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April 3, 2010 11:08 AM   Subscribe

Setting up wireless internet - ipod touch will connect to the internet, but laptops will not. What am I doing wrong?

So I'm setting up wireless internet for my parents over the phone. They just got highspeed. I talked them through configuring their wireless router. Now my father's ipod touch will find the signal no problem. He enters the password, and he's off to the races. His laptop will also find the signal, will ask him to connect, allow him to enter password, but will not let him surf the internet. Mom's laptop has the same problem. It says she is connected, but the internet is not working.

Obviously it's broadcasting the wireless signal because the ipod is working. Both parents laptops have connected to other wireless signals without incident in other places. I must be missing something obvious, so please help me out hivemind so I can go play outside, instead of wasting my saturday afternoon on the phone doing tech support!

It's a D-link DIR-615, if that matters. Windows vista on one laptop, xp on the other.
posted by Brodiggitty to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Is networking on the laptop set to get the IP address and DNS via DHCP?
posted by zippy at 11:14 AM on April 3, 2010

Response by poster: Ok, how do I check that setting in Windows XP, or Vista?
posted by Brodiggitty at 11:30 AM on April 3, 2010

Is, by any chance, the router an apple product? If so, the password for the touch and the password/key for the laptop are not the same.
posted by HuronBob at 11:43 AM on April 3, 2010

ouch... didn't read clearly... sorry...

Still, don't the windoz laptops require a WEP hex key as opposed to a simple password?
posted by HuronBob at 11:46 AM on April 3, 2010

Few things to check

- can they connect to the internet if they plug in an ethernet cable into the router [if they have one and if the router has a port]?
-- if so, try to get them on Skype or something where you can do desktop sharing and you'll save yourself a world of hurt
-- if not, move on

- do they have a firewall or other "protection" set up that might conflict with surfing the internet?
-- related, what does it mean that "the internet isn't working" Can they not load Google? It's possible their computer expects them to use dial-up for internet, so make sure under Internet Connection [in Control panel or under IE's preferences] it's set to not dial a connection, etc

- do they have switches on their laptop that need to be in some position to make sure they can connect to the internet [crazy but it happens]

- have you tried removing the password from the router to see if maybe it's a password encryption problem? I'd try this step first, especially if they live somewhere where neighbors are unlikely to freeload on their wireless because it's the simplest step if it does in fact work.
posted by jessamyn at 12:14 PM on April 3, 2010

Best answer: Is networking on the laptop set to get the IP address and DNS via DHCP?
posted by zippy at 7:14 AM on April 4 [+] [!]

Ok, how do I check that setting in Windows XP, or Vista?
posted by Brodiggitty at 7:30 AM on April 4 [+] [!]


posted by Sparx at 3:23 PM on April 3, 2010

Best answer: from command line (hold windows key and press 'r', type "cmd" and hit enter):

ipconfig /all

What does it say?

Other things that come to mind:

This is exactly what would happen if they were incorrectly inputting the password on the laptops...did they forget the password after putting it into the Ipod Touch? (see jessamyn's comment above)

If you had a MAC filter on the router, it would do this.

It is almost certainly not a DHCP issue if, as you said, they have connected to the internet successfully on other people's wireless networks (and, presumably, haven't majorly changed settings on their laptops since). It is much more likely to be an issue with the router or a user error.
posted by nzero at 4:02 PM on April 3, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks for all the advice. After restarting the router, the vista laptop connected immediately. The xp laptop connected, without any tinkering, later in the day. So who knows why it wasn't working at first. Thanks again for all your help.
posted by Brodiggitty at 6:04 PM on April 3, 2010

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