Laptop cannot connect wireless router hotspot

Sometimes it happens that your laptop does not find wireless router or the access point you are searching. But however if you bring up another access point it finds it and connects to it without any problems.This becomes very difficult to troubleshoot as it could be because of different reasons. In such a case you need to go step by step to troubleshoot the set up.

Before you start trouble shooting it on a higher level you should do some basic check. The tool will help you here is your smart phone which works as a receiver as well as broadcaster. Your smartphone will help you diagnose the basic problem areas.

Basic tests to perform wireless router hotspot:
Turn on the wireless hotspot on your smartphone and check if your laptop finds the access point. If your answer is:

Yes : There is no problem with your laptop’s wireless adapter. No wireless interference of any device at your laptop side. Bring the router closer to your laptop and check if your laptop is finding the wireless router it could be that there is a wireless device interference at the router side.

No : There could be a problem with your wireless adapter and you would need to replace it with an external wireless adapter. There is a wireless device interference at the laptop side, move it close to your router and check.

laptop cannot connect wireless router
Image courtesy of ddpavumba / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
If you don’t get a solution from above tests. Turn on the wireless on your smartphone and check if your smartphone finds the access point of your router. If your answer is:

Yes : It can be assumed that there is a problem with your wireless adapter and you would need to replace it with an external wireless adapter. It is also confirmed that there is no wireless interference on the router side. Even though it is assumed that wireless adapter has a problem you can double check by advance troubleshooting.

No : There is wireless device interference on the router side or the router needs replacement.

If nothing above works try Advance Troubleshooting below.

Advanced Troubleshooting :
Incompatibility of router and wireless adapter:

This problem is many a times overlooked but it is very important to go through the specifications before buying the router. To work, the network adapter in your PC must use a wireless standard that is equal to or older than the router’s wireless standard. If the network adapter in your PC uses the 802.11n wireless standard (also called Wireless-N) and your router uses 802.11g (also called Wireless-G), you won’t be able to connect because the Wireless-G standard is an earlier version and doesn’t recognize Wireless-N. However, if the router uses Wireless-N but the adapter in your PC uses Wireless-G, you should be able to connect if the router is set to mixed mode. Since the latest Wireless-N standard works with all of the earlier standards (802.11a, 802.11b, and 802.11g).

Wireless device Interference:

You can change try changing the broadcast channel, doing this resolves the issue caused by wireless interference.

Windows Vista Laptop cannot connect wireless router:

Exactly Windows Vista happens to be a special case wherein the vista machine fails to obtain ip address. Microsoft fix is available to solve this issue.

If you follow the steps from beginning you won’t need to do anything else to resolve the issue.

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