Wireless Computer Won't Connect to Internet

By Christopher Williams

If your wireless computer cannot connect to the Internet, there could be several causes. Step-by-step troubleshooting processes will help you verify your connection to the wireless router and your router's connection to the Internet. Once you have established and verified those two connections, then you should be able to successfully reach the Internet from your wireless computer.

Verifying Your Modem and Router's Connection to the Internet

Step 1

Look at the lights on the front of your modem. The indicator light for Internet or WAN should be lit, and will likely be intermittently flashing to show traffic being passed over the connection. If this light is out, then your modem has no connection, and you need to contact your Internet-service provider.

Step 2

Look at the lights on the front of the router after verifying your modem has an Internet connection. The indicator light for Internet or WAN should once again be lit and probably flashing to show traffic passing over the connection. If this light is out, verify that your cable connection between your modem and router is connected correctly. The ethernet port on the back of the modem should be connected to the Internet or WAN port on the back of the router. If this is correct, but still no indicator light, swap the cable with another one, as the cable may be bad.

Step 3

Connect your laptop's ethernet port to one of the LAN ports on the back of the router. Open a Web browser and see if you can browse the Internet. If not, try rebooting the router and modem, and repeat this step. If you still have no connection, contact your service provider.

Verifying Your Computer's Wireless Connection to the Router

Step 1

Click on the network icon at the bottom-right corner of your screen. The icon looks like two small computer screens, one behind the other. Then click on "Connect or Disconnect" on the small window that appears.

Step 2

Click the button to refresh the list of available wireless networks. Click on the network you want to connect to in the list and click the "Connect" button. Your computer will attempt to establish a connection. If the connection fails, be sure that you are close enough to the router to have a strong signal. Also verify on the router that MAC address filtering is not enabled. This can prevent new computers from connecting until they are added to the allow list.

Step 3

Open your Web browser. Once you have verified the connection from the router to the Internet and have successfully connected to the router, you should be able to browse the Internet.