Unable to access the network: solving the problem in 5 steps

The Wi-Fi icon starts its dance: it blinks, the x appears indicating the absence of connection and so on for a couple of times. The words "Connections are available" also appear, but the computer still doesn't connect to the network. What's going on? Here's how to solve the problem

Everyone has started up their PC, smartphone or tablet and found that the connection was not working. The computer sees the available networks, you click on connect and the problems start. The device tries and fails, the user is isolated and begins to wonder what the issue may be to solve. If you are on a deadline this inconvenience, because it is usually a fairly trivial problem to solve, can waste valuable time. Here's what to do in these cases and what are the likely solutions.

The procedures to follow to try to solve the situation depend on the type of connection you use and the device from which you connect. Let's assume for the moment that it's a PC connected to the home internet network.

1.  Automatic diagnostics

Then, the first ally in this case is the diagnostic system of your device. When the box with the connection failure warning appears, it is usually followed by a clickable "Troubleshooting" link and a second entry that refers the user to the "Network Connection Center". Selecting Troubleshooting will automatically start the device's analysis of connection problems.

If the box does not appear, here's how to get to the connection center and manually launch the network scan. Open the Control Panel, among the different menus that will appear select Find and Troubleshoot, you'll then have to click the Network and Internet section and then Internet Connections. At this point you'll be able to start troubleshooting. The system will scan for the malfunction that prevents you from connecting to the network and if possible remedy it. Or it will tell you what the most likely cause is and what the best solution is.

2. Checking the modem

If this process fails to unblock the situation there are other steps you can try before calling for technical support. For example, it may not be a problem with the pc/smartphone/tablet, but with the modem. Make sure that the network connection light is on and not blinking. If not, the basic remedy is to restart the modem/router. Turn the device off and then on again and if it is not a more serious fault, the situation usually returns to normal.

In case this solution does not solve the problem, there may be more serious problems that do not depend on your device but on the provider's network. Report the malfunction to the service center and wait for instructions from them.

3. Delete and reset the network

Before calling in the cavalry or getting tough, try this solution. Open the list of available connections. To find it, simply select the Wi-FI icon. Here you'll find all the networks that your computer/smartphone/tablet can see within its range. Locate yours and click on it. Then click on Disconnect. Wait a few minutes and then repeat the operation and this time the button that appears will be Connect.

If it doesn't work you can try again, but this time instead of clicking and selecting Disconnect press the right mouse button. Then click on Properties. A window will open and try to delete the network key. Do a new search for available networks, select yours and enter the password manually.

4.Boost the signal

It could also be just a lack of connection because you are in a room where Wi Fi does not reach because of a drop in signal strength or an overload of the home network (too many devices connected at the same time). Is there a remedy even in this eventuality? Sure. You can amplify the signal or resort to one of the tips to improve the power of the ADSL or fiber connection. Or in the case of overcrowding of devices you can try to change the bandwidth frequency with which the PC is connected to the network.

5. The Antivirus

This may sound like a movie title. In reality it could be that the system detects a threat and blocks your access to the network. Running a scan for viruses or malware could unblock your connection. Start searching for these intruders and if they are detected, clean up the system.

If a Mac is not connecting

So far the proposed solutions are based on the description of problems and solutions assumed for PC owners. If, on the other hand, the user has a Mac, some steps of the described procedures are different.

Also the Mac operating system loads a network troubleshooting tool that starts automatically, very similar to the one seen for PCs.

If it does not start spontaneously, here's what to do. Click on the network connections icon that appears while holding down the Alt key. In the menu that opens, there is the item Open wireless diagnosis. At this point the user will just have to follow the on-screen instructions step by step, the only important thing is to remember the Apple password. The first check will be more superficial, but if it does not lead to a resolution of the problem, you can restart the monitoring and proceed to an advanced diagnosis of the network. The good old turn off and turn on is always an option that can bring unexpected results in deadlock situations. Restart your Mac and wait, maybe by resuming your activities the computer will solve the problem for you without having to go through any further attempts.

If this attempt fails, you can try to restore the network through another very simple procedure. Try deleting the data of the usual Wi-Fi network, clear the automatic reconnection options and proceed to reinstall your preferred network. Basically, you'll have to reconfigure that network connection and the connection with your Mac.

To do so, enter into System Preferences where you'll find the Network entry. From here you can access the list of all connections detected by the computer. If you have correctly followed the procedure to delete the registered data of the Wi-Fi network, you will now see the name of the network but you will be asked to enter the password.

Obviously, what we said before about the Wi-Fi network is valid for both devices. Even with the Mac, if none of these basic tips worked, you can try to figure out if it's a problem related to the provider's network or a momentary failure of the modem.

What to do if the mobile connection doesn't work

If instead of the traditional landline connection you have problems from your cell phone with 4G, 3G or LTE networks (it depends on what your smartphone model is and the contract with the operator). There are also in this case some tips that could solve the situation without technical intervention.

Among the basic checks to understand if it is not a serious problem or if it is the case to worry certainly the first is to make sure that you have not finished data traffic and that you are in an area where the line takes.

Reconfigure your network

When using the hotspot you must enter a password and typically connect your PC/Mac by selecting a network. It may happen that the network name is Android rather than another very common name that is the same for different devices. This can create overlaps between two lines. To be sure to exclude this problem delete the network and reconfigure it.

Once again it could be that the lack of connection is not due to a technical problem of your device, but to a general malfunction of the mobile operator's network. To remove any doubt, contact the customer service and inform yourself or report the inconvenience, so you'll know if you'll proceed with other connection attempts or if you'll have to wait for them to solve the network problem.

The controls for the iPhone

There are also differences between the operations to try to solve connection problems from iPhone and Android. For example, if you have an Apple smartphone and the message Unable to access the network appears, the path to follow to restart network connections goes through General Settings. In the menu you'll find an item with an evocative name: Restore Network Settings. By clicking on this menu you will be able to delete the pre-configured settings of the Wi Fi networks you typically use and make a new configuration.

It may also be sufficient to click on the mobile network or Wi-Fi connection icons, disable them for a couple of minutes and then proceed to reactivate them and check if rebooting changes the situation. Or more drastically turn the device off and on again.

What to do with an Android

If your smartphone is an Android instead, the procedure to check the network connection settings are extremely similar to what we have seen above for PCs. The Wi Fi network connection icon will allow access to the network, the first attempt will be to disable and re-enable the connection.

After that you can try to delete and reset the network. If that doesn't work either, you can change the DNS of your internet connection. This is the domain name system that reads and interprets the URLs of web pages and communicates with the IP of the network resource and the pc or smartphone. If this server is slow, the connection may be affected.

To change the DNS you will need to go to Network and connection settings and change the code. Usually two are provided by default on the page, so you'll just have to switch from primary to secondary. If you have completed the operation but the connection still does not work, try to restart the phone.

If the problem has not been solved or is frequent, it may be time to consider a change of fixed or mobile operator. In order to find out the most convenient offers or upgrade your home internet connection use the SosTariffe.it comparator and discover the promotions of the moment.