Networking Questions and Answers - Computer Won't Connect to the Internet
Amanda writes in with a networking question
Question: I'm running XP professional on my computer, and IE6. My wireless says it's connected (and the signal strength is excellent), however, I can't work online (no internet, messenger, etc.) I've tried restarting the computer, Comcast has reset the network, I've tried other networks, and I've also tried connecting directly to the modem. Neither of my roommates have problems connecting or accessing the internet! What can I do?
Answer: It sounds as though your computer is not able to get an IP address from your router or the modem. I would first check to see what your IP address is if you have one at all. You can use the ipconfig /all command and compare the results to the other computers. Everything should be the same except the IP address itself should be off by a little. For example one computer may have 192.168.1.100 and another may have 192.168.0.101. If you are getting an IP address that starts with 169.254.x.x then that means your computer is not seeing the router or modem or is not getting its IP information from either one.
There are 2 steps to the wireless connection. One is to connect to the router which it sounds like you can. The other is to get the IP information from the router so your computer can connect to the internet which is the partthat is not working. DSL/Cable routers act as DHCP servers to give out this information.
You can try to reinstall TCP/IP on your computer to see if that helps. I have seen this happen before where everything looks ok but you cannot get an IP address no matter what you do. This will usually do it.