Samsung Galaxy S5 - Unable to connect to WiFi, WiFi router issues and Wi-Fi connection issues

Unable to connect to Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi router issues and Wi-Fi connection issues

This guide contains troubleshooting steps and advice to help resolves issues you may experience when attempting to connect to a Wi-Fi network.

After performing each step, please test to see if the issue is resolved.

Symptoms:

  • Phone will not connect to Wi-Fi router
  • Wi-Fi connection drops or is intermittent
  • Poor connection or connection dropping
  • Device cannot find Wi-Fi router
  • Device connects but cannot browse the web

Troubleshooting Questions

  • Is the device able to detect the Wi-Fi router?

    The first step in connecting to a Wi-Fi network is to make sure that the device's Wi-Fi radio has been correctly activated. If your Wi-Fi router is correctly configured to broadcast the network SSID, this should appear when the device scans for networks. In order to check that your Wi-Fi router is broadcasting its SSID, refer to the manufacturer's documentation. Use the following guide to activate the device's Wi-Fi and begin the scan for active networks:

    Walkthrough - Connect to a Wireless (Wi-Fi) Network

    If your Wi-Fi router is configured to not broadcast its SSID, then it is necessary to enter the exact SSID manually. To do this, follow the below guide:

    Connect to a Hidden Wi-Fi Network

    If you are sure that the Wi-Fi SSID is being broadcast and the device is still unable to detect the Wi-Fi network, it may be that there is an issue affecting the router's broadcast, or the device may have an issue affecting its ability to detect signals.

    If the SSID is not being broadcast, double-check that it has been entered correctly, and that the correct security type and password have been selected. Most modern routers will use either WEP or WPA/WPA2 security, and the correct type will need to be selected on the connecting device when entering the password.

  • Is the device losing connection or signal after successfully connecting?

    If the device is initially able to connect to the Wi-Fi network but loses connection, this can be due to a number of factors. Firstly, check that the device is within operational range of the Wi-Fi router. For 802.11n routers, the range is around 250m, and for 802.11b/g routers the range is approximately 140m. It is important to note, however, that these ranges are considerably lower in real-world scenarios, and this difference can be brought about by a number of factors, such as:

    • Interior and exterior walls, particularly those that my contain pipes or steel reinforcement.
    • Adverse environmental conditions, e.g. Electrical storms.
    • Other Wi-Fi routers operating on the same channel.
    • Other devices operating in the 2.4GHz or 5GHz frequency band.

    In order to eliminate these factors as a possible cause, it is necessary to test the connection under a variety of conditions. To ensure that the signal is not being blocked by walls, connect your phone to the router, and monitor the state of the connection while the device is physically next to the router. If the connection does not drop, then this indicates the cause is related to the blocking of the signal by a physical barrier.

    If there are other Wi-Fi routers operating in the same vicinity (usually within 100-150m) that are on the same channel as the router of which you are attempting to connect, this can also cause connection problems. 802.11b/g routers operate in the 2.4GHz range and have 11 channels available to them within this, however only 3 of these channels (1, 6, and 11) are non-overlapping and therefore can be guaranteed not to interfere with the other channels. Most Wi-Fi routers are set up to use channel 1 by default, so if you believe there are other routers in the area causing this problem, change the channel of your router to 6 or 11 and retest the connection. 802.11n router, on the other hand, use both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz band, and so have access to many more channels. To change your router's channel, see the manufacturer's documentation.

    If the connection continues to drop, and if there are no overly adverse weather conditions, it may also be the case that there is interference coming from another radio source operating on the same frequency. In this case, if possible disable any non-essential transmission devices in the immediate vicinity, or failing this try to test both router and device in a different location.

    Alternatively, try some of these ways to avoid getting a weak Wi-Fi signal:

    • Adjusting the position of the device. Sometimes just repositioning the device in your hand will increase the Wi-Fi signal.
    • Allowing a little more space between the device and your palm.
  • Have the device and the Wi-Fi router been cross-tested with other compatible devices?
  • In order to entirely eliminate the possibility of a fault with either device, it is necessary to perform device cross-testing. To do this, attempt to connect the device to another router (do this either out of range of the problem router or, ideally, power it down completely). If the device connects to this router, then it is likely either a configuration or hardware problem with the original router. In this case, refer to the manufacturer's documentation for more information regarding resetting or repairing the router.

    To confirm this diagnosis, also try to connect another Wi-Fi enabled device to the router. If they fail to connect, then the router is the problem. By testing different devices against different routers, it should quickly become apparent with which device the issue is present.

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