The name Wi-Fi was commercially used at least as early as August 1999 and was coined by a brand consulting firm which used the slogan “The Standard for Wireless Fidelity”. The name was created by the firm because the wireless industry was looking for a user-friendly name that was a little catchier than the original term, ‘IEEE 802.11’. Could you imagine walking into a café and asking the barista: “excuse me, do you have the IEEE 802.11 password so I can connect to the internet?”.

As of January 2022, Canada had 36.89 million internet users, which amounted to almost 97% of the country’s population (source: Statista). We’ve become so accustomed to Wi-Fi being readily available for accessing websites, streaming movies, and viewing our social media that we don’t think twice about being connected until we encounter a Wi-Fi issue.

Here are some common Wi-Fi issues and the solutions to fix them:

Forgot or lost your Wi-Fi password

There may be times where you simply can’t remember your Wi-Fi password and you forgot to write it down somewhere. This will require you to reset your router. A reset can be done by using a paperclip or pin to press the pinhole-sized reset button, which is typically located at the back of your router. This should default to your factory settings whereby you can configure your router and set-up a new password.

If this doesn’t work, there are a number of other ways to retrieve your Wi-Fi password which can be found by clicking here.

A device can’t connect to the Wi-Fi

If you have a device that can’t connect, it could be a temporary network issue. You can first try turning off the Wi-Fi on the device, then turning it back on. If this doesn’t work, try unplugging your router then plug it back in 20-30 seconds later, then try connecting.

If problems still persist on the device, try deleting the current network from the list of saved networks on your device, then reconnect again.

If none of the above work, you can try rectifying the issue using your laptop or desktop computer. If you’re running Windows 10 or 11, search for “wifi troubleshooting” and open the result, which should be Identify and Repair Network Issues. Diagnostics will run that may restore connectivity. On MacOS (Apple MacBooks), you can run Wireless Diagnostics. Hold the Options key and click the Wi-Fi icon on the menu bar (usually at the top of your screen). Find Open Wireless Diagnostics, and then follow the on-screen instructions.

No internet access despite Wi-Fi being connected

If you can see that you’re connected to your Wi-Fi but you can’t access the internet, try resetting your modem by unplugging it, waiting 20-30 seconds, then plugging it back in. If this doesn’t work, try unplugging your router in a similar fashion (assuming it is separate than your modem).

If it still doesn’t work, try connecting your laptop or desktop computer to your router via an Ethernet cable. If this works, the router may have a problem that requires a reset. If there is still no connection after you’ve connected via an Ethernet cable, contact your internet service provider as there may be an issue that you are unable to fix yourself.

Router crashes regularly

If your router regularly crashes, try giving it a full reset. Signs of a regularly crashing router are spotty streaming, lags in your web browsing or not being able to connect to Wi-Fi. To do a full reset, use a paperclip or pin to press the pinhole-sized reset button, which is typically located at the back of your router. Hold down the reset button for 20-30 seconds which defaults the router to the factory settings whereby you can reconfigure your router.

Can’t connect to your wireless printer

If your wireless printer can’t connect to your Wi-Fi, try the good old-fashioned way of turning everything off and back on again. Also, ensure that your printer is not too far away from the router. Another thing to look out for is ensuring that you are trying to connect to Wi-Fi and not via Wi-Fi Direct as these are two different types of technology.

Another tip is to ensure that you have selected the correct default printer. You can determine this by going into your printer settings if you’re printing from a computer. If all else fails, try to uninstall your printer driver and reinstall the more recent versions.

Other tips

One tip to safeguard your internet browsing is to ensure that your Wi-Fi is password protected. This significantly decreases the chances of others accessing information on your network. Keep your password safe and do not share your password with others that you do not know.