Can you help me connect to a wifi router?
October 6, 2012 4:50 AM   Subscribe

I'm having problems connecting to a wi-fi router. I've tried connecting both with my iPod Touch and my PC without any luck. Other computers have not had any problems connecting to the router and I have never had any problems connecting with other routers. I can connect using an ethernet cord. Can you help?

Here are some specifics. I'm using a Windows 7 PC. When I try to connect to the router, I get the message: Windows was unable to connect to [ROUTER NAME]. I don't get asked for a password or anything.

When I try to connect using the iPod Touch, I get asked for a password, but when I enter the WEP key on the bottom of the router, it says that the password is wrong.

I have verified that the WEP key on the bottom of the router is correct.
posted by Kattullus to Computers & Internet (14 answers total)
 
So to make sure I'm understanding correctly: if you connect the PC to the router with an ethernet cable, you are able to connect to the internet?

Was this working before and it stopped working, or are you setting it up for the first time?

If you can connect to the router via the ethernet cable, there's usually a web interface for administering the router that can be brought up. Are you able to do that?

I have to go but hopefully the answers to these questions will help other people diagnose.
posted by XMLicious at 5:05 AM on October 6, 2012


Go into the router settings, figure out where it says to select a channel, and set it to 1 or 11.

Some of these things have an "auto" option that in my experience that never works right.
posted by mhoye at 5:18 AM on October 6, 2012


Is this router brand new? The password on the bottom is the default password. If it has been used, it should have been changed. There should be a button somewhere (maybe one you have to use an unbent paper clip to get to) that will reset the router to the default password.
posted by COD at 5:24 AM on October 6, 2012


XMLicious: So to make sure I'm understanding correctly: if you connect the PC to the router with an ethernet cable, you are able to connect to the internet?

Yes, I am using it right now.

Was this working before and it stopped working, or are you setting it up for the first time?

It hasn't worked since I got here, I'm visiting my grandparents, but my grandparents' computer connects just fine. Other family members who've visited have had no problem connecting.

If you can connect to the router via the ethernet cable, there's usually a web interface for administering the router that can be brought up. Are you able to do that?

How do I get access to that? The router is an Inventel router, the internet provider is called Wanadoo which is a service of France Telecom.

COD: Is this router brand new?

No, it's been here for two or three years. No one's ever had any problems connecting to it.

There should be a button somewhere (maybe one you have to use an unbent paper clip to get to) that will reset the router to the default password.

I can't find any button like that.
posted by Kattullus at 5:38 AM on October 6, 2012


Make sure you aren't performing a typo. WEP has both letters and numbers. So that 8 might be a B.

Might also want to power cycle the router just in case and make your next attempt to connect right next to the router.
posted by damn dirty ape at 5:45 AM on October 6, 2012


I can't get to the password-entering window using my PC. I do get that far using my iPod Touch, but I'm unable to connect after entering the password. I've entered the password a number of times, so I'm pretty sure that at least one of those times I didn't make any typos.

I have unplugged the router and let it rest for half a minute, but that didn't fix my problem.
posted by Kattullus at 5:54 AM on October 6, 2012


Make sure the encryption is the same. WEP is a bit outmoded, and a lot of current devices default to WPA2 for encryption.
posted by briank at 6:24 AM on October 6, 2012


"when I enter the WEP key on the bottom of the router" sound strange to me. The WEP key is user selectable so unless someone wrote the key there I think you have the wrong key.
posted by Ferrari328 at 6:45 AM on October 6, 2012


The Inventel router (is it a Livebox?) has a admin user/pass combination of admin/admin. To get to the admin panel, connect your PC to the router with the ethernet cable and click on either of these links

http://configuration.adsl or http://192.168.1.1


From here you can click around the interface (see this page from some guides to the admin pages) and make sure you are using the right password. From that page, it looks as if your computer may need to be "paired" with the router which is something I don't know much about but the examples seem very straightforward.
posted by jessamyn at 7:10 AM on October 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


This forum post talks more about the pairing mechanism that seems to be part of this whole process.
posted by jessamyn at 7:12 AM on October 6, 2012


For the iPod Touch, you can verify the WEP key being correct/incorrect (if you haven't done this already & assuming your grandparents are using Windows 7 as well) by going to their connected computer and check the WEP key they're using to connect by clicking on the wireless icon in the system tray, right-clicking on their connection, select "Properties", and in there will be a checkbox that says "show characters" under "Network security key".
posted by flex at 7:15 AM on October 6, 2012


Do you have something weird setup for your network settings? I'm thinking maybe you set your DHCP server or your machine's local IP address to something manually and it's incompatible with your grandparent's router. Though, that one should be per network setting, not system wide setting.
posted by ethidda at 8:03 AM on October 6, 2012


The pairing mechanism was indeed the issue. I'm now free to surf from anywhere in the house, including the garden, with wanton impunity. Thanks all!
posted by Kattullus at 8:38 AM on October 6, 2012


In the past, I've had good luck calling the router's tech support, even out of warranty, YMMV.

I just got a new WIFI router from Time Warner, and it took their technician 2 hours to get it configured.
posted by StickyCarpet at 8:51 AM on October 6, 2012


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