View Full Version : Many laptops have a WIFI switch

07-25-2010, 08:35 AM
Hi All,

I just had an incident with a client's laptop which may provide a good tip for some here, especially if you have a newer Dell computer, and either didn't read the manual, or didn't get one with your laptop.

All the newer upper end, and some of the other Dell laptops, along with some laptops of other manufacturers now have a physical switch on the laptop's case which turns the laptop's WIFI on and off.

Many of these switches are not particularly recessed, and slide so easily that the action of merely taking them in and out of a bag can turn them off/on.

My client is in Germany at a medical convention, and he couldn't get his computer to connect to the hotel's network until we guessed the switch was off.

So especially, if all of a sudden, you find you can't connect to the Internet wirelessly, check your switch, if you have one. It's probably the problem. On some computers there's "play" in the switch. If it's not all the way on, it's probably not on.

These switches, by the way, are a good idea. You don't want to be connected wirelessly and wired at the same time. That can slow down your Internet usage quite a bit. If you're using a wired connection, turn your wireless connection off, or on some computer you'll need to disable it.

Have a fine Sunday everyone.

07-25-2010, 11:06 AM
Some of my laptops have had these for years, but they put them in the worst places...

07-25-2010, 11:49 AM
A router I got recently for my friend also has the on off switch for the wireless. It makes sense there, because the only time the wireless is needed is if someone is visiting with a laptop.

07-25-2010, 12:44 PM
This happened to us just last week. My husband and I share the laptop, and are constantly sliding it back and forth to each other. All of a sudden, we lost connectivity, even though all the other (Bright House) functions in the house were operating. Who knew there was a little switch there! (DUH!!!)

07-25-2010, 04:43 PM
My wireless switch is located on the side of the unit, near the front. I feel it's in a good spot, but have accidentially knocked it off before while using the wireless.

I tend to keep it turned off when I am away from the home office, unless I know for sure I'm going to use it. It's another good "security" measure. No one can get into your computer if the wireless receiver is turned off!