If your WiFi works without internet, it’s likely due to faulty hardware or a computer issue. Both of those can be fixed through various methods like resets, disabling certain programs, or power cycling your system.
I’m a long time tech user with a deep knowledge of routers, modems, and the internet as a whole. My years of working with such devices on different setups is how I managed to put together the following guide.
The below sections in this article deal with the different reasons you may have WiFi without internet, as well as some of the most effective ways to deal with that issue.
- WiFi connection issues can be the result of many problems, including DNS difficulties, a faulty router, an incorrect IP address, or security problems.
- A key part of identifying internet issues is to see if the problem affects a specific device or your entire network at once.
- Running malware scans, rebooting your router/modem, contacting your ISP, and running your computer’s troubleshooter are all ways to fix not being able to get online.
WiFi Without Internet: The Causes
WiFi is great, but it doesn’t always work at full capacity or top speed. There may be issues when you use it, and one of the most frustrating is when you have good connectivity but no internet.
That may seem like a strange scenario, but it can happen for a variety of different reasons. Your wireless connection should allow you to access the world wide web, but it doesn’t have to. They are two different entities that can be separated from time to time.
If you find yourself in that situation, there could be several causes. First, your computer’s WiFi adapter could be faulty or your internet service provider could be down. In both of those cases, it has to do with hardware problems rather than an external source.
Other leading factors to watch out for are if your computer has an incorrect IP address, your wireless drivers are out of date, or certain security software (including both firewall and antivirus) is actively preventing you from getting online.
Your DNS server settings could be incorrectly configured, or your DNS cache may have been corrupted. There’s a chance that you’re using an outdated wireless device or that your router is faulty as well.
All of those issues are annoying to deal with, and they can seem overwhelming when you look at them all at once. Luckily, they aren’t. They all have different solutions that, when properly applied, will get you back online.
Quick Fixes for a Faulty Connection
Anytime you see a “WiFi connected but no internet” message it means that your computer can only get on local networks as opposed to the world wide web.
To tackle the issue, you first need to see what’s affecting the slow down. If the error only shows up on a single device, the issue is likely tied to an incorrect configuration problem, bad drivers, a weak WiFi adapter, DNS problems, or something being wrong with your IP address.
In contrast, if all of your devices are able to get on WiFi but not the internet, it’s almost always going to be an issue with your router, modem, or internet service provider.
Once you know how your devices are being affected, you next need to get them back up and running. The first step is to check if your internet service provider (ISP) is down. Use cellular data to look up your provider’s connectivity, or give them a call to check.
You can also use the Windows Network Troubleshooter to patch things up. This is the easiest solution, and should always be your first test.
Open settings, go to update and security, then click on the additional troubleshooter’s option under the “recommended troubleshooting” action and select “internet connections troubleshooter.”
If that doesn’t work, you can next power cycle your modem and router. Unplug the devices from a power source, wait a few minutes, and then plug them back in. That doesn’t always work, but it’s a great fix that can save you some headaches.
In-Depth Solutions to WiFi Without Internet
If the above solutions don’t work, you can always disable any VPNs you might have. Virtual private networks are great ways to boost security, but they can interfere with your connection. Go into the program and select disconnect to see if it’s the cause of your issue.
In that same vein, you can temporarily disable any firewall or active antivirus on your system. Though it’s not often the case, there are situations where a security package won’t let you online.
It’s also a good idea to run a malware scan when your internet isn’t working as intended. You can do that through third-party software or, if you have Windows Defender, you can go to “Windows Security,” pick Virus & threat protection and then choose full scan.
Finally, it’s important to update your router’s firmware. Every router is different with this process. Look at your model’s manual or check the website for how to do it and carefully follow the instructions.
Here I cover, and answer, some of the biggest questions people have regarding spotty internet and strong WiFi.
How Can I Check If My Router is Working?
If you want to see if your router’s working, try to ping a computer with another one on the same network. You can also check the lights on the device to make sure they are on and not blinking.
What’s the Difference Between WiFi and Internet?
Your WiFi refers to the wireless technology that enables computers and devices to both connect and operate with one another over a specific space. In contrast, the Internet refers to the global network where computers communicate.
How Do I Reset My Modem?
If you want to give your internet a reboost, all you have to do is unplug your modem from a power source, wait a few minutes, and then plug it back in. Once the lights come back on, you can check to see if it’s working properly.
Having WiFi without the internet is an incredibly frustrating process, but it’s not the end of the world either. There are many ways to fix the problem. As long as you can identify the issue, it only takes a few steps to get everything back in order.
Have you had any problems with your internet but not your WiFi? How did they come about and how long did they last? Let us know in the comments below!