Wireless Troubleshooting Guide

What is the difference between wireless connection and an internet connection?

Wireless (or Wi-Fi) is just the connection you have with your modem or router; you can be connected to Wi-Fi, but not connected to the internet.


The internet connection is the connection between your modem and Reliance Connects.

How do I determine if it is a Wi-Fi issue or an internet issue?

If you see the yellow triangle with your Wi-Fi icon (see above) or if your device shows that it is connected to Wi-Fi; but you can’t load a web page it is most likely an internet issue.
wifi3PC/Laptop Wi-Fi Iconwifi4Cell Phone/Tablet Wi-Fi Icon

If your device is not showing a Wi-Fi icon, or it is showing zero, one or two bars, than you are most likely experiencing Wi-Fi issues/interference or have a poor connection due to distance or other factors.

How close to my modem do I need to be for Wi-Fi to work?

That is a very subjective question, but generally speaking, Wi-Fi should work more or less up to 50 feet from the modem, anything beyond that and your Wi-Fi signal will probably degrade.


Okay, if you are within 50 feet of the modem, what can you do to fix it?

Troubleshooting Wi-Fi can be challenging, even to those who are technically savvy, but there are some things you can do.

1. Check Your Laptop for a WiFi Button or Switch. A lot of laptops have a physical switch on the laptop case or a keyboard switch which allow you to disable the wireless. It generally has a wireless icon/picture indicating this. Check to make sure it hasn’t been accidentally turned off.

2. Try re-positioning your modem. We suggest the modem should be as high off the ground as possible (there’s a reason radio antennas are really tall), and should be free of any obstructions. Metal objects seem to be one of the biggest factors to Wi-Fi interference or signal loss, so limiting metal objects around, near or above the modem is a good step. That being said, any obstructions near the modem can cause interference (wood, glass, pillows (not kidding), etc.). Try not to have your modem under a desk or on the floor.


3. Interference from neighbors. Other Wi-Fi networks can also cause interference if they are broadcasting on the same channel or one close by. There are 11 Wi-Fi channels, so if you are on channel 1 and your neighbor is also on channel 1 (or on a nearby channel, like channel 2 or 3) that can cause interference. If we have previously given you control panel access to your modem, you can change the channel from there, or you can call us and we can change it for you. If you are changing it yourself, you want to change it to the channel it is farthest from (i.e. you are on channel 1, change to channel 11. You are on channel 6, change it to channel 1 or 11). There is an Android and iOS app called Wi-Fi analyzer that shows all Wi-Fi networks in range and what channel they are on, can be used to help determine the best channel to set your Wi-Fi.

4. Household Electronics. Almost all Wi-Fi networks run on the 2.4 Ghz range, this is the same range that cordless phones (home phones, not cell phones) run on. Keeping your modem away from the cordless phone base station can help as well. A lot of kitchen appliances (microwaves, blenders, refrigerators, etc.) and even some baby monitors seem to cause Wi-Fi interference as well. Try not to have your modem in the kitchen, or have your modem on the other side of the kitchen from your devices.

5. Total Users vs. Bandwidth. Also of note is the amount of devices you have connected at any time. The more devices you have connected, even if they aren’t currently in use, can use up bandwidth, which in turn will slow down the connection of all the devices. This can apply to both wired and wireless devices. Think of your internet connection as a faucet, and water is your bandwidth, if you split that water stream 10 different ways, then each stream is getting less water. Just the same, if you split your internet connection 10 different ways to different devices, then each device is getting less bandwidth and is going to be slower.

6. Use a wireless router (connected to our modem) that is less than 2 years old. This technology is changing all the time and routers can wear out just like modems and not perform as well as they should. Also you should consider some extra features like WPA 2 security and parental controls.

Wireless Troubleshooting Guide Downloads

Modem Connection Diagram

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