Connecting and Troubleshooting Your Network

A Windows machine will never be as useful as it is if it can’t connect to a network. No matter what other functions a computer can perform; one of the purposes of why we bought it is for connecting to the Internet and getting more functions of it by downloading some useful apps and programs coming from different sources.

Every Windows 8.1 machine has the capability of connecting to available wireless networks and is equipped with a dedicated port where you can plug in a LAN cable. Wired LAN connections are a lot easier to connect with since all you need to do is plug in the cable to where it should be but wireless networks, especially those that are secured with a password are harder to get connected to. If it is your first time to connect with a wireless network or you’re having problems with your wireless Internet connection at home then you can read this guide to learn some steps in how to connect to a network and how you can troubleshoot it when something wrong happens.

How to View Available Wireless Networks

The icon that shows the network connection status is located at the bottom-right portion of the screen right at the system tray of the taskbar. You will also find another one when you access the Settings screen by clicking on the Settings charm or pressing the “Windows + I” keys.


After you click on any of the network status icons which are accessed in two different locations (the taskbar and the Settings screen), you will be able to see the screen that lists all available wireless networks which you can connect to as long as you know the password to each one of them.


From the list of networks that appears simply select the one that you want to connect to and you will see an input box for the password if the network is a secured one. You will know if a network that is available on the list is secured or unsecured by the signal strength icon itself. An unsecured network will have an exclamation point overlay on its signal strength icon while one that is secured with a password will not have any overlay.


Your machine will automatically try to connect to any unsecured network which you selected or clicked on and will ask for a password if you select a secured one. You’ll need to ask the one who owns the wireless for the password. Once you have it, all you need to do is input it on the box provided and hit the “Connect” button at the bottom of the screen.

On the network connections screen, you will also have access to two sliding switch for your computer’s WiFi signal adapter and for the “Airplane mode”. The airplane mode switches off all of the wireless adapters like the one for Bluetooth and WiFi which are turned on. This switch is intentionally integrated on the screen so you can quickly turn off everything when you are travelling on a plane and you want to open your laptop computer to work on something.


Common Network Connection Problems

There would be times that even if there are some available WiFi connections in your area, your machine still isn’t able to pick up any of it. When this happens, you don’t need to panic, there’s nothing wrong with your computer. It’s just something that was accidentally pressed which is either a keyboard combination or a dedicated switch on your laptop computer’s input panel section.

Most laptops have a specific button for the WiFi signal adapter while others use a keyboard combination usually the Fn and the F3 key pressed simultaneously to turn the WiFi adapter on or off. When you’re not receiving any of the wireless networks that you have at home then this would probably be the problem. Just look for the button or press the keys that will turn on the adapter and you should be able to see some networks being detected now when you access the network status screen.

Problem with the Wired Connection

If you are using a wired LAN, there could be cases that the status would show that you are connected to the network but there is no Internet connection. You will know this if you see a yellow exclamation point overlay on the network status icon at the taskbar. To solve this problem, all you need to do is check on the wires and the connection from the modem to your computer. In most cases, the problem is just a loose connection on one end of the LAN cable. Just be sure that all connections are tightly attached to where they are supposed to be and check again on your Internet connection status.

Problem with the WiFi Router or Modem

WiFi routers and LAN modems stay on for days and there would be times that they would not work properly because of some trouble with DNS and other reasons. This problem is often solved easily by simply unplugging the device, leaving it off for around 5 to 10 minutes and plugging it on again after that. This helps reset the modem or router and make it work again normally.

Troubleshooting Problems Using Windows Network Diagnostics

Network connection problems can also be solved using the built-in Windows Network Diagnostics Wizard. This tool allows you to solve problems automatically with a few simple steps. To access it, simply right-click on the network connection status icon located on the system tray and click on the “Troubleshoot problems” option from the right-click menu that appears.


After doing so, the Windows Network Diagnostics Wizard will open and do a scan with your computer’s network connection, simply wait until the scan is finished and the wizard will tell you what to do in order to solve the problem. Just follow what the wizard tells you to do and see if it solves the problem. If not, you’ll need to check on every connection that exists from your modem to the WiFi router or of it is a wired LAN, check on the connections between the modem and your computer.

Things to Be Careful About

Nowadays, there are a lot of fake hacking software that promises to detect the password of any wireless network which your computer is able to detect. Most of them look very decent to be suspected as fake but once it gets installed, you will just be disappointed because it will not work at all. These fake software are actually designed to track your Internet usage and other relevant information about you. They really are hacking software in the real sense but not the type that they are labeled with. Don’t be tempted to install any of them on your machine so you can avoid any serious problems in the long run. The best way of connecting to a network is by asking the password from its administrator. Doing this will keep you in the safe side anytime, anywhere!