Solving Wi-Fi problems

11 March 2013, 10:00

Can connect to Wi-Fi? Typical symptoms might include connecting to the wireless router/hotspot but simply being unable to get online.

Here’s some things to try (listed below in order of usefulness but not as a list for you to try in order):

  • Turn off Wi-Fi: Click the Wi-Fi icon at the top-right of the desktop and select to turn Wi-Fi off. Then repeat and turn it back on again. This simple trick often fixes things.
  • Reset your iPhone:If you’re using your iPhone’s personal hotspot (i.e. tethering), try resetting the iPhone’s network settings.
  • Use Network Diagnostics:Open System Preferences, click the Network icon, and click the Assist Me button at the bottom. Then click the Diagnostics button in the dialog that appears. If asked at any stage if you’re using DHCP, answer affirmatively.
  • Activate proxy detection:Open System Preferences, click Network, then click the Advanced button at the bottom right. Click the Proxies tab and put a check alongside Auto Proxy Discovery and Automatic Proxy Configuration. Alternatively, if those boxes are already checked, remove the checks alongside. then click OK, and the Apply button. Then try connecting again to the Wi-Fi network.
  • Turn off secure connections:Some networks use Captive Portal technology, which is to say they make you sign-on whenever you connect. In the past my Mac has got locked into a loop trying to connect, constantly refreshing the page without letting me access it. I noticed that if I remove the https:// at the start of the address, and replace it with http://, everything worked correctly. This was down to a bug in Apple’s auto detection technology that might or might not have been fixed by now.

Know better?