Internet Tips and Tricks

Here’s How to Fix the “Wi-Fi Not in Range” Issues

Struggling with a “Wi-Fi not in range” error? We’ve all been there, and it can be super frustrating when you’re trying to get online, but your device just won’t cooperate. The good news? You’re not alone, and we’re here to help! 

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First things first, figure out if the problem is with your device or your router. Check if other devices can connect to the Wi-Fi. If they can, the issue might be with your specific device. If none of your devices can connect, your router or Wi-Fi network might be the culprit. 

Below, we share some basic, intermediate, and advanced tips to fix the “Wi-Fi not in range” issues. Hopefully, one of them will help you get back online in no time. 

Basic Troubleshooting Steps 

These basic troubleshooting steps are easy, and anyone can do them. Let’s walk through them together. 

Restart Devices and Router

Device: 

  • Turn off your device completely and wait for 30 seconds before turning it back on.  

Router: 

  • Unplug the router from the power source. 
  • Wait for 30 seconds. 
  • Plug the router back in and wait for it to fully restart. 
  • This can help reset the network and clear any glitches. 

Restarting both your device and router can refresh the connection and often resolves many connectivity issues. 

Check Proximity

Chances are that your Wi-Fi might indeed not be in range. So, make sure you are close enough to the router for a strong signal. Wi-Fi signals weaken with distance and obstacles like walls and furniture.  

Move your device closer to the router and check if the connection improves. Being closer to the router can help eliminate the “Wi-Fi not in range” issue by ensuring a stronger, more stable signal. 

Forget and Reconnect to Network

1. Forget the Network: 

  • Go to your device’s Wi-Fi settings. 
  • Select the network you are having trouble with. 
  • Choose the option to “Forget” the network. 

2. Reconnect to the Network: 

  • Search for available Wi-Fi networks. 
  • Select your network and enter the password. 

Forgetting and reconnecting to the network can help refresh the connection settings on your device. This step can help determine if the issue is with the device or the Wi-Fi network itself.  

If other devices can connect and this one cannot, it’s likely a device-specific issue. If none can connect, it’s probably a network problem. 

Intermediate Solutions 

You’ve probably already tried the basic solutions for the “Wi-Fi not in range” problem, so let’s look at the next set of troubleshooting steps. 

Check Router Settings

SSID (Service Set Identifier) is the name of your Wi-Fi network. If your router isn’t broadcasting the SSID, your devices won’t see it. 

To check this, log in to your router’s admin panel (usually by typing 192.168.1.1 or 192.168.0.1 into your web browser). Navigate to the wireless settings section and make sure the “SSID Broadcast” option is enabled. 

Verify Wi-Fi Standards

Wi-Fi standards are the protocols your devices use to communicate over Wi-Fi (e.g., 802.11n, 802.11ac). 

To verify them, check the wireless mode settings in the router admin panel. Then, make sure your router supports the standard used by your device. Most modern devices use 802.11ac or 802.11n. 

Use Wi-Fi Scanner Apps

Use Wi-Fi scanners apps to check if your device can detect other Wi-Fi signals, which helps identify if the issue is with the device or the network. 

Here’s how: 

  • Download a Wi-Fi scanner app (like Wi-Fi Analyzer). 
  • Open the app and scan for available networks. 
  • If other networks appear but not yours, the problem might be with your router or its settings. 

Update Router Firmware

Keeping your router’s firmware up-to-date is essential for maintaining a stable connection. Start by visiting your router manufacturer’s website and downloading the latest firmware.  

Follow the provided instructions to update your router. This way, your router operates with the latest fixes and improvements. 

Update Device Wi-Fi Drivers

Updating your device’s Wi-Fi drivers can also help resolve connectivity issues. 

For Windows Users: 

  • Go to Device Manager. 
  • Find Network adapters. 
  • Right-click your Wi-Fi adapter. 
  • Select Update driver. 

For macOS Users: 

  • Navigate to System Preferences. 
  • Click on Software Update to ensure your system is up-to-date. 

Use a Wi-Fi Dongle

A Wi-Fi dongle is a small device that plugs into your computer’s USB port, providing Wi-Fi connectivity. This can be especially useful for older devices with outdated Wi-Fi standards or poor built-in Wi-Fi performance. Wi-Fi dongles are available at most electronics stores or online retailers. 

If your device struggles with connectivity due to outdated Wi-Fi standards, a Wi-Fi dongle can offer a quick and effective solution. 

Benefits of a Wi-Fi dongle: 

  • Supports the latest Wi-Fi standards, bridging gaps between old devices and new routers. 
  • Often equipped with better antennas for stronger signal. 
  • Provides an immediate solution for connectivity issues without needing to replace the internal Wi-Fi card. 

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Advanced Solutions 

You’ve tried the basic and intermediate steps, and you’re still facing the “Wi-Fi not in range” issue. These advanced solutions might just do the trick. 

Frequency Compatibility

Routers can operate on different frequencies, mainly 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. Older devices may only support 2.4 GHz, while newer ones can use both. 

How to check router’s frequency: 

  • Log in to your router’s admin panel. 
  • Go to the wireless settings section. 
  • Ensure both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands are enabled. If your device only supports 2.4 GHz, make sure this band is active. 

To determine device support, look up your device’s model online. Generally, devices manufactured in the last 5-7 years support both frequencies, while those over 7-10 years old may only support 2.4 GHz. 

Change the Router Channel Settings

Wi-Fi channels are specific frequencies within the 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz bands. Overlapping channels can cause interference. To change the channel: 

  • Log in to your router’s admin panel. 
  • Find the wireless settings or advanced settings. 
  • Change the channel (try 1, 6, or 11 on 2.4 GHz as these do not overlap). 

Factory Reset Your Router

A factory reset restores your router to its original settings, wiping all custom configurations. To reset: 

  • Locate the reset button on your router (usually a small hole). 
  • Use a paperclip to press and hold the button for about 10-15 seconds. 
  • Release and wait for the router to reboot. 

Before performing a factory reset, consider calling your ISP for remote troubleshooting. They might resolve the issue without needing a reset. 

Check Your Wi-Fi Card

The Wi-Fi card is the internal component that allows your device to connect to wireless networks. It’s typically located inside your device, near the motherboard, and can often be accessed through a panel on laptops.  

To check for issues: 

  • If accessible, make sure the Wi-Fi card is securely seated in its slot. 
  • Check for and install any available driver updates. For Windows, use Device Manager; for macOS, go to System Preferences > Software Update. 
  • Use an external Wi-Fi adapter (dongle) to see if the connectivity issue persists. 

If you continue to experience problems, consider upgrading to a dual-band Wi-Fi card. This will ensure compatibility with both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz networks, which can significantly improve your connectivity. 

Now, let’s consider a real-world example.  

A user ran into “Wi-Fi not in range” issue. Despite trying various troubleshooting steps, they couldn’t connect to the Wi-Fi network. They found that the new router operated on both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands, but their old Wi-Fi card only supported 2.4 GHz. 

To resolve this, they first used a USB Wi-Fi dongle, which instantly connected to the 5 GHz network. This quick fix provided immediate relief.  

Later, they upgraded the internal Wi-Fi card to a dual-band model. This upgrade not only solved the connectivity issues but also improved overall internet performance. 

Wi-Fi Not in Range: Conclusion 

Fixing “Wi-Fi not in range” issues can be frustrating, but following these systematic steps can make the process manageable. Start with basic troubleshooting, move on to intermediate solutions if necessary, and finally, explore advanced options if the problem persists. 

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First, rule out whether the issue lies with your device or the network. Each step, from restarting your router to checking hardware compatibility, is designed to address potential causes of connectivity problems. 

If you’ve tried everything and the issue still isn’t resolved, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. Sometimes, the problem might be more complex and require expert intervention.  

By following this comprehensive guide, you’re well on your way to enjoying a stable and reliable internet connection again. Happy surfing! 

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