How do I get my new computer to see my wifi network?

I got a new gaming rig so I can run VR. Just set it up today, but it’s not finding my wifi network. It doesn’t show up in the available networks, and it won’t let me add it. This is my first experience with Windows 10, so I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong.

Tech support questions answered:

  1. Platform: Windows 10
  2. Version: Not sure, but it’s brand new machine
  3. Problem: Computer does not find my home network so I can connect it to wifi. When I search for networks, the only one it lists is an open Xfinity one.
  4. I’ve tried opening the Control Panel and finding the network. I’ve tried adding the network. I tried resetting the network back to the starting point (which is basically where it is now–I literally hooked the machine up this afternoon, so there’s no data or settings of mine on it yet).

I’m not super tech-savvy, but I’m reasonably decent at troubleshooting common problems. This one’s got me stumped, though.

Any thoughts/ideas/suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!

Did you go to Settings > Network and Internet and make sure the WiFi button is switched on? If you’re used to older versions of Windows it’s counterintuitive that this wouldn’t be under the Control Panel, but there it is.

Yes. WiFi is turned on, and Airline Mode is off.

Start with something you can easily rule out, your router. Can other devices in your house see and connect to your router? What if you delete/forget the connection and try to set it up again? Can you still easily connect them back up to your wifi?
I assume the router is fine, but you don’t want to spend 3 hours trying to figure out whats going on and it turns out to be something that you weren’t even thinking about. OTOH, if you can rule out the router, you don’t have to worry about it.

I want to tell you to turn off any/all security and firewall settings (on your computer) to see if that makes a difference, but it’s odd that it’s seeing one and not yours. It’s also a bit odd that it’s only seeing one. Unless you live in the middle of nowhere, you can normally see a half dozen or so.

Anyways, I’d suggest you check the router. If you can use another device to log into it, check the settings to make sure everything is good there. The first thing I’d do is make sure the SSID is being broadcasted.

And make sure you didn’t get tricky and set up MAC filtering on the router one day when you were feeling all whizbang.

I just forgot the network on my phone and reconnected with no trouble using the wifi password.

I’m sure we didn’t do anything fancy with the router. The Xfinity people set it up quite some time ago and we’ve never had any problems connecting with it.

Some time ago my Win10 computer only had the wifi list on the login page, before I logged in. But since you see a network, that shouldn’t be you problem.

Do you have an ethernet port on your router? You might try hooking your computer directly to it using its Ethernet port, and seeing if that works. That’s obviously not a permanent solution, but it should more or less find the router then.

Also, have you tried taking your machine to a Starbucks or something?
And do you get your neighbors’ wifi on your phone? You should see more than just one, depending on where you live.
If this machine is a laptop you might take it to a Starbucks or something and see if you can find their wifi. If not, you might have a hardware issue.

The machine is a desktop, so taking it to Starbucks isn’t an option. :slight_smile:

I do have an ethernet port on the router, though the machine is quite a distance from it and I’m not sure I have a cable long enough anymore. (BTW, I used to have a laptop in the exact same area hooked to the wifi, so it’s not a distance issue).

Your desktop has WiFi??? Usually that is something added to them. Does Win10 find a WiFi card or dongle?

Yeah, I’m an idiot. I finally got hold of my tech-support-whiz friend, and the first thing he asked me was, “Are you sure it has WiFi?” I said I thought it did, but when he looked up the specs, he said as far as he can tell, it doesn’t.

So…problem solved, and I’m off to pick up a WiFi adapter tomorrow. :stuck_out_tongue:

If it’s a desktop that isn’t going to be moving, and if you can get a cable, I’d go cable rather than wifi. In general, less problems and better signal.

Be careful here. If you fix it to the back of the PC you’ll have a large chunk of metal - the PC - between the aerial and the router. A wired connection is MUCH more sensible for a desktop than a wifi connection. It’s faster, too.

That used to be the case, but not so much anymore. I have Comcast cable internet and it’s wicked fast on either. My new modem I received when I moved into this apartment has two wifi networks, one is the standard 2.4 Ghz connection and the other is a 5ghz connection. My desktop is getting about 180 down and 30 up being hardwired into the modem. This laptop I’m on gets 160 down and about the same upload speed on the 5ghz network, and every mobile device, tablet, 2 laptops etc in the apartment are all connected to the same network and it never bogs down or lags during my son’s online games. I’m only paying for 150 down but since I am the only comcast customer around here (everyone has satellite TV) I get ludicrous speeds.

So yeah, it’s a skosh faster but they’re so close as to not be able to ascertain the difference.

Here’s my most recent result from this morning on the laptop:

Most Wi-Fi dongles you’ll find today will be tiny USB things, with or without an antenna. Make sure it supports 5 GHz as well as 2.4 GHz. If the back USB ports are really a problem, you can probably use a port on the front of the PC.

Deep congratulations to the Windows team for having a functional Wi-Fi ON/OFF toggle in the UI when the PC has no hardware for it…

Until I got to #9, that was the question I was going to ask. My desktop doesn’t have wifi and since the router/transmitter sits on top of the box, there is no problem with connections.

When I bought it, I deliberately chose to exclude wifi from the build as its predecessor had an annoying habit of using wifi instead of the ethernet connection, even though I altered the preferences. In my case, wire is faster than wireless; although not by so much these days.

How can this be if the computer doesn’t have wifi?

Your guess is as good as mine. It doesn’t even consistently find that one.

BTW, wired isn’t really an option right now. The router is downstairs and the machine is upstairs in a bedroom (I’m building a “holodeck” so I’m dedicating most of the room to the VR setup. The spouse won’t let me run a wire that far (to be fair, it would look really awful, so I don’t blame him).

I’ve run into situations where older/cheaper devices can’t see the 5 ghz wi-fi network but they can see the 2.4 ghz network. If you had such a device and only had a 5 ghz wi-fi network then it would appear not to be there at all. As for the Xfinity network, could that be shared via bluetooth or something? It would have to be pretty close though.

I suspect it’s probably the free wifi connection that Xfinity offers, coming from our own system. That’s the only thing that would be close enough.

The other point is that wired is more secure. Less interference; you aren’t sharing total bandwidth with other devices, which as things like Chromecast and similar become ore prevalent, will be an issue; plus depends on the neighborhood density… How many competing Wifi in the area…