How to Troubleshoot and Repair the Wireless Internet Connection on a Mac

All Mac desktop and laptop computers come equipped with built-in wireless networking capabilities that enable them to connect to the Internet. When a Mac won’t allow you to get online, it is usually due to a problem with login credentials, settings or the Internet service itself. Mac repair can seem daunting if you are not familiar with the settings and wireless networking, but usually requires only basic computer skills. By repairing your own Internet connection, you can save time and money on Apple service calls.

1. Ensure that AirPort is turned on so your Mac can connect to a wireless Internet network. The AirPort icon, which looks like radiating signal beams, is located at the top right of your screen. A wedge-shaped outline indicates that AirPort is turned off. To turn on the Wi-Fi capabilities, click on the wedge and choose “Turn AirPort On” from the pop-up menu. The icon should change into curved signal lines, indicating that your Mac is ready to connect to a wireless network. Often, this simple action is the first thing a technician will request during a Mac repair service call.

2. Check that you are connected to the right network. Click on the AirPort icon. In the list that pops up, you will see all of the Wi-Fi networks your Mac detects. Click on the correct network name to connect. If the wireless Internet network is secure, you will be prompted to enter your username and password.

3. Verify your login information. Many times, Internet connection problems are due to incorrect login details. Because wireless security keys can be long and complex and because Macs hide the password as you type, it can be easy to enter an incorrect character. Ensure that you have the correct security mode selected in the “Wireless Security” field and check the box next to “Show password” to see what you are typing. Entering the correct information will usually repair the Internet connection.

4. Use the Network Diagnostics tool to fix a broken Internet connection. Diagnostics streamlines the Mac repair process, reducing your workload and making it harder to “break” the system. Choose “System Preferences” from the Apple menu and click on the Network button. Choose “AirPort” from the “Show” drop-down menu and click on the “Assist me” button at the bottom. Follow the prompts in the Network Diagnostics dialogue box that pops up.

5. Reset your router and networking hardware. Unplug all of the cables from the back of your router and power down your Mac. After a few minutes, plug each of the cables back into the router, waiting for the corresponding light on the front to glow steadily before moving on. Then, turn your Mac on and follow the Wi-Fi connection process. In the process, you will reset your Internet connection at all levels and solve any temporary issues.

Mac repair can be easy and user-friendly with a basic knowledge of wireless networking. With these basic Wi-Fi troubleshooting steps, you can be back online in 15 minutes or less.