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What To Do When Your Ethernet Won’t Connect

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What To Do When Your Ethernet Won't Connect

This article was written by Jeremy Clifford of RouterCtrl.com.

Both Wi-Fi and Ethernet provide us with much-needed internet connections to perform a myriad of tasks. Internet users were comfortable with Internet connections via Ethernet cable until the appearance of Wi-Fi a few decades ago.

Wi-Fi was quite slow initially, but the technology has developed rapidly. It still does, and the introduction of next-gen Wi-Fi 6 has boosted Wi-Fi speeds almost to the Ethernet connection point. However, Wi-Fi still produces unexpected glitches and signal interruptions due to the inherent radio signal it operates on. That’s why sometimes you come across Wi-Fi not working, but Ethernet does.

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With most users connecting via Wi-Fi these days, even the slightest signal interruption would have major repercussions for them. This is no surprise since most modern devices are mobile and Wi-Fi enabled. The longer your Wi-Fi has this connection problem, the worse your problem will become.

These days, almost everything you own is connected to the Internet; it looks like you can’t do anything without an internet connection. Here in this article, we guide you on how to fix Wi-Fi not working issue with several proven methods. Let’s dive into it.

Router issues

Router is the source of internet connection to your devices through Ethernet and Wi-Fi. When Wi-Fi is not working, but Ethernet is working, router is working, but your device cannot read internet signal. Therefore, there could be a problem with your router.

The fastest way to check if there is a problem with your router is to try connecting other devices to Wi-Fi. If your Wi-Fi still isn’t working, your router is the source of the problem. Follow these steps to repair the router:

Restart your router and modem

  • Turn them off and unplug the plugs.
  • After a short time, reconnect them and turn on the modem first, then the router.
  • Restarting your router and modem allows the system to clear any bugs. Once the bugs are fixed, your router should work fine; if not, try the next method.

Router

Return to factory settings

You can try factory reset if soft reset does not work. To reset it to factory settings, you can simply press and hold the reset button on the back of your router. After a few seconds, the lights will start flashing. You can then release the button. The router will reboot and should be like new once it boots up.

Windows Troubleshooting

You can use the often overlooked Windows network troubleshooter to help you find errors. This built-in function can run on its own once you initiate the action via settings. Follow these steps to get started:

  1. Open Windows Settings

    Click the Windows icon to access Windows Settings and select Settings. You can also use a shortcut by simultaneously pressing the Windows key and the “i” key to bring up the Settings page.

    Windows 10 - Open Settings

  2. Select Update & Security

    Windows 10 - Settings

  3. Go to “Troubleshooting” and click on “Additional Troubleshooters”.

    Windows 10 - Settings - Troubleshooting

  4. Select Network Adapter and choose Run Troubleshooter.

    Windows 10 - Settings - Troubleshoot - Additional Troubleshooters

  5. Windows 11 will try to troubleshoot the network adapter on its own and check for errors or bugs.

    When prompted to choose the network adapter to diagnose, select “Wi-Fi Network”. If there are any issues, the troubleshooter will display them and recommend the next thing to do. Follow the instructions and see if the given solution solves your Wi-Fi problem.

    Windows 10 - Settings - Troubleshoot - Additional troubleshooters - Network adapter

Flush DNS cache

The DNS or Domain Name System is like a directory of the internet and translates domain names (like amazon.com) into IP addresses for web browsers to load internet resources. Unfortunately, DNS stores cache, like other online processes, which could be troublesome. If the DNS cache has caused your Wi-Fi to malfunction, here are the steps to clear the DNS cache:

  1. Open command prompt via search and run as administrator

    Windows 10 - Open CMD

  2. Type the following commands one after the other

    ipconfig /release
    ipconfig /renew

    Windows 10 - CMD - ipconfig version review

  3. Run the command to flush the DNS cache

    ipconfig /flushdns

    Windows 10 - CMD - ipconfig flushdns

Flushing DNS in Windows 10

Switch to another frequency band

Most modern routers are dual-band capable – they can run on 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi frequencies. Sometimes your Wi-Fi gets stuck in one or the other band for several reasons. 2.4 GHz is used by various devices, including household appliances. Because of this, it can easily stall due to heavy traffic, although its range is excellent.

On the contrary, the 5 GHz frequency gives you more speed and power, but the signal degrades quickly with distance. In addition, it cannot pass through obstacles and walls well. A good practice is to try switching to the other frequency if one doesn’t work.

Switching between 2.4 and 5 GHz bands on Windows

Reinstall drivers

Network drivers can also cause problems with your faulty Wi-Fi. Under normal circumstances, the pre-installed drivers from Windows Update should do the trick. However, generic drivers sometimes cannot meet system requirements. As a result, you will get an unstable network connection resulting in unusable Wi-Fi.

Follow these steps if you want to uninstall and reinstall the Wi-Fi network adapter drivers:

  1. Right-click on the Windows icon at the bottom left of the screen to access Device Manager

    Windows 10 - ALT X Menu - Device Manager

  2. Double click on “Network adapters”, right click on your Wi-Fi network adapter and select “Uninstall”

    Then restart your computer. It will automatically find the default drivers. If that doesn’t fix the problem, you can try updating the driver as shown in the next step.

    Windows 10 - Device Manager - Network Adapter - Uninstall Device

  3. Right-click on your Wi-Fi network adapter and choose “Update Drivers”.

    Windows 10 - Device Manager - Network Adapter - Update Driver

  4. Choose “Search automatically for drivers”

    • Windows will search for the latest driver software available for your device.
    • Follow the on-screen instructions until the process is complete.

    Windows 10 - Device Manager - Network Adapter - Update Driver - Search Automatically

Check parental controls

Parental control is a standard in a Wi-Fi home network. Some settings in the parental control application allow you to configure the Internet access schedule. Simply remove the restrictions to fix the Wi-Fi access problem.

Contact your ISP

If none of the methods listed above work, you should contact your ISP’s customer service team or technical support as a last resort. It will help if you explain the steps you have already taken so they can identify where the problem lies. It is also possible that the problem is at their end.

Conclusion

Having internet via Wi-Fi proves to be a convenient way to get online. However, since the Internet is transmitted through radio waves, Wi-Fi is naturally more volatile and prone to various interruptions. Therefore, sometimes you will encounter issues such as Wi-Fi not working, but Ethernet does. I hope one of the fixes explained above solved the problem for you.

About the Author

Jeremy Clifford is the person behind RouterCtrl.com. He is experienced in network equipment and administration and my goal is to share everything I know with his readers.

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