About Computers for Newbies & Everyone Else

May 21, 2013

Wi-Fi Down?

I go to many coffee shops, restaurants and other businesses which offer free Wi-Fi for their customers.  And yes, sometimes the food is not my favorite and the coffee not the best.  However, since I am a geek and like to have the Wi-Fi I visit and use their establishments anyway. 

Wi-Fi HotspotThroughout time I have been to companies whose Guest Network/Wi-Fi is not working.  I always willingly offer my expertise (since I need to do some computer work) in resolving the issue.  A business is not usually like a home network.  A business with have a very secure "wired" network. Or if they do not they are headed for misery.  All guest/wireless networks get cluttered with data occasionally and need to be rebooted.  If a business were running registers and credit card machines on a wireless network (which is not allowed with most card companies) their business would shut down every so often.  I try to remember to reboot mine weekly at home to avoid problems.

Wireless RouterTo reboot the Wi-Fi network you unplug the wireless router only from its power supply, wait for ten seconds to a minute, plug it back in and in another minute or two the Wi-Fi is restored.  This has worked 100% of the time for me in businesses. 

My wife and I visit a restaurant regularly and work with our computers while we are there.  One day there was no Wi-Fi which I mentioned to the owner as they walked by.  They said yes, your computer must be broken, our registers are working.  I explained wireless vs. wired.  It did not affect their opinion.  I told her my wife’s computer, my tablet and neither of our phones could get on it since it was down.  They then said you are at the wrong table.  Of course it did not matter to them that we sit at the exact same table and have for the past 3-4 years!  They walked to the back room and came back saying that their desktop was working fine.  Geesh, great restaurateur, but not a lick of techie…which is fine, but they would not listen.

So we continued on without being able to work.  The next week the same thing, I talked to one of the managers, explained again and asked if he could please go in the back unplug the wireless network, wait 30 seconds and re-plug it to get the guest Wi-Fi working?  They said no since their registers would go down along with their credit card machines and they could not process their bills-WRONG!  This was a college aged person; I thought they were born knowing this stuff.  They said they would do it after they closed for the night.

We made our last trek (and my final for a long while if it was still down) to the place yesterday, the network was back up and all is well…but did they learn anything?  Nope, I really doubt it.

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