Troubleshooting Wi-Fi: introduction

Wireless network makes feel almighty and privileged who has access to the world of information and entertainment from the comfort of any spot in the Wi-Fi area. All cool until they begin to play odd balls and do not respond to your request or get you any access. For some place like big business, they cannot simply afford to let that happen.

Let’s see how we can detect and correct wireless problems by looking at hardware, software and configuration problems.

Key question to answer for fixing Internet issues

The best thing you can do in virtually any problem solving tasks is to break down the problems into little chunks. This step is way more crucial than looking for solution straight away. Shoot yourself with the question like who, what and when. For instance, who is affected by such problem? What is the behaviour of the network problem? When did the problem occur? This is the first crucial step and also known as the gathering information phase. Answer to these question will at least lead you to a good start than jumping randomly to fix things on the go blindly.

Who is affected?

In case, all machines on the network have lost connection to the network. The problem is quite bigger than a few machines not having access to the network. Troubleshoot this scenario like you would naturally do in such cases. Once you find out the wireless node affected, it is quite easy to pinpoint whether the problem is in one or more wireless clients or in one or multiple access points.

Once you are able to narrow down the number of machines affected, the next step is to find out what kind of error the users of those wireless nodes experiencing. If they are able to get access to some but not all of the network services, it is high likely that the problem is limited to their wireless equipment. For instance, if they are able to surf on the Internet but cannot get access to some shared resources, the problem here points to the permission related issues than just a wireless issue.

Understand when the problem occurred

Last phase of the gathering stage, for this issue is you determine when the problem started. What might have changed that could explain the loss of your connectivity. Did you or somebody else change the wireless network configuration by any chance? For instance, the network worked great until someone made some changes, perhaps the encryption keys, which led to some disaster? These little things can lead to the bigger scenario. Did your office experienced any power outage lately? Power sag or power surge? Any of these could lead to a WAP failure. This lead us to our next step of the formal troubleshooting steps, a theory is established.