Wlan woes
October 9, 2014 12:51 AM   Subscribe

My laptop cannot connect to Wlan anymore. Please help me!

This morning, my laptop suddenly refused to connect to Wlan. It had its problems before, but never like this.

I have a Lenovo ThinkPad Edge with Windows 8 (which I hate) and Ubuntu installed on it. At home, I use a lan cable because the Wlan is too unstable on Ubuntu. (It works fine on Windows, if I recall correctly, but I rarely use Windows.) Sometimes, although my other devices such as Kindle Fire and smartphone are connected, my laptop asks me for the password over and over again and then fails to connect. (Yes, the password is correct.) Sometimes, the connection simply fails. (Especially if someone else in the house goes online - it's like they suck the internet away from me.)

I am living with a host family at the moment, and the Wlan doesn't always reach my room. My phone tells me the signal is very weak, and sometimes disconnects, so it's not just my laptop. Usually, this could be fixed (inconveniently and at the expense of my privacy) by moving closer to the router in the living room. Even then, the connection sometimes fails, but is usually restored quickly enough. Today, it wasn't, and neither Ubuntu nor Windows will go online without the lan cable. (Which I can only use because I am alone at home right now.) It worked in my room when I woke up around six, and then around 9, suddenly, it was gone. I discovered that someone had plugged all the cables (why???) and I put them back in. Since it works with the cable, I am assuming things are restored, but Wlan is gone. My computer does see the router's WiFi, but cannot connect with it. It keeps trying and failing, asking for the password over and over again.
Since it is not my router, I cannot tamper with the settings etc.

This is seriously frustrating. I need to be able to surf online, check my mails, skype with my boyfriend etc. I tried googling around, but I am not very good at computer stuff. The few manuals I could understand didn't help. Usually, my brother handles this stuff for me, but a) he's not here right now and b) for personal reasons, I don't want to ask him.

Can anyone here please help me out?
posted by LoonyLovegood to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
Did the same someone who unpluged all the cables reset the router to its default state or otherwise change the wireless password?
posted by mygoditsbob at 4:30 AM on October 9, 2014

"Today, it wasn't, and neither Ubuntu nor Windows will go online without the lan cable."
Then the problem is with the router.

> Since it is not my router, I cannot tamper with the settings etc.
Buy a new router and connect it to the first router with a LAN cable.
posted by yoyo_nyc at 4:32 AM on October 9, 2014

"It keeps trying and failing, asking for the password over and over again." Like mygotitsbob, I suspect that someone changed the password on the router (you should verify this by trying to connect to the wireless network using your phone and Kindle).

On preview, +1 for yoyo_nyc:

Can you buy your own wireless router and wire it into the existing one? That's not the best arrangement, but at least then you would have your own, dedicated router. You wouldn't get any more bandwidth, but you'd have control over the device. And, if your host family allows it, you could get a longer cable and move your router closer to your room.
posted by akk2014 at 4:35 AM on October 9, 2014

Response by poster: I'm not here for too long, so I would like to avoid buying expensive gadgets. The cable would have to be suuuuuuuuuuuuper long, and the kids would likely trip over it, so no. (They also keep kicking at the router, which sometimes cuts off the internet...)

As I said, my Kindle etc. still connect with the same password. So weird...
posted by LoonyLovegood at 4:37 AM on October 9, 2014

Best answer: >The cable would have to be suuuuuuuuuuuuper long,
No, because your router would be beside the old router.

>g, so I would like to avoid buying expensive gadgets.
A used router, preferably with a decent firmware like tomato will cost you very little.
posted by yoyo_nyc at 4:42 AM on October 9, 2014

If both Ubuntu and Windows on your laptop won't connect but other devices (phone, Kindle) work, that suggests to me that the problem is specific to your laptop (but not software at the OS or application level).

Some laptops have a special key (Fn + Heiroglyph) to turn the 802.11 radio on and off. This may work at a hardware or firmware level (thus thwarting both Linux and 'doze). See if you have something like that. If so, pressing it may cure the problem.

Or, your wireless adapter on the laptop may have (in technical terms) shat the bed. The good news is that you can get perfectly nice USB 802.11bgn adapters for around US$10. Some of them are small enough to leave plugged in all the time. Borrowing one long enough to see if it fixes the problem might be a good plan if you can swing it.
posted by sourcequench at 1:07 PM on October 9, 2014

« Older Find past unlock codes for iPhone?   |   Need to buy a 30Tb hard drive, what are my options... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.