Why Does My Wi-Fi Connection Keep Dropping? (2023)

There often seems to be no reason behind Wi-Fi connections that randomly drop off or weaken. However, there are actually several common scenarios where an otherwise strong Wi-Fi connection can become unreachable. When that happens, there are a few things you can try to get your Wi-Fi back up and running again in no time.

Insufficient Wi-Fi Network Range and Power

Your wireless access point is going to reach only so far. When you're accessing the internet on the outer edges of the network range limit, you'll notice the Wi-Fi connection start and stop, probably over and over. Of course, as you move even further away from the router or modem delivering the Wi-Fi, your connection will stop permanently.

You might be suffering from weak Wi-Fi access if your router is buried in a closet, stuck in the corner of your basement, three rooms away, or is simply old or nearly broken.

The solution might be as simple as moving closer to the router or moving the router closer to you. As you lessen the distance between the router and your device, you strengthen the odds of a good connection.

If you're on a wireless device like a phone or tablet, it's easy to move where the Wi-Fi strength is the strongest. Another option for improving Wi-Fi strength is to consider an antenna upgrade on your access point or on your computer, if possible.

Similarly, mesh networks and range extendersare other common solutions to Wi-Fi rangeproblems — but you don't need both. On the other hand, relocatingyour computer or other gearisn't always a practical solution so if you're in that position, it's worth checking out these two options.

There are very reasonably priced Wi-Fi extenders on the market; mesh networks tend to cost a bit more. Research what will work best for you before you commit to one or the other.

Mesh Network vs Range Extender: Which Is Best?

Wi-Fi Radio Interference

Radio signals from various consumer electronic products around your house or in the vicinity of your device and the router can interfere with Wi-Fi network signals.

For example, cordless phones, Bluetooth devices, garage door openers, and microwave ovens can each take down a Wi-Fi network connection when they're powered on.

Why Does My Wi-Fi Connection Keep Dropping? (1)

So, if you notice that your phone stops getting Wi-Fi when you're right next to the microwave, chances are this is your problem. It's best to look into what that new device is and how it works since the way it transmits wireless signals might be what's interfering with other devices in the house.

Move your network equipment or (on home networks) change the Wi-Fi channel settings to avoid this problem.

Another solution, which might be easier, is to turn off those other devices that could be interfering with Wi-Fi. If you're in the kitchen when Wi-Fi drops, move away from the microwave or avoid using it if you need to also use your phone, laptop, or other device.

The Network Is Overloaded

Your hardware and home might be set up perfectly to accommodate Wi-Fi signals and avoid interference, but if there are too many devices using the network, the available bandwidth for each device is limited.

When each device lacks enough bandwidth, videos stop playing, websites won't open, and the device might even eventually disconnect and reconnect from the network, over and over, as it tries to hold on to enough bandwidth to keep using Wi-Fi.

You can test your internet speed to see if you're getting the speeds you were promised. If the test shows a significantly slower speed than you pay your internet service provider (ISP) for, there's either a problem with your modem or router or you're using too many devices on your network at once.

The first thing to do is take some of the devices off of the network. If your TV is streaming movies, turn it off. If someone is gaming on your network, have him or her take a break. If a few people are browsing Facebook on their phones, ask them to turn off their Wi-Fi connection to free up some of that bandwidth — you get the idea.

If someone's downloading files onto a computer, see if they can use a program that supports bandwidth control so that less bandwidth will be used for that device and more will be available for your Wi-Fi device. In particular, Microsoft OneDrive tends to use all available upload bandwidth when it syncs large files, so temporarily pausing OneDrive could free up immediate bandwidth for other people.

If your network is still slower than you think it should be, and Wi-Fi isn't stable, restart your router. Sometimes, the router's memory becomes full and needs flushingin order to work properly.


How to Reboot a Router & Modem

You're Using the Wrong Wi-Fi Network

If two neighboring locations run unsecured Wi-Fi networks with the same name (SSID), your devices may connect to the wrong network without your knowledge.

This misdirection causes all of the problems mentioned above, including a momentary loss and reconnect of Wi-Fi as you leave one network and join another. Additionally, in this scenario, your wireless devices will lose connection whenever the neighboring network is turned off, even if your preferred one remains functional.

Not only that, but if the other network is suffering from bandwidth problems, then your device might experience those symptoms, too, even if their Wi-Fi remains on. Chances are, if the other location has an open network, other people are using it, too.

Take proper security measures to ensure that your computers and other devices connect to the right network. You might also set up your phone, laptop, tablet, and so on to stop joining networks automatically to avoid picking up unsecured Wi-Fi.

It'd also be wise, and kind, of you to tell your neighbor that he should set up a Wi-Fi password (or a dedicated, but still password-protected guest network) because people could easily be stealing his Wi-Fi.

Outdated or Missing Driver or Firmware

Each computer connected to a Wi-Fi network uses a small piece of software called the device driver.Network routers contain related technology called firmware.

These pieces of software might become corrupted or obsolete over time and cause network drops and other wireless problems.

Why Does My Wi-Fi Connection Keep Dropping? (2)

Upgrade the router's firmware to the newest version. This isn't a common task but could be what's happening that's causing your specific Wi-Fi connection problems.

Also consider updating your device's network driver, if that's supported on your particular device. For example, if your Windows computer keeps disconnecting from Wi-Fi, one solution is to update the network drivers.

Incompatible Software Packages Installed

This is the least likely reason for internet connection problems, but Wi-Fi could be failing on a computer that has incompatible software installed, includingpatches, services, and other software that modifies the networking capabilities of the operating system.

This is most likely your problem if you notice Wi-Fi dropping right after an update or other software installation. However, you should first address the driver problem mentioned above, because that's a much more likely situation if software is messing up your Wi-Fi.

Record each time you install or upgrade software on your computer, and be prepared to uninstall incompatible softwareor reinstall a corrupted program.

If you've tried everything above and you're confident that the internet drops lie not with hardware or your ISP,but with software, you could always reinstall the operating system, but consider that only as a last resort option.

You can also reset aniPhone or Android back to factory defaults.

How to Factory Reset an Android
How to Erase Your iPhone Settings and Data

Your Router May Be Bad

If none of these strategies work for creating a consistent Wi-Fi signal, you may have a router problem. Contact your wireless provider; they can test your connection and may provide a replacement free of charge. You may also choose to purchase a new router yourself, just make sure it's compatible with your Wi-Fi service before you do.


  • How do I connect my phone to Wi-Fi?

    To connect your Android to Wi-Fi, go to Settings > Connections > Wi-Fi to see a list of nearby networks. To connect an iPhone to Wi-Fi, go to Settings > Wi-Fi and choose a network.

  • Which internet connection is faster, Wi-Fi or Ethernet?

    When deciding between Wi-Fi or Ethernet, a wired Ethernet connection is almost always more stable than a wireless one. With Ethernet, you don't have to worry about signal interference.

  • Why is my Wi-Fi network not showing up?

    If your Wi-Fi network isn't showing up, your device might be out of the router's range, something could be interfering with the signal, or Wi-Fi might be turned off on your device. Another possibility is that the router was not properly restored after losing power or being unplugged.

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