addresses from your device. This way your computer will request a new (and correct) address from the correct DNS server. It’s normal that you will only see the dialogue box for a brief moment (or even not at all).

If you are not an admin on your computer, then you will have to run the command in admin mode. You can do this simply with the following steps:

  1. Press Windows key +X
  2. Select command (admin) or PowerShell (admin)
  3. Type the following command ipconfig /flushdns and press enter
  4. Check your internet access again

WiFi connected no Internet

2. Setting a fixed DNS server

Most problems are DNS server related, if flushing the DNS cache doesn’t work, then we can try to set a fixed DNS server. Normally, when you connect to a network, the router will tell your device what DNS server to use. By setting a DNS server statically we tell our computer to always use that particular server.

You can safely change this setting. After you have set a static DNS server, you can still connect to the internet on other networks without any problems.

  1. Right-click on Start and select Network Connections
  2. Select Change Adapter Options
  3. Open your Network Adapter by double-clicking on the Wi-Fi Adapter
  1. Select Properties
  2. Select Internet Protocol version 4 (TCP/IPv4) and then Properties
  3. Check the box “Use the following DNS-Server
  4. Enter for preferred DNS-Server: 8.8.8.8 and for alternate DNS-Server 8.8.4.4
  1. Click OK and close the other windows.
  2. Check your internet connection again.

The address 8.8.8.8 and the alternate DNS-Server address are the IP Addresses from the DNS server from Google. These are some of the fastest DNS servers in the world. If you are concern about your privacy or looking for the fastest DNS server for your location, then you should read this article where I tell you more about finding the fastest DNS servers.

3. Get a new Ip Address with neth winsock reset

So flushing your DNS or setting a static DNS server didn’t work? And you still have only one device in the network that has the WiFi connected but no Internet error? Then we are going to reset the IP Address, or better, we are going to request a new IP Address from the router.

When your device connects to a network it will request an IP Address from the local router. It uses DHCP for this and the router has a pool of IP Addresses available so network device doesn’t conflict with each other.

First we are going to check if your network adapter is configured correctly to receive the IP Address from the router.

  1. Follow the steps in Step 2 to open the network adapter again
  2. Make sure Obtain an IP address automatically is selected.
  3. Click Ok to close the windows

To reset your network you can try to simply reboot your device. Don’t close and open the lid of your notebook, but go to start and reboot it properly. But if that doesn’t help then we will try to manually reset the network:

  1. Press Windows key +X
  2. Select command (admin) or PowerShell (admin)
  3. Enter the following command netsh int ip reset
  4. Reboot your computer

With this command, we have reset the TCP/IP protocol. After you reboot your computer you should be able to connect to the internet again.

4. Driver related issue

Another common problem is an outdated driver. Windows 10 gets updated regularly and sometimes the drivers of your computer are outdated to communicate with Windows. This way it can happen that your notebook was working fine, but after a reboot suddenly can’t connect to your wireless network anymore.

  1. Press Windows key + X
  2. Select Device Manager
  3. Expand Network adapters
  4. Find your Wireless network adapter
  5. Right-click and select Update Driver software
  6. Select Search automatically for updated driver software
  7. Windows will search for a newer driver and install it.

connected but no Internet

If Windows couldn’t find a better or newer driver you can always check the site of your notebook manufacturer (Hp, Dell, Lenovo, etc) to manually check if there is an update for your device.

If you see an exclamation mark in the device management list then there is definitely a driver issue. Try to find a new driver or install an older version from the manufacturer’s website.

5. Disable Fast Startup in Windows

Windows 10 comes with a fast startup mode that is turned on by default. With fast startup, your computer doesn’t really shut down, but only logs the user out and then goes into hibernation mode. This way the computer can boot faster, but it also can cause some issues, like network settings that are not renewed.

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We can turn Fast Startup of to see if it solves our internet access issue:

  1. Press Windows key + X
  2. Select Power Options
  3. Select Additional power settings on the right side or bottom
  4. Click on Choose what the power buttons do on the left side
  5. Click on Change settings that are currently unavailable
  6. Turn off the fast startup
  7. Click Save changes and reboot your computer

6. Turn off IPv6 support in your router or computer

Most new network devices support IPv6, which is a new network protocol for addressing IP Addresses. While IPv6 works for most devices, it can also cause network problems. You can safely turn IPv6 off in your home network because all devices support the older IPv4 protocol.

The best place to turn it off is your router. Each router is different, but in general login to your router, look for Network Settings, LAN or DHCP and turn of IPv6.

To turn it of on your computer:

  1. Right-click on Start and select Network Connections
  2. Select Change Adapter Options
  3. Open your Network Adapter by double-clicking on the Wi-Fi Adapter
  1. Select Properties
  2. Turn off Internet Protocol version 6 (TCP/IPv6)
  3. Click ok, and reboot your computer.

wifi connected but no internet windows 10

7. Turn-off 5Ghz – Change wireless network standard

Almost every laptop and mobile phone these days supports both 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz wireless networks. The latter is faster but has a shorter range. When possible devices will always try to use the 5Ghz wireless networks.

Sometimes the WiFi Connected but no Internet error comes to a problem with the 5Ghz network, maybe a broken antenna, or a bug in the driver or access point.

We can our laptop to connect over 2.4Ghz to see if the 5Ghz is the problem:

  1. Right-click on Start and select Network Connections
  2. Select Change Adapter Options
  3. Open your Network Adapter by double-clicking on the Wi-Fi Adapter
  4. Click on Configure
  1. Open the tab Advanced
  2. Select 802.11n/ac wireless mode and change it to off

Turnoff 5ghz wireless network

7. You laptop should now connect over the 2.4Ghz channel.

If this works, you can try to set the 802.11n/ac wireless mode to 802.11n. Then you still can use the faster 5Ghz bandwidth, but only with a slower protocol.

To further fix the issue you should test if another device can connect over the 5Ghz. If not, then the there is the problem with your access point, try updating the firmware. If your laptop is the only device with the problem, then try updating the driver.

8. Disable or remove anti-virus / security software

Some security software can be the problem of internet connection errors. They block outgoing network traffic due to a fault or configuration error.

The fast option to test if the anti-virus or security software is the problem is by disabling or removing it. Just make sure you restart your computer before you test it again.

WiFi Connected but no Internet on a mobile phone (iPhone/Android)

Not only computers can have problems with the wireless network connection, but also mobile phones are sometimes unable to connect to the internet. To solve the WiFi has no Internet Access error on your phone we can try a couple of things.

I assume you already restarted your phone and router, because these are the basic steps you always should do first.

1. Forget Wi-Fi and Reconnect

First, we are going to reset only the wireless network that is causing the problem on your phone. By forgetting the wireless network and reconnecting to it we make sure that the network setting on the phone is renewed.

  1. Open the Wireless networks on your phone
  2. Tap on the Wi-Fi network name
  3. Tap forget and confirm it
  4. Reconnect to the Wireless network by tapping on the name in the Wi-Fi list.

2. Reset network settings

When we reset the network settings, then all the stored wireless network password on your phone are lost. So make sure that your phone is the only device that is having issues with the network.

Andriod

  1. Open Settings
  2. Scroll down to System and open it
  3. Tap Advanced
  4. Tap either Reset or Reset Options
  5. Tap Reset Wifi, mobile, and Bluetooth or Reset network settings
  6. Confirm it and your device will restart.

Iphone

  1. Open Settings
  2. Tap General > Reset
  3. Tap Reset Network Settings

3. Set if fixed DNS Server

If it still doesn’t work then the problem might be related to a DNS issue. Setting a fixed DNS server can solve this.

The easiest option is to install the free app from Cloudflare which will change your DNS server to 1.1.1.1, a free DNS server that will make your internet safer and faster. You can enable and disable the app with a simple switch so it’s safe to try it out.

Multiple devices with Wifi connected but no Internet access

If you have more than one device that has its wifi connected but no internet access then we have to look at your router or access point for the problem. Sometimes the solution is simple, just restart the router and/or access point (make sure you leave it off for at least 30 seconds), but if that doesn’t help we need to take it one step further.

The question we need to ask is if it has worked or not. If the problem occurred suddenly and you didn’t change anything on your network then a problem with your ISP or a faulty cable is most likely the cause.

Connected a new access point

But what if you have connected a new access point? You can connect to the new wireless network, but you don’t have internet access. This happens because of a configuration error in your access point.

The access point extends your network wireless, but your router is still in control of the assigned IP Addresses in your network. So the first thing you need to check is if you have disabled DHCP in your access point. The router will assign an Ip address to the wireless connected clients.

When both devices are running DHCP you could end up with Ip conflicts (two devices using the same Ip address) or the access point may give the wrong information (wrong Ip range, gateway address, or DNS servers).

Also, make sure that the access point has an Ip address in the range of the router. If you want to know more about setting up your home network, you can check this article with the best practices for your home network.

Router / Access point problem

If no one can connect to the internet then you will have to look for the problem in the router or access point. First, try to reboot the router or access point. Make sure your turn it off for at least 30 sec. This way all caches will reset resulting in a fresh start.

Give your device a couple of minutes to start up and try it again. If that didn’t solve the problem you can try to reset the device. Remember, if you (factory) reset the router or access point all configuration items can be lost. So make sure you have a backup of the configuration or have written down the most important information.

Network Repeaters

Wireless network repeaters seems like useful devices, just plug it in and they can extend your wireless network. But they are truly terrible when it comes to network stability and performance.

If you are connected to a wireless network of a repeater and you get the error WiFi connected but no Internet, then most likely the network connection between the repeater and your router is lost. Try to reset your repeater, or move the base station closer to your router.

It’s always better to use wired connectioned and access points that are connected to your router with a network cable, then to use repeaters.

To flush the local DNS on a chrome book you need to open the following url: chrome://net-internals/#dns, press the “Clear host cache” button.

Your device is connected to your local network, but is unable to reach internet. Flush your DNS and restart your router.

You can safely pull out to power cable of your router to restart it. Wait 10 seconds before you plug it back in

Conclusion

I hope you were able to solve the WiFi connected but no Internet error on your Windows 10 computer, Android device, or iPhone with the tips in this article. If you have any questions, then just drop a comment below.

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How To See Who Is Connected To My WiFi

Have you noticed your WiFi working slower than usual? Before digging into how to boost your signal and improve WiFi performance, find out who is connected to your WiFi network.

Many devices in your house could be connected to your WiFi network, like laptops, smartphones, tablets, as well as smart bulbs, and home assistants. However, it could just be strangers logging in that’s causing your WiFi signal to lose speed.

There can be many different reasons why you’d like to know what devices are connected to your WiFi. Luckily, it’s an easy check. There are two ways you can go about this: Through your router’s web interface, or using network scanning software. For better results, try both ways and see if you find the same connected devices on the list.

See Who Is Connected To WiFi With Your Router

Your best option is to check your wireless router. You can do it in just a few minutes and don’t need to download any third-party apps to perform the check.

One thing you need before you do this is your wireless router’s IP address.

How to Find Your Router’s IP Address

In order to log into your router’s web interface, you’ll need to open a browser on any of your devices that are connected to your router. Then open a new browser tab and type your router’s IP address into the address bar.

Most routers have a default IP address of 192.168.0.1 or 192.168.1.1. If you tried typing both of them into your browser and neither of them works, you can find your router’s IP address on the backside of your wireless router.

If you’re still not sure what your router IP address is, there are a few more ways to find it. Some are more complicated than others.

The easy way to do it on Windows is by using the Command Prompt utility. When you launch the utility, type the ipconfig command and press Enter.

From there, you’ll find your IP address under Default Gateway.

On Mac, click on the WiFi icon in the menu bar and choose Open Network Preferences.

In your Network settings, choose Wi-Fi from the left-side menu and click Advanced in the bottom-right corner of the window.

Then choose the TCP/IP tab in the next window. There you’ll find your IP address under Router.

How To See Who’s Connected To Your Wifi Network

Now that you have your IP address, open a new browser tab and type it in. This will take you to the router’s login page. Some routers will have admin and password as the default login credentials.

Alternatively, you can find those details on the backside of your router together with the IP address. If you have changed that previously, enter your new details to log in. If you don’t remember your username and password, you can reset the router and then use the default credentials to log in.

After you log in, you’ll need to navigate to the list of connected devices. Depending on your router, this information could be located in different places.

Some routers will have all the devices listed on the main page under WiFi.

On D-Link routers, you have to go to Status tab and find Wireless Clients to get the list of the devices.

On Verizon routers the section you need is called My Network. While on Netgear, you need to look for Attached Devices.

No matter what router you’re using, the list of connected devices normally offer the same information. You’ll see some sort of table that includes the hostname and MAC address for every device on the list.

When you see a device you don’t recognise, your first intention will probably be to boot it off your network. However, before you do that, make sure to check whether it’s actually a stranger feeding off your WiFi, or one of your devices that you simply didn’t recognize. A good way to do this is to compare the device’s MAC address from the list to the MAC addresses of the devices you own that could be connected to your wireless network.

Use a Network Scanner To See Who’s Using Your WiFi

Using your router’s web interface is the ideal way of checking who’s connected to your WiFi. However, there are other methods you can use. If your router doesn’t offer an option to see the list via its web interface, you can download software to your computer that will scan the WiFi network you’re using and list the connected devices.

There are quite a few different network scanners out there that you can use. To name a few tools that have proven its worth, we recommend LanScan for Mac, SoftPerfect for Windows and Mac, and Angry IP Scanner for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

The only downside is that these apps will only list active devices – the ones that are currently online. That means you won’t see any devices that are currently offline on the list.

Secure Your WiFi Network

In a situation where you need to give someone access to your local network, there’s a safe way to do that. At the same time, if you’re worried about someone hijacking your WiFi, it’s time to secure your network. Doing this will keep anyone from using your internet connection to perform malicious acts. It’ll also give you peace of mind.

Have you ever checked who’s been using your WiFi? What tools did you use to do that? Share your experience with us in the comments below.

Anya is a freelance technology writer. Originally from Russia, she is currently a full-time Remote Worker and Digital Nomad. With a background in Journalism, Language Studies, and Technical Translation, Anya couldn’t imagine her life and work without using modern technology on a daily basis. Always looking out for new ways to make her life and location-independent lifestyle easier, she hopes to share her experiences as a tech- and internet-addict through her writing. Read Anya’s Full Bio

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