Our PC or smartphone no longer detects the Wi-Fi network? Let’s see together all the causes and applicable solutions to restore the connection
Among the problems that afflict Wi-Fi connections, the most annoying is certainly the sudden disappearance of the network: even if the modem works correctly and it is possible to surf without problems via Ethernet cable, all devices that make extensive use of Wi-Fi (just think of smartphones, Smart TVs and tablets) cannot display the network name, preventing us from navigating anywhere in the house. This problem has various causes, all of which are easily identified and solved with a few mouse clicks or taps on the screen.
In the following guide we will show you how to troubleshoot no Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi undetectable, or Wi-Fi disabled, so you can go back to wireless surfing in every room without having to use a cable (which is still impossible on some portable devices).
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Wi-Fi network does not appear: how to fix
If the modem is working properly and allows you to access the Internet via cable, it is highly likely that the problem is due to an incorrect Wi-Fi configuration in the modem settings. To solve the problem, connect any PC or laptop to the Ethernet cable modem, open any web browser (such as Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge) and type in the address bar the IP needed to access the modem configuration panel, as also seen in the guide Log into the router for easy access to settings.
Once you have access to the modem settings panel, let’s go to the menu Wi-Fi, Wireless or similar items and let’s read the next chapter of the guide, where we have collected all the settings that can generate problems in the Wi-Fi network.
Common Wi-Fi setup errors
As mentioned, it takes very little to make the Wi-Fi network undetectable, especially if you mess around with modem configurations without knowing exactly where to put your hands. The main parameters or configurations that can make wireless network detection impossible are:
- Wi-Fi channel: virtually all modems allow choose the Wi-Fi transmission channel but we must pay attention to the channel we choose, since some channels (especially in the 5 GHz frequency) are not visible on some devices. To be on the safe side we recommend using channels 1, 6 and 11 in the 2.4 GHz frequency band and using channels 36, 44, 52 or 100 in the 5 GHz frequency band.
- Standard Wi-FiWireless transmission standard choices can also make a difference, with some devices (especially older ones) failing to access the new transmission standards. For maximum compatibility we recommend that you always set mixed standards, such as 802.11g+n e 802.11n + ac; on new modems we can also find Wi-Fi 3+4, Wi-Fi 4+5 e Wi-Fi 5+6.
- Security protocol: Even the security protocol can make a difference in detecting the Wi-Fi network, although in this case it is more likely to be able to see the network but not be able to log in (even by entering the correct Wi-Fi password). For maximum compatibility, be sure to set WPA2 as a security protocol and to avoid the “WPA3 only” mode, which is still not widely used and supported.
We carefully check if these entries are present in the modem settings and correct where necessary; if some items are missing, make sure you have activated the expert or advanced mode in the configuration panel, since often a simple mode for novice users (with many options disabled or not reachable) starts automatically.
High distance from the modem
If the Wi-Fi is configured correctly but the network is not viewable from our room, the problem is probably the excessive distance from the modem, which makes it impossible to view the network to connect.
The first good advice is to try connect to the 2.4 GHz network of the same modem, which still offers better coverage than the 5 GHz network. If even the network with greater coverage does not solve the problem, consider using a range extender such as the TP-Link Ripetitore WiFi Wireless Dual Band AC1200, sold and shipped by Amazon for less than 35 €.
To use it, connect the device to an electrical outlet, placing it halfway between the modem and the room where Wi-Fi is not detected; once connected, enter its configuration panel and connect it to the modem’s Wi-Fi network (both at 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz), so as to obtain an extension of the network to which we can connect (on the extended network the Wi-Fi password -Fi is the same as the wireless network of the modem).
To learn more we can read our guides How does the wifi repeater or “Range Extender” work and which one to buy e Best 5 GHz WiFi repeaters, to increase internet coverage.
Problems only with some devices
If the Wi-Fi network is displayed correctly only by some devices (for example only from a PC or only on the smartphone), the problem may not concern the Wi-Fi network of the modem but the single device.
If the problem appeared on an Android device we can try to turn off and on the Wi-Fi, so as to restore correct operation; we can carry out the test using the shortcut keys (in the drop-down menu, scrolling from the top edge) or by taking us to the path Settings -> Wi-Fi. If we do not solve this, we completely turn off the device (power key -> Power off) wait a few minutes and turn it back on, so that we can test the Wi-Fi connection again.
READ ALSO: Solutions if Wi-Fi on Android does not connect to the network or the internet
If the problem appeared on an iPhone or iPad we can apply the same advice seen for Android devices, but with one more possibility: taking us on the path Settings -> General -> Reset we can press on Reset Network Settings, so as to reset all the Wi-Fi settings and try again to connect to the Wi-Fi network not detected.
READ ALSO: How to fix WiFi problems on iPhone
If the Wi-Fi network is not detected on a Windows 10 PC we can try to solve by pressing the right button on the Start menu (in the lower left corner), opening the menu Network connections and pressing on the menu Network troubleshooting, so as to start a diagnostic system to identify the problem that prevents you from viewing the network. The advice seen for Android devices is also valid on PC: we can also try to turn off the Wi-Fi or the device and turn everything back on after 2 minutes.
READ ALSO: If the PC is not connected to the internet, how to reset the network and web browsing
On Smart TVs the problem may be difficult to solve, as many TVs have a power saving mode that never really turns off the power, but actually only shows the black screen (the operating system keeps running). In these cases it may be a good idea to completely disconnect the power supply by removing the plug from the wall and waiting at least 10 seconds before reconnecting it.
READ ALSO: Internet Smart TV problems how to reset the connection
An undetected Wi-Fi network could put even an experienced user in difficulty, since the problems that cause this error can be numerous, starting from the incorrect settings of the modem through to the problems of drivers or modules integrated within modern devices. We can certainly say that, if the problem is not hardware in nature, with the advice shown above we should be able to solve it pretty much all Wi-Fi problems.
To make the Wi-Fi network even more stable and fast, we can also read our guides Why WIFI is slow and how to fix e Optimize wireless without Wi-Fi network slowdown with 10 free tools.