Thursday, September 23, 2010

Wireless Connection Trouble?

Now I guarantee that most of you, if not all of you, somewhere along the way have had a problem connecting with a laptop to a wireless network whether it's here on EHOVE's campus, at Panera Bread or McDonald's, or at home.  You may have seen a message like the one below when logging onto your computer or perhaps a wireless network was not available.

While sometimes these issues cannot be helped and occasionally there could be a true problem, the majority of the time the issue is quickly fixable.  Here are some things to check out first to help you out.

The number one reason that a wireless connection issue is experienced may surprise you.  Most laptops/netbooks come with external switches, buttons, or touch-sensitive buttons that can turn the wireless connection on or off.  Generally most computers with wireless capability will also have a small LED light indicating whether or not the connection has been made active. Once the connection has been made active, REBOOT your computer.  Many times, even when you turn on the wireless connection, the hardware or software don't always get reset properly.  Rebooting your computer will do that properly. Check out the pictures below for examples of what these switches and buttons could look like.

Another scenario that may occur is simply becoming disconnected from the wireless network.  This can happen when a laptop is not shutdown properly, when the wireless capability is turned on (as shown above), not enough time has been allowed for the connection to properly sync, or when a previous user has unknowingly disconnected the laptop from the network. One other reason and probably the most common is the fact that the wireless network could require a security password in order for the computer to be allowed access. In public areas this is very common in order to restrict unauthorized access. For home users, this tends to happen when a person will forget that a security password has been set. So, if there is a network you would like to connect to you should be able to find your wireless connection in the bottom right corner of your Windows desktop and select the network you desire.

So, the next time you run into a wireless connection issue, take a minute and think about the things shown above, perform the necessary steps to get reconnected, and REBOOT! You may be able to figure out the problem in a matter of seconds and save yourself time and perhaps an unnecessary headache. Enjoy!

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