Common wireless adapter problems and solutions

If you're having a hard time viewing or connecting to your wireless network, begin by confirming you can access the Internet using a wired connection. If you cannot, read "Troubleshooting your Internet connection and modem" or "Troubleshooting common wireless connection problems."

If you can access the Internet when you're connected directly to your modem via an Ethernet cord (wired connection), it's possible that your wireless adapter is OFF or the password you're using is incorrect.

To figure out the problem:

  1. Confirm adapter is turned ON (enabled).
    If your adapter is built into your machine, it's easy to accidentally bump a button and turn OFF your wireless. For instructions on to turn your wireless back ON, click on the name of the manufacturer of your computer.

    Acer
    Advent
    Apple
    Alienware
    Asus
    BenQ
    Compaq
    Dell
    E-Machine

    Fujitsu
    Gateway
    HP
    IBM
    Lenovo
    Machintosh
    Medion
    MSI

    Packard Bell
    Philips
    Samsung
    Sharp
    Siemens
    Sony
    Targa
    Toshiba


    If your adapter is a USB plug-in variety, unplug it for 30 seconds, restart your computer and plug it back in. (We support Actiontec, Actiontec W1000, 2Wire USB, 2Wire PCMCIA and ZyXEL wireless adapters. If you need drivers/installation instructions for any of these brands, we can help.)
  2. Check that you're using the correct wireless password (KEY or PASSPHRASE).
    If you're using the default password, you can find your password on a sticker on the bottom (or side) of your modem. (If you don't see a sticker, you can still find your network password.) If you've changed your password -- and now have forgotten it -- take these steps to reset your password.

Continue troubleshooting

If your adapter is ON and the password is correct, you need to continue troubleshooting. If the adapter is built into your computer, your computer manufacturer is your best bet for help. Go to the Internet and do a search for the name of your computer (e.g., Dell, hp, Apple) and "wireless adapter" to find troubleshooting resources. Alternately, contact your computer manufacturer directly.


For additional assistance, chat with us. We're here to help.