Common Causes of Your Wireless Saying That Your Computer Is Connected but You Can't Get Online

by Ashley Poland

Not having an Internet connection brings your whole day to a halt -- and it's especially frustrating when your computer insists you that you're connected. Before assuming your Internet connection isn't working, make sure that it's not just the website you're using. You should also disconnect and reconnect to the network. You may even consider restarting your computer, modem and router if nothing else seems to work.

Modem Problems

The most likely problem is that you don't have an Internet connection between your modem and your router. If your network connection icon displays a yellow caution sign, this is an indication that you're on a network but don't have Internet access. Check that the Ethernet cable connecting your modem to your router is connected securely and isn't damaged. If your router lights indicate that you're not getting an active connection, contact your Internet service provider to see what the problem may be.

Distance Issues

It's possible that you're close enough to see the Wi-Fi access point, but that you're too far to maintain an effective Internet connection. Typical range on a wireless router is 150 indoors and 300 feet outdoors. This may be due to a lack of speed at a distance, or there might be too much physical interference between the access point and your laptop. If possible, move closer to the access point to see if that fixes your problems with the Internet connection.

Router Channel

Another problem that might be impeding your Internet access is channel interference. Most routers transmit information on the 2.4 Ghz band -- usually on channel six. While you can't change the band of your router, you can change which channel your router uses. Switch your router to channel one or channel 11 and see if that improves your Internet connection.

MAC Filtering

Even if you're connected to a wireless network with the right settings, you may still be blocked from accessing the network due to MAC address filtering. MAC addresses are static to devices, making MAC filtering more reliable than blocking by IP address. Routers with MAC filtering can either allow only devices with authorized MAC addresses or block specific addresses by MAC address. Talk to the person who runs the network to find out if MAC filtering is enabled on the network.

About the Author

Ashley Poland has been writing since 2009. She has worked with local online businesses, supplying print and web content, and pursues an active interest in the computer, technology and gaming industries. In addition to content writing, Poland is also a fiction writer. She studied creative writing at Kansas State University.

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