Why Am I Connected to Wi-Fi But Not the Internet?

I cant count how many times I have heard, I have no Wifi, when in effect they mean they have no internet! There seems to be a static confusion that Wifi means internet, when they are 2 very separate portions of the bigger picture.

And the best sinology that I can put, is when you would say I have no plumbing, when you mean you have no water!

An AV & IT Technology blog by Teletechnics. Every week we cover topics concerning Technology in the Superyacht & Luxury home domain. Looking at subjects such as High end Audio & Video equipment, IPTV & Satellite TV, Streaming services and the IT support services like onboard WiFi, internet connection via VSAT, cellular and other IoT developments. We give you the insider info on Smart Hospitality services and tips and tricks to maintain systems in their prime state. Subscribe below for updates!

Let’s break it down a little, as it is something that happens to all of us, and understanding it better will help you troubleshoot a very common problem. Wi-Fi is a combination of technologies that allow your device, smartphone, computer, camera etc. to connect wirelessly to a local IT network. It’s a radio link that replaces a physical cable!

It’s a pipe, (think waterpipe, electrical cable, street, airduct).

The Internet is a generic term that is placed on the combination of hundreds of millions of smaller IT networks. And once your network is connected to it, you can access many of these other networks to gain access to the information that is stored there. Its where you can search and find websites, connect to services, remote access information systems, etc.

So when you are connected to the Wi-Fi, does not mean you are connected to the internet. To do this you go through the service of a ISP (Internet Service Provider) that connects your local network to this larger concept if the internet, and thus in effect you become part of the Internet. (Firewalls here is what makes sure that others cannot reach in to your network and protects what is not public!).

So when you still have full signal on the Wi-Fi bars, and no longer have internet, one of the first things to check is if your router is still connected to the internet.

Because if you don’t well, its a internet connection problem, not a Wi-Fi problem!

And what you do now depends on somewhat on your skill level. But here are some easy things to try.

  • Check your internet connection from another device, preferably on a wired connection.
  • Reset your device (a simple reboot fixes many problems!)
  • Ensure there are no rules on the firewall that stop your connection, or a VPN you have created that is malfunctioning.

If indeed it is the internet connection, its time to call your IT support person and/or your ISP.

This article was written by Tim Gorter, Virtual AVIT ETO, www.teletechnics.com. I provide support and training to crew assigned to look after their AV & IT system onboard. Making sure you understand how it works, and that you get the best out of it. Call for an AV & IT health check, more on teletechnics.com