You are in a hurry to complete some tasks online from your computer. Then when trying to connect it to the Internet, you notice the laptop suddenly not detecting your WiFi router. But you can see your neighbor’s WiFi coming up.
When I experienced this, I was left wondering what the cause of my laptop not detecting my WiFi but detecting others’ was. In this article, I’ll show why your laptop is not detecting your WiFi router but detecting signals from other routers.
If your laptop is not detecting your WiFi but detecting others, this can be due to a few reasons:
1. Your WiFi router may not be plugged in or turned on
I know this may sound too basic, but it’s a possibility. For example, your router may be unplugged from the power source, or the power source is bad.
Check whether the router is turned on and indicating any light. Most routers show they’re switched on, connected, or working with a blue or green light.
2. The WiFi network setting isn’t correctly enabled
The problem may also be from your computer’s router set-up or network settings.
Also, your laptop may be trying to connect to other WiFi networks around your location.
3. The router is blocking your Mac address
You can stop some computers from accessing a WiFi connection by blocking their Mac addresses.
So, if your laptop is not detecting a WiFi network while others can, it may be because the router does not allow your computer to see or connect to it.
Perhaps someone who doesn’t want you to connect to the router is blocking your connection.
4. Your WiFi driver may be missing or outdated
If your laptop is not detecting your WiFi router, it may be caused by missing, outdated, or corrupt WiFi drivers on your computer.
You can uninstall the WiFi driver entirely from your laptop. Then reboot Windows, and it should find the latest WiFi driver itself
5. The WiFi router isn’t nearby
Your laptop may be far away from your WiFi router. Hence, your laptop can’t detect the signal but can see other WiFi networks.
Here are some options you can try out if the laptop is not detecting your WiFi but detecting others. You don’t have to try all of them. Just try each option till it starts working.
The problem could be your Windows device disabled WiFi. You can try the following ways to reenable the WiFi:
As seen below, some laptops come with a switch or key to turn the WiFi on or off.
This can be found on the keyboard as a single button or among the Function keys. To reenable WiFi, press the button to turn the WiFi ON.
You can enable WiFi service from the network settings if your device does not come with a WiFi switch.
- Right-click the Internet icon at the right bottom of your Windows.
- Click on Open Network and Internet Settings
- Click on Change adapter options
- Right click WiFi, then Enable
- Restart your Windows OS and try reconnecting to the WiFi again.
- Hold the Windows and R key at the same time to open the Run box
- Then type the following: “services.msc.” Tap Enter key
- Then go down the page to where you can see WLAN AutoConfig, which is the last on the list below
- Click on WLAN AutoConfig and then Properties
- On Startup type, select Automatic >> Apply >> OK
- Restart the computer and reconnect the WiFi to see if it works.
The network drivers can be updated automatically or manually:
You can fix the problem by updating the WiFi network drivers. There are two ways to update your WiFi adapter:
Through Windows Update
- To manually install a driver update, connect your PC to the Internet using a LAN cable (since it can’t access WiFi service)
- To install the appropriate driver, type Windows Update settings in the search bar at the bottom left of your Windows computer
- Open the Windows Update Settings. Type and open “check for updates” from the Find a Setting search bar at the top left below Home.
- Check the list of available driver updates for your WiFi. If you find it there, download and install the updates.
Through the Control Panel
- If the driver is not found in the list of available updates, type and go to the Control Panel through the Windows search bar.
- Then look for Device Manager in the Control Panel.
- Look for Other devices or Network adapters.
- If a driver is missing or out of date, you should see a question mark in front—Right-click on the name and then select Update Driver Software.
- Then select Search automatically for the latest driver software. Next, the wizard searches for the newest driver for the device.
After a short wait, the driver should have been found and installed.
WiFi drivers can be updated automatically with Driver Easy too. Driver Easy works by detecting the conditions of the drivers and installing or updating the right ones. You can update the drivers using either the Free or Pro versions.
- Download and install Driver Easy from the Internet
Note: You can also download from another computer if your device has no way to access the Internet
- Run the Driver Easy software and click Scan Now. The Driver Easy will scan your device and detect any problem with the drivers
- Click on Update close to the driver name to download the right driver. Then install.
- Tip: You can update all drivers at once by clicking Update All to download and install the correct versions automatically
- Next, restart your PC, connect the WiFi, and see if it solves the problem.
- Unplug the WiFi router and modem from the power source.
- Remove the battery if there’s any.
- Wait for more than 30 seconds.
- Connect your WiFi router and modem back to the power source
- Reconnect your WiFi to your PC and see if it works.
Service Set Identifier broadcast (SSID) makes your WiFi network visible to your laptop network adapter. Disabling your SSID (perhaps mistakenly) leads to the WiFi network not showing. So, the idea is to reenable it.
- To do this, you must confirm the IP address, username, and password. Find your IP on Android by going to Settings >> WiFi Settings. Tap Manage Network Settings. Toggle on Show Advanced Options and select Static in your IP Settings.
- You’ll find your router IP in the Gateway section.
- Now that you know your IP go to your web browser on your mobile phone or another PC.
- Type in the IP address in the browser and press Enter.
- Type in your Username and Password in the space provided. Proceed by clicking Login
- Click on Wireless >> Wireless Settings. Check the box beside Enable SSID broadcast, then click Save.
- Reboot your computer and reconnect to your WiFi network.
- Turn off your PC and remove the power source
- Turn on the PC, connect your WiFi and see if it works
If the problem is solved, it implies that there was interference with the signal. Move your modem and router to another location for better signal strength.
Different household devices can interfere with WiFi signals. These include devices like microwave ovens, Bluetooth speakers, and mobile phones.
If your laptop is not detecting your WiFi but other devices, like your phone, can, there might be issues with your WiFi drivers or wireless adapter. You can also run the Windows troubleshooter to find the cause and solution to the problem.
- First, power off your modem, router, and laptop.
- Wait for about 30 minutes, then turn it back ON.
Here are some things you can do:
- Right-click the Start icon and then Device Manager
- Go to Network adapters and Right-click on the WiFi device
- Click the Uninstall Device option
- Finally, reboot your PC.
- Right-click the Start icon. Go to the Device Manager from the Power User menu
- Expand the Network adapters
- Right-click on the WiFi Network adapter, then click Update driver
- Once the system detects a new driver, it will install it.
- With your Wireless Router connected to your laptop, open a browser and log into your router’s Web interface by typing the IP address into the address bar.
- Once the router Web interface opens up, enter your username and password. If you are yet to change the username and password, you can try admin or password, which is the default for most routers.
- Look for a list of devices where you can find the web interface. It can also be under Connected devices or Attached devices, depending on the model of the router.
You can do this by physically shielding the neighboring WiFi from entering your WiFi area. Electromagnetic shielding materials with high damping properties like sheet metal, metal foam, or metal screen are suitable.
Various manufacturers also offer electromagnetically shielding wallpaper, window films, curtains, fabrics, or wall paints that achieve between 18 and 80-decibel mini watts (dBm) shielding.
The aim is to bring the interfering WiFi signals below the signal limit values. This ensures the signals don’t interfere with your WiFi.
By the way: the shielding works in both directions. This not only makes it possible to keep interfering WiFi away from your WiFi but also limits the range of your WiFi to your own Home.
But this also makes it difficult to gain unauthorized access to your WLAN outside.
Read also: Why Is My Ethernet Slower Than WIFI?
- Go to Settings from the Start menu
- Select Devices and open Printers & Scanners. You should see the scanners and printers connected on your laptop
- Then select Connected devices or Bluetooth and other devices.
- Scroll down to see all connected devices, e.g., monitor, headphones, speakers, and mouse.
Can You See What Everyone Is Doing on Your WiFi?
Well, the simple answer is YES. This is because most WiFi routers maintain logs of websites visited by devices connected to them.
Only the WiFi owner is permitted to check the logs of the WiFi router to know which user visited a particular website.
So, when you connect to someone’s WiFi, they can see what you are doing.
The owner can also see the web pages you visited if the website is built with HTTP protocol.
However, if the website has HTTPS protocol, they can only view the website you visited, but not the web pages or any info you typed in.
You should consider using a VPN service if you travel a lot and use the WiFi in hotels and public places. It makes more sense to run high-value business transactions with your mobile device or PC.
You can use VPN services like GhostPath, ThunderVPN, WiTopia, or VyprVPN. If you are unwilling to pay for a premium service, some VPN services offer free services, such as Anchor Fee’s HotSpot.
As we all know, everything connected to the Internet has an IP address. However, if you have an Internet connection, your IP may likely stay the same over a long period. This is because websites can use your IP to track you for a long time.
However, you can solve this problem using an intermediate address called a proxy. If you connect via a proxy, the website will think you are coming from that address, not your IP address.
Also, the proxy address can change your location. For example, let’s say you use a US-based proxy server; any website you visit will think you stay in the US. An example of a free proxy site includes Proxy4free.
A sandbox is like a virtual environment where you can surf the web, and once you are done, every trace of your activity, including cookies, is thrown away. A good example is Sandboxie, a free program for Windows.
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