My Wi-Fi net­work isn’t work­ing prop­erly

Net­work­ing prob­lems are com­mon, but of­ten easy to fix

Mac Format - - TO THE RESCUE -

Having prob­lems with wire­less net­work­ing? The first step is to iso­late the prob­lem. It could be the de­vice you’re us­ing, the wire­less net­work or your in­ter­net con­nec­tion. Firstly, try and con­nect to the in­ter­net from an­other Mac, iPad or iPhone on the same net­work. If that works, go back to the orig­i­nal de­vice, switch Wi-Fi off and then on again. You’d be sur­prised at how of­ten that fixes the prob­lem!

Wi-Fi no-go

If the sec­ond de­vice doesn’t work, it could be a prob­lem with the router or the sig­nal. Switch the router off, wait ten seconds, and then switch it on again. Wait un­til it’s fin­ished start­ing up and then try again. If you still can’t con­nect, check to see if you can con­nect to other de­vices, such as a printer, Air­Play speaker, or NAS on the net­work. If that works, it’s the broad­band con­nec­tion that’s at fault. Check with your ISP to see if there’s a known fault in your area. If not, ask them for help.

If you’re strug­gling to con­nect to de­vices on your lo­cal net­work, it could be a Wi-Fi sig­nal prob­lem. If your de­vice sup­ports both 2.4GHz and 5GHz and your router can dis­play them as sep­a­rate net­works, try switch­ing from one to the other. 2.4GHz can of­fer bet­ter range, but is more con­gested, so de­vices that can run on 5GHz should nor­mally do so. If you’re on 5GHz, switch­ing to 2.4GHz might solve the prob­lem.

Next, launch Wire­less Di­ag­nos­tics (use Spot­light to find it). Se­lect Mon­i­tor Per­for­mance by click­ing the Win­dow menu > Util­i­ties > Per­for­mance. A graph dis­plays the sig­nal-to-noise ra­tio of your net­work. Max­imise the dif­fer­ence between sig­nal and noise by re­duc­ing the noise; high noise lev­els can lead to dropped pack­ets, poor per­for­mance, odd behaviour and dropped con­nec­tions. To do that, you’ll have to move the router (as far away from walls and ceil­ings as you can). The best place is in the cen­tre of a room, but that’s not always prac­ti­cal. If it has ex­ter­nal an­ten­nae, re-po­si­tion those first, keep­ing an eye on the sig­nal-tonoise graph.

Wire­less sig­nals tend to be stronger be­low the router, so put the router as high as you can. If you plan to use the same router up­stairs and down­stairs, con­sider plac­ing the mo­dem/router up­stairs, broad­band con­nec­tion per­mit­ting.

If all else fails, buy a sep­a­rate wire­less router and con­nect it us­ing Eth­er­net to your broad­band router/ mo­dem and then switch off the mo­dem’s wire­less ra­dio.

It’s not ob­vi­ous where to lo­cate Wire­less Di­ag­nos­tics; find it through Spot­light ( ç+[ Space­bar].

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