Sep 292012

Yes, I admit it, there are a myriad of reasons for any sort of problem with the wireless network connection. I have encountered many, for all of which I could give you more or less an explanation and which could be solved or were gone after a reboot. Which is also a Windows thing, a reboot usually solves everything – however, of course, you take away the possibility to debug and actually find the problem itself. Nevertheless, the problem at hand could not be solved by a reboot.

My setup is the following:

  • I have a wireless network that I use with my smartphone and laptops
  • I do not use DHCP but static IPs
  • the connection is set up on my laptop so it connects automatically

The other day my laptop wouldn’t connect to my WIFI any more showing these symptoms:

  • my WIFI network was still listed as “automatic” under the list of wireless network connections (the list seemed normal)
  • the laptop tries to connect to my network about 3 times; the systray icons goes from connecting (“Aquiring network address”) to disconnected to connecting until it shows connected after the third time
  • when the icon says connected however there is no “Connection established” in the list of networks
  • a double-click on the systray icon will bring up the status window: “Connection established”, no network name, IP address would be the static one
  • no data can be transferred (ping, HTTP and the likes)

Any attempt to fix theis issue by hard ways failed. Turning the wireless module off and on again by a button, deactivating and re-activating the network item in Windows, and even rebooting or waiting a day (lol, I mean hey, I though “maybe it’s just a bad day”). The behavior was the same whatever I tried.

After all, it’s rather embarrassing what happened (in other words, PEBKAC):
Since I have a few computers, I don’t always use my laptop daily. So when I get around to using it again, a few days might have passed and I might not remember what I was working on (or setting up) the previous time. It seems I had set the firewall (COMODO Firewall) to Block All Mode. Interestingly, this would allow wireless network sensing but not connecting. Furthermore it’s pretty confusing that the status windows tells you “Connection established” to an unnamed network.

So yeah, add this one to the list of reasons for wireless network connection problems: a firewall set to block all traffic.

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