Thursday, February 11, 2010

Help!! Why can't I see my wireless network anymore?

So there you are, plodding along with your daily activities pretty much like any other day.
You shut your PC down at the end of the day and nothing untoward happens, it's all good.

Next morning when you boot up, all of a sudden you find that you are no longer connected to your wireless LAN... hmmmmmmm now that's weird.
When you search for Wireless Networks on your PC, you can't even pick it up as an available network to connect to. It has simply vanished.

This one confused the heck out of me for a while, before I decided that this was just too darn odd to let it go.

What you need to know about wireless networks is that they operate on any one of 13 possible channels or frequencies.
This channel is set to a default value by the manufacturer of the access point, but little-known to a lot of people, is the fact that other wireless devices in the area can interfere with, or even totally corrupt your wireless signal if they are sharing a frequency.

The solution? Simple. Change the channel that your wireless network uses.
To do so, you will need to connect to the access point using an ethernet cable (because your wireless connection is obviously dead at this point, hence the reason for you reading this :))

I cannot give a per-manufacturer guide on how to change your wireless channel (mainly due to my own laziness), but in general what you are looking for is the section dealing with the WLAN / Wireless LAN / WIFI setup and configuration, once you are logged into the access point.

- Once there, look for a setting called "Wireless Channel" or "Radio Channel" or "Channel"... you get the idea!
- Drop it down and simply change the current value, to another one of the available values (this should be a list of numbers from 1-13).
- Make sure you have saved your settings, and then check if your PC / Mac has reconnected to the wireless network.

Once the network is back in range and visible (should only take a few seconds), your machine should reconnect automatically.

Happy WIFI re-configuring!
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