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Wireless on laptop connects to hubs but can't use internet
Thread poster: Mark Thompson

Mark Thompson  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 23:20
Member
Portuguese to English
Jul 15, 2011

Hello,

Yet another post from a technophobe I'm afraid!

I have a wireless-enabled Compaq laptop. I recently tried to use it in range of different hubs, and while it connected to them ok, I got the error message that the page could not be displayed.

I've had a tinker with the internet connection settings, to no avail - to be honest I don't really know what I'm doing.

Before I fork out for an expert to have a look, is there anything simple I could be doing to resolve this?

If so, I would appreciate concise instructions, as I am rather an IT simpleton.

Thanks in advance,

Mark


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Nicholas Ferreira  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 21:20
Spanish to English
+ ...
What is the IP address? Jul 15, 2011

A lot of non-public wireless hubs may allow you to connect, but on a limited basis only. Without a password or login, you may not have full access to the Internet.

You should check the IP address of your connection. If it starts with 192, you will have access to the www; if it starts with 169 or something else, usually not, at least in my experience.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 03:20
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Local only? Jul 15, 2011

Mark Thompson wrote:
I have a wireless-enabled Compaq laptop. I recently tried to use it in range of different hubs, and while it connected to them ok, I got the error message that the page could not be displayed.


Perhaps you can connect to the hub but not to the internet through the hub. Does your internet connection say "local only"? Do you have Vista?


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Mark Thompson  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 23:20
Member
Portuguese to English
TOPIC STARTER
Windows XP Jul 15, 2011

The laptop has Windows XP.

It connects normally to my mobile 3G internet, and connected to a friend's fixed-line broadband immediately, without having to do anything.

Recently I was in the UK and it said it was connecting to 2 different BT Broadband home wireless hubs, but wouldn't let me actually use the internet, despite me putting the hub code in.

I feel I may just need to do something with my configurations, but really don't know where to start, where to look, what tabs to open, what to check.

Please forgive my ignorance..


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Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 03:20
English to Croatian
+ ...
Firewall settings? Jul 15, 2011

You should disable firewall for wireless connection, although that may be risky. That's one possible solution, while your problem might also be unrelated to firewall settings.

[Edited at 2011-07-15 22:09 GMT]


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Alex Lago  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:20
Member (2009)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Restricted access Jul 16, 2011

The most frequent reason for accessing a hub but not the internet is not having the appropriate permissions. However even if that were the case you would have been prompted for a password if required.

When you say you connected to them what exactly happened, how do you know you were connected?


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Mark Thompson  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 23:20
Member
Portuguese to English
TOPIC STARTER
Connecting - what happens Jul 16, 2011

Thanks so far.......what happens is that my laptop detects the wireless hubs or routers, whatever, and gives me the option to view available wireless networks, select and connect to them. It then tells me it is connected to that hub/router, but when I launch IE, I get "The page cannot be displayed" - I am not prompted to enter a key/password on these home hubs.

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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:20
English to German
+ ...
A question - do you pay for internet service? Jul 16, 2011

Via your phone company, your cable company and such? Owning a wireless-enabled laptop doesn't mean that free usage of any network is included. So far I have seen that you used a friends network (he certainly pays for his Broadband) or your G3 network (a paid service). Some restaurants, hotels, or libraries sometimes offer free WiFi. At home or in your office you need your own.


Forgot to add: That's where you get your password from. From the phone or cable company.

[Edited at 2011-07-16 22:17 GMT]


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Ambrose Li  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 21:20
Chinese to English
+ ...
Connecting to home networks Jul 17, 2011

If you are just trying to connect to random unsecured networks that your laptop has detected, it is possible that whoever own those hubs have somehow restricted access. In that case there’s nothing you can do.

However, what you can do to check if there’s anything wrong with your laptop’s Wifi is to go to a place that you know provides free Wifi access (perhaps the local library or a Starbucks) and see if it connects. If it connects without problems, then at least you know there’s nothing wrong with your laptop.

By the way, if you want to know a little bit more about why “The page cannot be displayed”, you might want to turn off the “friendly error messages” options. I personally don’t find IE’s “friendly” error messages any more friendly than the real ones, and the real ones are a little bit more helpful when you run into the need to ask for technical help.


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:20
English to German
+ ...
That's exactly the point. Jul 17, 2011

Ambrose Li wrote:

If you are just trying to connect to random unsecured networks that your laptop has detected, it is possible that whoever own those hubs have somehow restricted access.


When I pull up the network information on my laptop, 13 networks are displayed besides mine. I can tell which ones are secured and which ones are unsecured. The mere thought of attempting to use other people's paid networks should be out of the question.


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Mark Thompson  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 23:20
Member
Portuguese to English
TOPIC STARTER
Laptop connects to Wireless in internet cafes, etc, but cannot navigate Aug 1, 2011

Thanks for replies so far.

I should have been clearer - before I posted this I went to a cafe with Wi-Fi, used their password/key and successfully connected to their wireless.

But at time of trying to launch IE or Moxilla or whatever browser, I get "page cannot be displayed" when I try and navigate to whatever internet site.

I have tried disabling the firewall without success. Could it be a "driver"issue, or is there some other simple solution?

In summary - I can successfully connect to wireless networks in cafes, hotels, etc - but get "page cannot be displayed"every time.

Thanks


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Michael Grant
Japan
Local time: 10:20
Japanese to English
Net-Cafe, hotel, etc. Wi-Fi is often restricted... Aug 1, 2011

Mark Thompson wrote:
In summary - I can successfully connect to wireless networks in cafes, hotels, etc - but get "page cannot be displayed"every time.


I had the same problem when I went to Tully’s here in Japan, but that is because I tried to go a Web site that their network doesn’t allow access to. Oftentimes net-cafe, hotel, etc. Wi-Fi is restricted to just their portal site, and they don’t let you connect to just any Web site...However, usually, after you get a page load error, they will redirect you to their portal site automatically...

You can try typing in just "www" (without http://): oftentimes this will force the browser to redirect to the portal site that is active for the Wi-Fi nework you are connected to...

MGrant


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Mark Thompson  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 23:20
Member
Portuguese to English
TOPIC STARTER
It's happening in all wireless situations Aug 1, 2011

Thanks Michael for your post.

Basically, it's happening in dozens of different places which have wireless, including home hubs, etc, - basically wherever there is wireless, my laptop successfully connects to it, but "page cannot be displayed" every time - while others are managing to do so with their laptops.

I'm therefore pretty sure that it's not about site restrictions - something's not set right in my laptop.....


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Michael Grant
Japan
Local time: 10:20
Japanese to English
DNS setting? Aug 1, 2011

Mark Thompson wrote:
I'm therefore pretty sure that it's not about site restrictions - something's not set right in my laptop...


Okay, try this! Instead of entering the domain name of the Web site, try entering its IP address. This will test whether your issue is DNS-related. For example, enter
74.125.39.99 (the IP address for google.com) instead of "www.google.com" then hit [Enter]...what happens? If it connects, then you are having a DNS problem, and you need to go over the DNS settings on your laptop again.

If that doesn’t cut it then you’ll have to keep digging for an answer...

MGrant

[Edited at 2011-08-01 06:56 GMT]


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Mark Thompson  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 23:20
Member
Portuguese to English
TOPIC STARTER
Entering IP address - still the same problem Aug 3, 2011

Thanks Michael,

I tried your suggestion, but "the page cannot be displayed" again.

I did read that I might need to download a more recent wireless driver, and I did so, from the website of my laptop manufacturer.....I think I 'ran"it, so it is installed, not sure how these things work......but anyway, no change..

Any new suggestions welcome......I know there may be people out there thinking "just take it to a shop", but on principle I won't do that until I have exhausted all possibilities to resolve the matter free of charge...

Thanks!


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