WiFi: Troubleshoot Your Connection

Did you know that many WiFi connectivity problems are the result of settings or other issues on individual users’ computers, phones and other mobile devices? The good news is many of these can be easily fixed.

Here are seven issues that can affect your WiFi connection and what you may be able to do to fix them.

Note: One effective way to diagnose a potential WiFi problem on a computer is to connect it to the Internet via a wired connection. If you are unable to connect to the Internet via a wired connection, there is an issue with your computer. In those cases, a visit to a Technology Help walk-in location where staff can help you diagnose and fix the problem.

Try Common Fixes

Are you on the right WiFi network?

You might be logged in to the “UofM-Guest” WiFi network, which is a quick and convenient WiFi solution for daily visitors to the University who are looking to perform simple online tasks like web browsing and email. But it’s not intended for use with higher-bandwidth tasks, including browsing online videos or connecting to University resources such as Moodle or MyU.

Have you tried to remove the WiFi network and then re-add it?

Have you downloaded the eduroam Configuration Assistant Tool?

Have you restarted your computer lately?

Sometimes, when a device needs to run updates, other basic functions will not work properly. Restart your computer, and go through any updates as prompted on your device. Once everything is back up to date, try reconnecting to eduroam.

Is your device's WiFi on?

You may not realize it, but your computer may have a mechanical switch to turn WiFi on and off. You may have unknowingly bumped the switch or accidentally turned off WiFi via another keyboard method. Not even rebooting your computer will fix the problem if you’ve accidentally shut off your WiFi access. So be sure to double check that your WiFi is indeed on.

Are you a Mac user?

Are you connected to the closest WiFi access point?

As WiFi users move, they automatically connect with closest WiFi access point on campus. From time to time, however, a previous WiFi access point remains connected, even as you move closer to faster locations along your path. Turn your device’s WiFi off and then on again to connect with the closest—and fastest—WiFi-broadcasting access point.

Do you or one of your neighbors use a wireless printer, personal WiFi device, or personal WiFi access point?

The use of wireless printers can interfere with and/or slow the wireless connection of users in close proximity. Personal WiFi access points or routers, which are not allowed on the university WiFi network, can also interfere with others’ ability to connect wirelessly. Try turning wireless printers off to reduce WiFi congestion and noise. You may need to request that your neighbors do the same, at least until you can diagnose the problem.

Do you or your neighbors have a WiFi booster/signal amplifier?

Personal WiFi boosters or signal amplifiers are not allowed at the University. Their presence in dorm rooms, campus buildings and elsewhere interferes with the U’s existing WiFi network and makes it more difficult for you and your fellow students to access the WiFi network.

Do you have bandwidth-hungry applications running in the background?

Video chatting and file-sharing tools like Skype, Facetime and BitTorrent can slow WiFi connections, even when they are just open in the background of a device. Applications like these will use as much available bandwidth as possible. Shut down any video program and file-sharing tools (often referred to as “peer-to-peer” file-sharing applications) running in the background of your computer, phone or other mobile device. And the next time you’re near a Technology Help walk-in center, ask them to help you adjust your device settings to minimize this problem in the future.

Is your driver software up-to-date?

Out-of-date drivers are a common cause of WiFi connectivity problems on Windows machines. Make sure all of your drivers are updated.

Do you always have trouble connecting to WiFi at a particular spot on campus?

The University’s Office of Information Technology is committed to providing students, staff and faculty the best WiFi experience possible and they need your help to identify problem areas that may need attention.

Did you try all these fixes but are still having trouble connecting to WiFi?

Get tech support from helpline staff.