Are You Dropping WiFi Connections in Windows? These Tips Can Help!

Follow these steps if you have trouble with your Wi-Fi in Windows

Dropped WiFi Connections in Windows
Image: Pixabay
February 27, 2017

Ever want to get online but receive an error message that the connection is unavailable? We know your pain. We"ve investigated the issue and have a step-by-step series of procedures for you to consider.

  1. Reboot.
  2. Rebooting your hardware can often solve your problems. Power down your computer and remove the plug from the wall. For laptops, also remove the battery. Afterwards, unplug the modem and the router from the wall. Wait a few seconds to allow residual power to discharge from the devices and then plug them back in, starting with the modem. Once you have allowed the modem to boot completely, plug in the router. Once the router has booted, power on your devices. Evaluate to see if it solved your problems.

  3. Update firmware on your modem and router
  4. Many modems cannot be serviced by the consumer, but most routers can be. Consult the manufacturer"s website for instructions on how to upgrade the firmware of your device. In many cases, it"s easy and takes less than ten minutes. Most routers receive firmware updates every year or two, with some receiving them more frequently. Many new routers update their firmware automatically.

  5. Update the device driver of the wireless network card.
  6. Computer manufacturers release driver updates that can be downloaded and installed easily. Your computer manufacturer"s website will have a list of available updates. You will likely need the model number or service code from your computer.

  7. Reset the device.
  8. If you think there may be a problem with the way your device is installed, you can reset it. Locate the device in the device manager, right-click and select "uninstall." Do not select the option to delete the driver. Then reboot your computer and the operating system will reinstall it automatically. Make sure you have your network passwords available as any stored passwords will be deleted.

  9. Change the wireless channel.
  10. If you live in a crowded area or in a home with a lot of other wireless devices or sources of electrical interference, you may want to change the wireless channel from "auto" to a higher channel, such as 11. For instructions on how to access the settings of your router, consult the manufacturer"s website. Often, it involves simply typing into the address bar of a webpage, but it might be different for your particular device.

  11. Update Windows.
  12. Newer Windows operating systems update most items automatically. Older systems may need to be updated manually. Search your start menu for "Windows Update," "Microsoft Update," or "Check for Updates." You may have to reboot, at which time you should check for updates again to ensure that you have all available updates.

  13. Check whether or not your computer is managing your wireless adapters power settings.
  14. In the device manager, right click the adapter and click "properties." Click the "power management" tab and deselect the boxes to allow the computer to turn off the adapter to save power.

  15. Let Windows diagnose the problem.
  16. You can right click the wireless network icon in the lower right corner of the screen and select "troubleshoot problems." If any problems are found, it will try to fix them for your or give you additional options.

  17. Narrow down where the problem is happening.
  18. If the problem is occurring only at home, the problem is likely based somewhere with your router or signal interference. Your hardware might be failing or you might have other issues. We've seen a problem occur when the power cord for a router was coming out of the wall by a small amount, thereby reducing power to the device and occasionally cycling it.

These steps will, of course, not be a catch all and might not fix your problem. They might, however, give you that added bit of knowledge you need to guide you in the right direction. You might need professional assistance, either from your computer manufacturer or other company.

NCCC does not generally endorse any particular products or services. As such, we advise everyone to be weary of "fix it" software programs and programs that promise to update device drivers. Many of these programs are scams and contain harmful content.

Get Connected with Consumer Connections

Stay up-to-date about issues that really matter! Get the Consumer Connections newsletter!

We're committed to providing you with information you need to make you a better, more informed consumer. Whether it's a vehicle recall, a product recall, or a new scam, we feature it in Consumer Connections.

So why not give it a try? Go on. All of your friends are doing it. It's completely free and comes just once a week.

Have you noticed your iPhone slowing down at all since its last update? If it's slow to respond, crashing, or freezing on random screens, it may be a problem with the device's memory. Although the iPhone's RAM automatically clears when you restart the device, you don't have to reboot it in order to speed it up and fix these memory issues.

Dell laptop computers have a built-in battery sensor that, upon occasion, may fail to be detected by the computer. You may find that a fully charged and functioning battery won't power on the laptop or will flash error lights. If this is the case, you don't necessarily have to run out to buy a new battery!

There are numerous causes for poor signal strength. It could be a problem with the carrier, or it could be that materials in the walls of your home are blocking the signal. Regardless of the cause, there is a way to boost your cell phone's signal to get the most possible at home.

Whether your phone is wireless or connected to a landline, you know that you'll be getting a bill every month. What you may not know is what all the fees and charges listed on the bill actually mean. Savvy consumers know what they're paying for. If you want to avoid any nasty surprises, get to know your bill and make sure you know what you're being charged for.