Windows 10: Wifi fine, but no internet - keeps happening

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  1. bro67's Avatar
    Posts : 4,887
    Mac OS High Sierra 10.13.5
       09 Nov 2016 #11

    You are looking at your adapter Noise and RSSI. Also looking for any Access Points that may be close enough to you to cause signal issues. With you being in the UK, you have some other channels to choose from. There are some info that I came across after I updated the Firmware on my Access Point I use. It was stating that we should now be using channel 3 instead of 1, 6, 11. The Channel Bandwidth can be an issue if you cannot set it to 40mhz, because you have older equipment that still needs Wireless B or G on the legacy 20mhz channel bandwidth.
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  2.    09 Nov 2016 #12

    bro67, you are beginning to lose me with geek speak there. I accept that I may not have perfect wi-fi signal, but what I have a problem with is that when I get the "wifi, no internet" problem, my PC says it's connected to wifi no problem and my Android phone can connect to the wifi AND the internet. Is this problem common to all Windows 10 PCs or is there something specifically wrong with mine? I guess I could bring my laptop to work, but i'd probably have to run that test for about 1-2 weeks, which is not great, as my wife uses the laptop at home.
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  3. bro67's Avatar
    Posts : 4,887
    Mac OS High Sierra 10.13.5
       10 Nov 2016 #13

    It is hard to explain on this, unless you have done some searching. You can check out the videos on Metageek's page at WiFi Training and Eductation by MetaGeek Cisco's stuff is so outdated and gets way too technical. Think of your wifi Access Point like a Radio station and your desktop as your radio. When you are trying to get the best clearest signal, you find yourself moving the antenna, moving the Access Point higher on the wall or even relocating it to where the best signal is in the building.

    When you have interference, it is like when you listen to the radio and at certain times of the day or night, another radio station around that same frequency will start bleeding in. You also see this a lot with tv using an antenna to pick up stations and at night you may get a strong enough signal from a neighboring tower that is on the edge of the tower you normally can pick up, so it causes interference.

    The higher -dbm, the better quality signal. The RSSI should be below 60. That is kind of like the fine tuning when getting the radio station on your ham radio or am radio tweaked to where the noise is low enough that it does not cause the programming to be hard to hear.

    When you are looking at inSSIDer, you want to sort first by Channel, with Channel 1 at the top to see how many radios your WiFi adapter can see on each channel. Then you want to change the Signal to make the lowest number at the top. That is the best quality and most clear signal with very few packet errors that you can get the fastest speeds.

    My main Wireless-b/g/n/ac Access Point that I use, which is set for Channel 3 for the 2.4ghz Radio, with Channel Bandwidth set for 40mhz, Channel 100, 104, 108, 112 is used on my 5ghz radio, Channel Bandwidth set for 80mhz. My Macbook uses channel 100 with channel 3. At that setting I get between -25dbm to -32dbm, which I actually sit about 4' from it. Even if I go to another room, it stays usually below -45dbm.

    The closes radio to me is my neighbors on both sides of our house. Those radios are usually in the 70's or 80's. Their Access Points are maybe 75' from where I sit. I have one other Access Point in my house, but that is reserved for only a Wireless-b radio in our Thermostat, so it tends to stay in the 40's, which I am not worried about, since it is just for letting the portal that I use to send temperature programs to it, is the only thing that I really need the wifi access to it for.

    To honestly tell you, I am still learning something new about Wifi, since we are gearing up to seeing 5G & 6G, along with the newer Wireless generation of Wireless-ah or 802.11ah. That means that the manufacturers will be pushing new equipment that can handle the firmware for wireless-ac, so that it can hand off or have better isolation from the newer standard. Networking is something that if you use it at home, you have a full time job in keeping on top of making sure that it is up to your standards and that you get what you expect it to do.

    Also at this point with the mess that Microsoft has made with Windows 10. It is making it harder on networking, because of all of the changes that they are making, which is actually breaking the OS, not fixing it.
    Last edited by bro67; 11 Nov 2016 at 05:57.
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  4.    10 Nov 2016 #14

    Hey, so the problem happened again today and i've got some more info for you.

    The internet was working fine all day until about 3pm when all of a sudden, web pages stopped loading. The wifi panel said "connected, secured", but it clearly wasn't. I ran inSSIDer, "netsh wlan show all" and the network information batch file linked to by Neemobeer.

    I don't pretend to know what all the data means, but what I could see in inSSIDer is that my router was on channel 6, with a score of 42-45. There were 6 co-channels and 0 overlapping and when I sorted by Signal, mine was usually top, or at least in the top 2, but as you can see on the graph below, occasionally there were huge, but brief signal drops. I'm not sure if this is normal or not, but conceivably it could be enough to knock out the internet connection and force the PC to try to reconnect. The problem is it doesn't seem to be able to without a lot of cajoling it.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The next thing I tried was to reboot both routers and interestingly it came back onto channel 1, and then there were only 4 co-channels and 1 overlapping, this time with a slightly higher link score. I also tried moving the antenna up onto my desk, but it made no difference to the signal, an the internet still didn't reconnect.

    Next I tried all the ipconfig and netsh things in CMD prompt and rebooted and this didn't work like it has done previously. After trying all that a 2nd time, I attempted to update the Broadcom 802.11ac network adapter driver. I downloaded one from driverscape onto my phone and copied it across via USB. I then tried to install it and it froze my whole PC. I had to do a cold reboot and then Windows wouldn't boot and I couldn't even get into the BIOS! Gah, what a day. Then after about 3 more attempts, I finally got back into Windows, and things were still not working. I then went to the ASUS website to see if they had drivers available and apparently I'm on the latest version according to their website.

    So, now i'm completely stuck with an offline PC at work, so I've ordered a 10m ethernet cable and I'm going to take my laptop in tomorrow and work on that until the cable arrives, but I'd really like to get to the bottom of this!

    For your reading pleasure, I have attached text files showing the readouts of the batch process and the netsh wlan show all command.

    Looking forward to any help you can give!

    Thanks, Mark
    Wifi fine, but no internet - keeps happening Attached Files
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  5.    10 Nov 2016 #15

    Oh, P.S. one more thing: Often when I restart, I'll get it saying it's connected and a FEW things will work for a minute or two. For example, Dropbox and Google Drive will sync up and I'll be able to load Google in an Incognito browser window, or I'll open Gmail and Google Hangouts will send and receive a couple of messages but as soon as I go to load any other "normal" (i.e. not previously cached) pages, it will just hang, and eventually Dropbox and G Drive will say they cannot connect. I find this very weird.
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  6. bro67's Avatar
    Posts : 4,887
    Mac OS High Sierra 10.13.5
       11 Nov 2016 #16

    Is that BTWifi the public hotspot that BT enables on their gear? I am surprised that you cannot use 5GHz. I would set it for Channel 3. If you can set two channels, that will also increase your speed and also help when those units that are below -60 are causing your gateway to try and fight their signal.

    The best thing to do if you are picking up strong signals from the neighbors, is do a walk around with an android tablet to find out where those other access points are in relation to your A/P.
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  7.    11 Nov 2016 #17

    To be honest, I don't know anything about the configuration of the router or how to make changes to it. I'm renting a desk in the office of a husband and wife couple, so I will have to ask them to make the changes and possibly change their setup too. The husband uses a wired connection and the wife brings in her laptop but they only come in 2 days per week so they don't experience the issues I'm having.

    Are you still adamant that my issues are purely related to wifi signal strength and no other problem with the network adapter, drivers or Windows itself? You don't seem to have addressed those concerns of mine and keep focusing on the wifi signal strength. Did you look at all the files I uploaded? What can be concluded from that?

    I have an ethernet cable arriving today so if there's no further advice I may just go to wired and be done with all this hassle.
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  8. bro67's Avatar
    Posts : 4,887
    Mac OS High Sierra 10.13.5
       11 Nov 2016 #18

    A lot of Wireless-n radios. That link I posted has the setup manuals. Personally I like that if you do a setup like I did. It makes it easier to grow out the network and also keep the business side behind what is called an "Edge Router". It is placing a router on DMZ Plus or how BT states to place a router behind the equipment they provide. You can then do more than their equipment firmware that is limited can do.

    If the business owners are willing to sit down and make it so that all users on the network are getting proper speeds, no one user can hog the bandwidth on the network, they can also separate their equipment on a VLAN and same for the users to make sure that they do not see all computers on the network that they should not.

    I have read a lot of posts, searched through a lot of material, learned by just diving in when I moved up to the Cisco RV-320 VPN/Firewall that I have now. Keeping it simple is good, but if you are on a office network and you have to or need to keep your files private, then it is something that you would need to do.

    The whole reason why I finally moved up to the equipment I have. Was for the Wifi power on the Access Point I am using and having the ability to have router that was more robust when it came to features that can be used if needed and also I can go in and restrict users MAC's, unlike the AT&T U-Verse Gateway which does not have that option.
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  9.    12 Nov 2016 #19

    bro67, i'm sure you're trying to be helpful but you really are speaking a totally foreign language to me. I am a lone freelancer working in the office of a husband and wife couple. We are one "suite" in an office of many units so the other networks you see are other businesses in the next door rooms, but in our room, there are only three of us sharing a BT fibre connection and it is rare that there are even 3 of us there at once. Mostly it's just me. So...I don't think we'll be trying to get complex with the equipment, nor should we need to.

    I have a further update: I went in on Friday with my Dell XPS laptop running Windows 10 and an Ethernet cable. The laptop connected to the internet fine all day. I ran inSSIDer on the laptop and got pretty much the same data as I did on the desktop.

    On the desktop, there was still wifi but no internet when I booted it up. I then plugged in the Ethernet cable and windows recognised it but said there was no internet still. I ran through all the suggestions that Microsoft gave for this scenario on this page. None of them worked, so I tried the last resort: Network Reset. Doing this basically crashed my PC and after that it wouldn't boot, so much so that I ended up having to create a Windows recovery drive via my laptop and use it to repair Windows on the desktop. Once the repair completed, lo and behold, my internet came back online and everything was fine for several hours afterwards.

    Do you STILL think it's a wifi signal problem? I don't! I'm not really sure what it was, but at least it's working again and if I have future problems, then at least I now have an ethernet cable as a backup.

    Anyway, despite the above, thanks for doing your best to help.
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  10. bro67's Avatar
    Posts : 4,887
    Mac OS High Sierra 10.13.5
       14 Nov 2016 #20

    Basically you need to work with the person who you are renting from and BT to figure out why. Most likely they need an external Access Point in the office, instead of trying to use the wifi off of the Gateway that may be buried in a closet somewhere or under a desk.

    You should use Ethernet if you are working in that office, so that no one can sniff your packets over Wifi. Wifi is good if you use the proper security, but renting an office and not knowing how secure it is, along with the wifi issues, tells me that there is a problem with the setup.

    The info I posted is not a foreign language. It is very valuable information to know when you are looking at the big picture in how it is setup now and how it should be setup to assure the users that they are secure and no one can be on their part of the LAN. It gets a little more difficult to explain the next step about Captive Portals, which are used at Starbucks and other places that you have to either enter a username and password or click ok to accept the authority to be on the network.

    Just make sure that you keep your laptop locked down and placed on public wifi when not on your home network.
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