r/techsupport Aug 14 '22

College dorm wifi won’t show on computer Open | Networking

Hello, recently moved into college. I can connect to the wifi on other devices such as my phone, and my switch, and my roommate can connect on his Xbox, but on my pc, I can’t even see the network in the available network list. I’ve tried updating my adapters, drivers, I’ve reset the computer. Etc. Any ideas ?

3 Upvotes

2

u/_the_magic_packet Aug 14 '22

Do they broadcast only 5Ghz and your device is not capable of 5Ghz?

1

u/Cj-Taylor2803 Aug 14 '22

How can I check that? I am connected on my phone so I can view the wifi properties or I can check their wifi page to see if it mentions that. My device should handle 5g tho since I have connected before to other Wifi that is 5g

5

u/LauraD2423 Aug 14 '22

5g and 5Ghz are different in this context.

WiFi runs primarily on two frequencies, 2.4ghz and 5ghz.

Most newer devices can handle both, but some can only handle one.

This is 95% the reason you can't see the WiFi on that device.

2

u/Cj-Taylor2803 Aug 14 '22

Ah i see, how can I check to make sure that’s the reason ?

1

u/[deleted] Aug 14 '22

Take your phone, turn on Hotspot, in Settings most phones come with setting to set both AP Bands

Select 2.4Ghz first, if it's visible on ur device, good... Then turn it to 5Ghz, refresh it(windows WiFi doesn't update quick) and check if it can locate it, if it can't, then ur WiFi module only supports 2.4Ghz...

1

u/Cj-Taylor2803 Aug 14 '22

I have an iPhone and I’m not sure how to switch it from 2.4 to 5ghz. I did look up my wireless driver and it says it supports 2.4, 5ghz.

1

u/Remote_Cartoonist_27 Aug 14 '22

If you go to your device manager(just type device manager in the windows search bar on the bottom left of screen) on your computer you can look at your wifi card specs/settings. Look under settings, your card maybe able to handle both but is set to only connect to one.

1

u/Cj-Taylor2803 Aug 14 '22

So my card can do the 5ghz but even after changing the setting around I still can’t see the dorm wifi. My phone hotspot is also set to 5ghz and I can connect so I don’t think this is the issue. But thanks for helping

1

u/Remote_Cartoonist_27 Aug 14 '22

The wifi must be 2.4 then

I think you can buy external wifi cards that will allow your laptop to connect. Not positive though i’ve never had this issue

2

u/thewilloftheshadow Aug 14 '22

Does your college have an IT department? They’d be the best ones to go to because they know their network setup better than we do.

2

u/Cj-Taylor2803 Aug 14 '22

Im not sure but I am planning on asking the RA when I can. Just figured I’d ask around here to see if maybe there’s some setting I missed that would work.

1

u/Doipe Aug 14 '22

Look up your college on Google and include the keywords "IT department"

1

u/Doipe Aug 14 '22

Do you have to pre-register your device to connect to the internet? I remember that for my college, in order to connect my pc or even Xbox I had to preregister the device on my school's online portal to be able to use them via the internet.

1

u/Cj-Taylor2803 Aug 14 '22

Im not sure, I didn’t have to do that to connect my other devices such as my switch or phone, but I will double check

1

u/Doipe Aug 14 '22

Also, sometimes Universities have blocked WiFi access to certain devices depending on their usage category.

For example, for my gaming consoles and iPad, I had to connect to their "College Device Wi-Fi". While for my own personal computer, I had to connect to the main "College Wi-Fi" since I was going to be using it for school and I needed to log in with my school user and pass.

1

u/Cj-Taylor2803 Aug 14 '22

That makes sense, but for some reason my pc just isn’t showing a lot of networks that my other devices are seeing and one of those is the main campus wifi

1

u/Doipe Aug 14 '22

Then it most likely is that your network card isn't working correctly.

As a last-ditch attempt, look in the Device Manager and find your Wi-Fi card name under "Network Adapters" then search it up online and see if there is an updated driver you can install from an official website (and not third-party). Also, look up your issue using that Wi-Fi card name as a keyword.

1

u/Cj-Taylor2803 Aug 14 '22

Would my network card be named something like “intel(r) dual band wireless-ax 3168”? If so then I’ve already tried and updated that driver but I will try again just incase

2

u/Doipe Aug 14 '22

Yes, that sounds right. If this doesn't work, the best bet is to bring it to your college's IT center first and let them fiddle with it. They will give you the best live help and recommendations on if anything needs to be changed.

2

u/Cj-Taylor2803 Aug 14 '22

Okay cool, thanks for all the help. Much appreciated !

1

u/rproffitt1 Aug 14 '22

My neighbor had a PC like that. It was a router issue and I was doing a free fix for them so I took a 7 dollar USB WiFi stick, plugged it in, set it up, disabled the old WiFi and said "done."

Remember it's not my first rodeo. But when you want it fixed fast, you don't fuss around with drivers etc.

1

u/Cj-Taylor2803 Aug 14 '22

Do you have any links to the usb stick you’d recommend?

1

u/rproffitt1 Aug 14 '22

No. Here such a thing is fungible. I buy one for my PC rescue bag as cheap as I can and when I use it I go order another. Purely on price for those clients that are cheap. For a few dollars more I get a dual band USB stick but still shopped by price. Name brand? That's for folk that read too much.

1

u/electricNick31 Aug 14 '22

First make sure that your adapter is actively looking for a network.

Type "Advanced sharing settings" in the Windows search bar.

Under "Guest or Public" make sure "Turn on network discovery" is selected. Save Changes. (You might as well make sure it's also on for Private networks while you're there.) Check to see if the network is showing up now.

If not go to "Network and Sharing Center" > "Setup a new connection or network" > "Manually connect to a wireless network".

Type in the network name, select the security type (Probably WPA2), type in the password, check boxes for "Start this connection automatically" & "Connect even if the network is not broadcasting". Hit Next & it should try to connect even if your PC can't see the network. (If there is not a password leave the security type as "Open".)

1

u/Cj-Taylor2803 Aug 14 '22

I have already done all of those steps and it still isn’t working. I think the issue is probably that I don’t have an adapter hooked up. The adapter is something that plugs into the computer directly right? I haven’t needed to use mine before so I wasn’t concerned about taking it with me but my school sells network adapters at the bookstore so I will have to try that.

1

u/Cj-Taylor2803 Aug 14 '22

Okay so it says I have two adapters on “cfos” one is the Intel dual band ac 3168 thing and the other is Realtek pcie gbe family controller. Are these the adapters you’re talking about ?

1

u/electricNick31 Aug 14 '22

The Intel one is your wireless adapter & the Realtek gbe is your Ethernet (wired) adapter.