Sooner or later, this happens to everyone – the signal of your Wi-Fi network is strong, but there is no Internet connection. The point is that Wi-Fi and the Internet are two different things. Understanding their differences will help you troubleshoot future network connectivity issues.
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How is Wi-Fi different from the Internet?
Wi-Fi Is a registered trade name for a group of technologies that enable a device, such as a computer, smartphone, or game console, to connect to a local area network (LAN) wirelessly by radio. Wi-Fi eliminates the need for a physical cable between a network device and a router – the device that manages connections between all devices on a local network.
the Internet Is the general name for hundreds of millions of smaller networks, the same local area networks, linked together. In these small networks, billions of devices communicate with each other via TCP / IP protocols. These computers can be connected to each other using physical wires, optical cables, radio communications, or other technologies that are yet to appear in the future.
So, when your device has a Wi-Fi connection, then you are connected to some kind of local network. But the local network you are connected to may not necessarily be connected to the Internet. That’s the problem. Let’s take a closer look at it.
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Understanding the connection problem
Here is a very simplified network diagram. It shows that your device is connected to the router via Wi-Fi, forming a local network. And your local network successfully connects to the Internet in a separate way.
Sometimes the connection between your local network (controlled by a router, hub or modem) and the Internet gets interrupted. There may be a temporary problem with your ISP’s equipment, physical damage to the cables connecting you to the ISP’s network, or some other issue. In this case, you are still connected to the local network, but it has already lost its Internet connection.
In the second diagram, you can see that your device can show a stable Wi-Fi connection, a strong signal, but at the same time not have access to the Internet.
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What if you don’t have an internet connection?
If you have problems connecting to the Internet, try restarting your device first. If that doesn’t work, the next steps depend on where you are.
If you are at home, you can try troubleshooting the router itself (for example, restarting it). If you are technically skilled enough, there are other steps you can take with your computer to troubleshoot Internet connectivity issues. This can be, for example, reconfiguring a router. If there is no result, you will have to contact your ISP and report the problem. It is likely that the problem did not occur in your apartment or even in your house. Having learned about the accident, you will be able to clarify the timing of its elimination.
If you are having problems connecting to the Internet at work, contact your IT department and describe the symptoms of the problem. If you are in a public place, such as a store, doctor’s office, or restaurant, you can politely tell one of the employees that you cannot access the Internet through that network. It is likely that it does not provide this opportunity. But remember that the problem may be specific to your device, so it may not always be possible for someone else to quickly solve it for you.