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[GUIDE] Troubleshooting Wi-Fi Connection Problems
Wi-fi connection problems are relatively common issues on these forums. If you're experiencing difficulties, try some of the following:
1. On your device, go to System Settings/Wireless & Networks/Wi-Fi, select the Wi-Fi network that you’re trying to connect to, and tap “Forget.” Then reconnect by selecting that network again and entering whatever password that may be needed.
If the network to which you’re trying to connect has a common or generic SSID (like “HHonors” at Hilton hotels, or “linksys," which is usually the default SSID for Linksys routers), then your device might be trying to use previously stored credentials from a past connection that won’t work for this new connection. So, for example, suppose you visited a Hilton last year and used their “HHonors” wi-fi. Your device remembers this connection unless you tell the device to forget it. If you go to a different Hilton now, the SSID for their wi-fi will still be “HHonors,” but the credentials that are saved on your device may not work. You need to forget your old “HHonors” network, then select the current “HHonors” network and log in again.
This is why it’s a good idea to change the SSID of your own home wi-fi network to something unique, to reduce confusion for your device.
2. Reboot your router. Unplug its power, wait about 10 seconds, then plug it back in again. Wait another 10-20 seconds for the connection to reestablish.
If you’re not getting an internet connection on any device or computer in the house and the router reboot doesn’t work, also try rebooting your cable/DSL modem.
Modems often have a battery backup, so simply unplugging them won’t force a reboot. There’s usually a reboot/reset pinhole button on the back.
3. See if the router’s security is interfering. Go to the router’s settings screen (you’ll need to check the user’s manual for your particular router to learn how to do this). Find the options for security, and turn it off temporarily. If you can connect, then you know that security is the main problem.
Obviously, it’s not ideal to leave your home network unprotected, so you’ll need to reactivate security, but this time, try a different protocol. If you were using WEP before (an older security protocol, which you should avoid these days), change it to WPA-PSK or WPA2-PSK. If you were using WPA or WPA2 already, try changing the encryption mode from TKIP to AES or vice-versa.
Remember, don't leave your router's security off! Keep your home wi-fi network protected.
4. USB 3.0 connections can interfere with reception of the 2.4 GHz wi-fi band, if the port isn’t properly shielded (see this article: Wireless Witch: The Truth About USB 3.0 and Wi-Fi Interference | Samara Lynn | PCMag.com).
5. For public wi-fi hotspots, remember that many require you to log in or accept terms and conditions on a welcome page before you can fully access the web. Until you do so, you may still see that a wi-fi connection is active on your Notification bar, but you won’t be able to access anything on the web. Open your browser and go to any URL--if it takes you to a welcome page instead, log in or accept the terms and conditions. If you turn off wi-fi later, and then turn it on again, you may have to go through the same process.
6. If you have a dual-band router (i.e., 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz), see if you can set your device to use only the 2.4 GHz band. Sometimes the Auto settings will cause problems. Go to System Settings/Wireless & Network/Wi-Fi, tap the Menu button again, and select Advanced/Wi-Fi Frequency Band.
Then select "2.4 GHz Only" instead of "Auto":
7. In item #6 above, you can see an option for "Avoid Poor Connections." If you check this, then your device won't struggle to maintain a connection to a weak wi-fi network. However, this may also prevent your device from connecting to a network that it otherwise could use. Uncheck this option if the network to which you're trying to connect shows only 1 bar or so.
8. Make sure your date and time are correct. Check the Settings>Date & Time menu, and make sure "Automatic Date & Time" and "Automatic Time Zone" (if available) are checked. If there is a discrepancy between your device's date and time and that of the router, the connection may not work.
9. Turn off Wi-Fi Optimization. You can see the option in the screenshot above. This option is for battery saving, not for improving wi-fi performance. Turning optimization on will actually make the wi-fi radio activity more intermittent (in an attempt to save battery), and therefore might hinder the performance of some apps that require a more constant connection.
Thanks to Eclipse2K for suggestions and screenshots, and to brosko for the Date & Time tip!