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How To Troubleshoot WiFi

WiFi Troubleshooting


Wireless (WiFi) networks allow us the freedom of 'surfing' the internet without being tied down to your modem via a cable. However, a connection that relies on radio waves will be subject to failure due to several factors including: interference, signal range limits, hardware problems, and operator error. So if you are having trouble with your Wi-Fi connection we have a guide to the most common WiFi troubles and you can fix them.


Quick Start:


desktop-motive-cares.pngUse our Troubleshooting Tool to help fix common issues anytime on your mobile device or desktop computer. You will be guided through steps to help resolve common Wi-Fi issues.


Troubleshoot Now



Also, you can use our Telstra Home Dashboard™ App to check the Wi-Fi coverage in your premises, and to compare the coverage when trying the various suggestions below.


The Telstra Home Dashboard™ App can be downloaded here.





Detailed Version:

You'll always get the best performance from devices that are connected to your modem by an Ethernet cable, but we know sometimes that's not a great option if it means having cables running to different locations around your home. Listed below are some common WiFi troubles and how you can fix them.

1. Check Your Laptop for a WiFi Button or Switch. 

A lot of laptops have a physical switch on the laptop case or a keyboard switch which allow you to disable the wireless radio. It generally has an wireless icon/picture indicating this. Check to make sure it hasn't been accidentally turned off. 


wifi-switch positions.png


2. Restart Your Computer and Your modem.

Yes, I know, it may sound like an episode of the IT Crowd, but it does work on a variety of electronic devices.


3. Change the WiFi Channel on the Router. 

Choose your Telstra modem from the link below to be view a walk-through on how to change your WiFi channel. If you have your own modem (BYO, non-Telstra supplied) please refer to the user guide from the modem's manuafacturer.


ADSL Modems:

Telstra Gateway Max TG799 & TG800 ADSL/NBN

T-Gateway TG797 ADSL/NBN
Technicolor TG587nV3 & TG582n

Thomson TG782T & TG585v7
2Wire 2701-HGV


Netgear EVG2000 Smart Community Velocity Modem. 


Netgear CG814WG, CGD24N & CG3100
Netgear C6300BD


4. Check the Signal Strength and Position of your Wireless Modem


  • If your modem has an antenna, check that it’s securely connected to the modem and check for any damage to the antenna.
  • Make sure the modem isn’t covered by anything. This includes large objects placed in front of or on top of it, and ensure it's not locked away in a cupboard. Also, it needs to be in a well ventilated area.
  • For best results your modem should be out in the open so the signal can travel freely. Our Telstra Home Dashboard™ App can check the Wi-Fi coverage in your premises, and suggest the best placement of your modem to maximise reception.

The Telstra Home Dashboard™ App can be downloaded here.





5. Reset the Wireless Modem to it's Factory Default Settings.

  • To do this get a paperclip, or something similar, and press and hold it into the reset hole at the back of your Telstra modem, keep in pressed in for 15 seconds.
  • Give it 2-5 minutes to reconnect to the internet. Alternatively you may prefer to do this via the modems interface for ADSL and NBN, or for Cable modems. 
  • For ADSL modems you may need to re-enter your username and password back into the modem in order to re-connect to the internet.

Video:Get the Most out of Your Home Wi-Fi Connectivity


Other Considerations:

Most people are aware of the dip in speed over WiFi connections the size of the impact is dependent upon the signal that you are able to receive.


When you are connected through WiFi to the modem, there is an opportunity for interference which will affect the speed that you receive. Wireless interference can come in three main types which are dense objects, bodies of water and wireless interference.


Dense objects, if located directly between the modem and the device it is connecting to can inhibit the signal or block it completely. Examples include refrigerators, filing cabinets, televisions, brick or marble internal walls, copper plumbing and large mirrors.

The same problems occur with bodies of water which is usually found in the form of fish tanks, water beds and hot water systems. 


Wireless interference can come in the form of microwaves, base stations of cordless telephones, baby monitors and even car door remotes and a next door neighbour using the same wireless channel as you.

To resolve this issue I would recommend, if possible moving the modem to a higher position, such as on a shelf or cupboard. Try and place the base units of cordless phones as far away from the modem as possible and make sure that your device (computer/tablet/ect) has as clear a path to the modem as is possible. 


Changing the channel that the modem is transmitting the signal on can also improve wireless coverage and help to avoid interference. Our preferred channels to try are channels 1, 5, 6, and 11. However, with trial and error, you may find an alternate channel that works best for you.


Distance is also something to take into consideration, the further you are from the modem the less signal you are likely to receive. If possible, move your modem to a central location to increase coverage within your premises.



Also to be considered is the WiFi capabilities of the modem and the WiFi adapter you are using to connect with.


Most recently the 802.11 G was the most common WiFi network used by modems and adapters, however this is swiftly giving way to 802.11 N which can operate at both 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz frequencies, and then to 802.11AC which has added features such as "beamforming" and operates only on the 5.0 GHz frequency.


Please note that both the modem and the WiFi adapter need to both have N capability to take advantage of this technology. N devices are backwards compatible, and most modems have the capability of using B/G only. Similarly, AC compatibility will require a compatible modem and WiFi adapter and are also backwards compatible to B/G/N.


If your modem has dual band WiFi, it is important to remember that the 2.4 Ghz has a lower max speed but provides more distance whereas the  5 Ghz has higher max speeds but covers less distance.


Wireless networks never reach the theoretical bandwidth limits. Wireless-B networks typically get 2–5 megabits per second (Mbps). Wireless-G networks are usually in the 13–23 Mbps range. The average everyday speed for wireless-N equipment is about 50 Mbps. (


Network Extenders and Wireless Repeaters


There are a number of products available on the market that can help improve the quality and coverage within your premises.



The Ruckus Wi-Fi Home Network Extender provides a point-to-point wireless connection between your T-Box or other Ethernet capable devices and modem in different rooms, without running any new cabling. It features a smart antenna that reduces the effect of wireless interference that can impact performance.

Pro - Provides a focused WiFi signal from the transmitter to the receiver.
Con - Only one device can be connected to each receiver.

See the Ruckus Userguide for more details.


Netgear Powerline


The Netgear Powerline Home Theatre Kit turns electrical outlets into a high-speed home network connection that you can use to connect your T-Box and any Ethernet capable devices to your modem. The adaptor has four Ethernet ports and supports up to four devices.

Pro - Provides connectivity for up to 4 Ethernet capable devices.

Con - Access point and Powerline need to be on the same power circuit within the premises.

See the Powerline Userguide for more details.



BYO Wireless Repeaters


A wireless repeater aids in extending the WiFi broadcasting area, enabling WiFi signal to reach around obstacles or increase distance.

As a wireless repeater rebroadcasts the WiFi signal to create a secondary network which for security reasons would also require security encryption and network name different to the originating router or access point.

Wireless repeaters need to be compatible with the security encryption of the access point. For example: An older repeater with WEP encryption will not be able to pick up the WPA/WPA2 encryption of a newer modem unless manually configured to the less secure WEP.

Pro - Extended range for multiple WiFi devices.

Con - Increased loss of bandwidth.



Version history
Revision #:
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Last update:
December 2017
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