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Quick Checks to Improve or Fix Wireless Connection Issues

Last Reviewed: 27-Dec-2016
Article ID: 000005493

Resources to help you improve or fix connection issues.

Click or the topic for details:

Is your driver up to date?

You don't need to update to the latest version unless you encounter issues. You can resolve many issues by updating an out-of-date driver. Download the Intel® Driver Update Utility to automatically install  the latest wireless driver and software for your Intel wireless adapter.
You may also manually identify your current driver version and download the latest driver available for your Intel wireless adapter.

Note We recommend that you obtain and use the software/driver provided by your computer manufacturer. Each computer manufacturer may have altered the features, incorporated customization or made other changes to the software or software packaging for their product. The software/driver provided by Intel is a generic version and has not been verified by your computer manufacturer as to compatibility or other operation. Intel or the computer manufacturer may not provide technical support for some or all issues that could arise from the usage of this software.

See listing of computer manufacturer support websites to download software/driver provided by your computer manufacturer.

Is the Wi-Fi radio on?

If your computer does not see any Wi-Fi networks around try follow below steps to verify if the Wi-Fi radio is turned On.

Windows® 10Select the Network icon Network Icon  on the task tray located at the bottom right of the screen and select the Wi-Fi button to turn it on.
Location of Wi-Fi button
Windows 8.1*Select the Network icon Network Icon  on the task tray located at the bottom right of the screen and select the slider under Wi-Fi to turn it on.
Location of Wi-Fi slider
Windows 7*Use the keyboard and press down Win and X key at the same time or right click the power iconPower Icon in the task tray located on the bottom right of the screen to launch the Windows Mobility Center.
Select Turn wireless on if wireless is in Off state.
Location of Turn off Wireless button

Some computers may have a physical switch that controls the wireless radio and will override the radio control mentioned above. See tips to enable the hardware switch for further details.
Is the Wi-Fi adapter enabled?

Go to Start > Control Panel > Network and Internet > Network Connections, and then right-click the adapter. If Disable is displayed as a configuration option, the adapter is enabled.

Screenshot of Network Connections showing location of display button
Is the access point or Wi-Fi broadband router functioning?

Verify that your system can connect to your network and to the Internet. Use the Intel® PROSet/Wireless Software manual diagnostics tool to check for possible issues. Contact your access point vendor or Internet service provider for assistance.

Is the network adapter detected?

If you get an error message on boot or at login, review possible issues and regulatory requirements.

How do you check for sources of local interference?

Check for sources of interference, particularly if using IEEE* 802.11 Wi-Fi adapters working in the 2.4 GHz spectrum. Possible interference sources can include: Cordless phones that operate in the 5 GHz spectrum, microwave ovens, Bluetooth® technology-enabled devices, and other 802.11 Wi-Fi networks.

How do you identify interference or contention from other Wi-Fi Networks?

Make sure the channel your access point or wireless router is using is not overlapping or is in use by another nearby access point.

  • Software tools such as MetaGeek inSSIDer* help you select the best channel for your access point or wireless router.
  • If using 2.4 GHz band, use only channels 1, 6, or 11.
  • If using the 5 GHz band, use channels 36, 40, 44, or 48.
How do you disable automatic channel selection?

Some access points or wireless routers try to automatically select the best channel to use. The auto-selection can happen at start-up or on-the-fly during normal operation. If you are experiencing random disconnects from the network, try the following:

  • Disable the AUTO setting and manually select a channel.
  • Software tools such as MetaGeek inSSIDer* help you select the best channel for your access point or wireless router.
  • If using 2.4 GHz band, use only channels 1, 6 or 11.
How do you verify and adjust power management settings and how it may cause potential connection issues?

The power management or the Power Save Polling (PSP) setting lets you select a balance between power consumption and Wi-Fi adapter performance. See Setting Wireless Adapter Power Management to learn how to change the setting.
You may have connection issues when connecting to a Wi-Fi Access Point (AP) that does not support the PSP feature. See Power Save Polling Causes Connection Issues with Access Points for details.

Note Lowering the power management setting can cause the battery to discharge more rapidly when not connected to a power source.
How do you check roaming settings?

Verify that the roaming aggressiveness setting in the adapter properties is not set to the minimum or the maximum. Learn how to configure the adapter settings.

What are the recommended 802.11n settings?

Review the recommended settings for 802.11n connectivity. Recommendations include using WPA2-AES security and 5 GHz. If you are using 2.4 GHz, narrow channels are recommended.

Note We recommend using channel bonding in the 5 GHz band due to the limited number of non-overlapping channels available in the 2.4 GHz band.
Related topics
How to access and configure advanced Wi-Fi adapter settings
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Wireless disconnect followed by inability to detect any networks
Why doesn't my laptop recognize my new Intel® Wireless Adapter?
Frequently asked questions about Intel® Wireless Adapters
Frequently asked questions—Bluetooth*

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