The WiFi does not work again! Burn the access points and fire the network admin...
Not so fast..
As I've mentioned before, the network is a collection of multiple services and resources
working together to share resources. Of course that's a simplistic explanation but the point is that your network, either wired or wireless, relies on various other components for its operation. There are a lot of moving parts that need to work together in a hybrid network where the WiFi is an extension of your Ethernet network. Services such as DNS, DCHP, LDAP provide name resolution, IP addressing, and authentication. Technical configurations such as routing, switching, vlans provide data traffic direction, and even conditions outside your control that may affect network communication, things such as ISP issues, power failures, WiFi inference,etc.
For a proper network communication to work all services and components need to work in harmony and the failure on one of them affects the basic network function. In this article I'll show you how to easily identify if the spotty Wireless network issue is a misconfiguration or if the issue is somewhere else, specially on your ISP.
It's true that the network administrator is responsible for proper network operation, whether wired or wireless but many times things fall outside or his\her control. Want to find out if the spotty WiFi is the real issue or somewhere else? then read along...
First of all, make sure you are connected to the WiFi network. If you experience constant disconnect the
Let's go over networking 101: Your wireless devices needs and IP address to communicate with other devices in the network, the IP can be assigned by a DHCP server or it can manually assigned. In most cases it will be automatically assigned, when you're experiencing WiFi issue the first thing you need to do is to make sure you have a valid IP address. There are many ways you can find the IP address assigned to your device, I prefer using the command line as it'll give me the option to run other tests, you can run the ipconfig command from Windows or ifconfig from Mac.
The picture above is the ipconfig output from a Windows machine, notice that the host has a valid IP address assigned to it, 172.16.5.126. The default gateway is the device that will give you access to another network, in most small-flat networks it's also the router that provides access to the ISP and internet.
One of the first things I always do when troubleshooting WiFi network issues is to verify the device I'm working from can reach the default gateway, you do this by typing the ping command followed by the IP address of the default gateway:
In the example above our computer was able to reach the default gateway, that is good news, even if you're experiencing network issues. What the result shows is that your network (the internal network) is functioning. Your next step is to determine if you can reach a host outside your network. You can use the ping command again to accomplished this, i like pinging 220.127.116.11. You can ping any working remote IP address you'd like but. For this test i prefer running a continues ping as the default behavior in a Windows environment is to send only 4 icmp packets, you do this by adding the -t after the IP address.
Notice how the replies are inconsistent, based on the simple troubleshooting steps we've taken we concluded that: 1. Internal communication is working, 2. The problem is outside our network, which means that the problem is not the WiFi or any of your network services.
This was a quick basic troubleshooting technique that can easily point you in the right direction, of course not all network issues are that simple to troubleshoot but this provide useful information.
Are you still having WiFi issues even when everything else seems to working? It's time to bring in the Calvary, we specialize in proving Network and WiFi services.
Contact us at 888-580-4450 for details about our services and solutions.