7 Wireless Router Problems And How To Solve Them

Slow data speeds, dead spots, Wi-Fi that's AWOL -- don't replace that router yet -- first try these tips to overcome your 802.11x router headaches.

Motorola's Surfboard modem has an exposed, easy-to-accidentally hit parental control button.
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In the U.S., our electricity enters our home as 220v –two wires each carrying 110v (the legs) and a return line. Inside our homes, those lines can run out to 220v AC out lets for heavy duty electrical equipment (washers, electric ovens, or even a gigantic air compressor in the garage) or 110v outlets for the majority of our electrical appliances. The problem is that those 110v lines might be wired from either leg of the 220v input. If your computer gear ends up on one leg and your router is on another, communications between the two might not possible.

If that's the case, you'll need to hire a licensed electrician to switch the lines so they both run off the same leg. It's not very expensive but you should weigh the cost of CAT 5e wiring against the electrical work because the speed differential between the two can easily be 4:1 in favor of the CAT 5e and, as long as you're spending money, you might as well put it to its best use.

7. No Internet Connection

Problem: You just moved your router and modem to a new location and now Windows says you have a local connection but no access to the Internet.

Solution: Reorganizing your network topology to make best use of your wired and wireless connections is always a good thing, but changing something that's working can often lead to unintended consequences. Assuming that everything is plugged in as before, your router may not be at fault. If you have a local connection (and you've tried it to be sure) but no Internet connection, it could be your modem. Some modems have parental control buttons that, once pressed, lock out your internet connection. They're not always in the best locations.

For example, the Motorola SB5100 Surfboard modem, popular with several cable companies, has its button at the very top of the case. If you palm the modem, with your fingers holding onto the sides as you lift and move it, you can easily press that button. (Don't ask how we know!) If your router is all lit up and your modem isn't (or perhaps just the yellow router communication light is on) find the parental control button and press it. You might surprise yourself at what happens and you won't have to call your local cable or DSL provider and spend 20 minutes listening to a computerized menu.

Other Router Problems

These are a few of the most common Wi-Fi router problems and remedies. If you have other router issues and solutions to share, please leave a comment below.