My Wireless is Connecting but the Internet is Not Working

By Eoghan McCloskey

Wireless networks work by broadcasting an Internet connection over the airwaves so computers can access the Internet without having to physically connect to an Ethernet port. When your computer fails to connect to the Internet, sometimes it will appear to be connected to a wireless network without actually connecting. Taking a few simple steps, however, can narrow down the cause your issue and restore your Internet access.

Step 1

Reset all devices. This is a good first step, since it resolves the majority of Internet connectivity issues. Locate the power cables for both your modem and wireless router and unplug them; if you use a modem/router combination, simply unplug its cord. Leave your devices unplugged for a full 30 seconds and plug them back in. Restart your computer and try connecting again after your computer fully reboots. If your computer still cannot access the Internet, it is time for some further troubleshooting.

Step 2

Bypass your wireless router. The best method to check and see whether your modem or your router is blocking your connectivity is to bypass the wireless router. Locate the Ethernet cable that connects your modem to your wireless router and unplug it. Plug that cable straight into one of the Ethernet ports on your computer. Reset the modem in the manner already described and test your connectivity. If you can now browse the Internet, it is necessary to contact the manufacturer of your wireless router because your router is most likely blocking your Internet connection. If you still have no connectivity, it is time to contact your Internet service provider (ISP).

Step 3

Contact the technical support department of your ISP. If your modem is experiencing a connectivity issue, you can troubleshoot all day and may never restore the Internet on your own. Have your ISP troubleshoot your connection from their location.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you use a modem/router combination, you will not be able to bypass the router as described in Step 2. As an alternative, you can try and connect an Ethernet cable from your modem/router combination into your computer's Ethernet port and reset it in the manner described in Step 1. This will test whether there is a general malfunction of your modem/router combination or if there is an issue with just the wireless portion.