If just one of the computers on your network keeps losing its connection, you can be reasonably sure that the problem lies with that device, rather than your network hardware. Common causes of single-computer connection errors include wireless adapter driver problems and incorrect security settings. However, your secondary computer’s physical location can also have an impact on its connection to your router, especially over wireless networks.
Location and Interference
- All wireless networks have a maximum range, as Wi-Fi signals degrade while traveling through the air. Your secondary computer’s wireless performance will likely be unstable if it is placed too far away from your router. In addition, radio devices, such as cordless phones, could cause interference if placed too close to the computer. If possible, eliminate location issues from your investigation by testing your secondary computer’s connection from the room your router is located in, ensuring that both are kept away from other electronic devices.
Network Adapter Drivers
- A network adapter is a piece of hardware that allows your computer to communicate over a network. All network adapters need software, known as drivers, in order to run. Using out-of-date drivers could impact your secondary computer’s network performance, potentially causing disconnections from your router. You can update your drivers using the Windows Update service in Windows 8. Alternatively, some computer manufacturers offer driver updates for download from their websites. You can install these updates using the Windows Device Manager.
- Operating systems save configuration and security details about wireless networks so that computers can easily reconnect to a preferred network. However, the computer may experience networking issues if these settings are subsequently changed. You can avoid this issue in Windows 8 by opening the wireless network list, right-clicking on your network and selecting “Forget This Network.” This causes the computer to discard any information about the network and treat it as a new connection.
- Your secondary computer’s connection issues might be a symptom of a wider problem. Viruses and other malware can slow a computer’s overall functions down, and so can attempting to run too many programs at once. This could cause your browser to lock up for periods of time, making it seem as if the computer is disconnected from the network altogether. Try testing your connection with no programs running other than a browser and run a full virus scan to identify potential malware issues.