How To Tell If A Wi-Fi Card Is Bad: All You Need To Know About A Defective Wi-Fi Card

A Wi-Fi card is a small device that allows users to connect their computer to an available wireless connection around them.  It might be through a router or Bluetooth. Most people do not know if such a device exists in their computers because the Wi-Fi card comes pre-built into the motherboard.

The modern Wi-Fi card has a PCle interface to allow faster transmission of data. You can find various standards of wireless networks such as 802.11a, 802.11b, and many others. The company responsible for setting the standards for these networks is called the Wi-Fi Alliance.

You may find that sometimes your Wi-Fi card may have issues with connecting to a wireless connection. Moreover, it might even fail to recognize the available wireless connections.  If you see such signs, you should ensure that you do not ignore them. These might be alerting signs indicating that your Wi-Fi might be faulty.

How To Tell If A Wi-Fi Card Is Bad

Has your Wi-Fi card been failing to connect your phone to a wireless network? It is simple to know if your Wi-Fi card is getting spoiled. You can see the signs to indicate it. A Wi-Fi card losing an internet connection is among the common symptoms of a defective Wi-Fi card. Moreover, your card will not be able to detect any wireless connection even when it is available.

Compatibility Of Wi-Fi Cards

Most people wonder if the Wi-Fi card that they buy will be compatible with their computer. You may find that some Wi-Fi cards are incompatible with some motherboards and some wireless networks.  However, you can use these two factors to determine the compatibility of your Wi-Fi card.

The Card Interface

Every Wi-Fi card has an interface that lets it connect to the motherboard of your computer. The type of interface that it has is the PCle variety. For your PCle interface Wi-Fi card to work on your computer, your motherboard must have the slot for this interface. Therefore, it will make the Wi-Fi card compatible with your computer.

Type Of Wireless Connection

There are many types of wireless connections, and some of them work differently from others. The b, g, and n-type wireless connections are cross-compatible, but the ”a” network is not. Therefore if your Wi-Fi card is ‘’b’’ enables, it can connect to a wireless connection with ‘’n’’ standards. However, your ‘’b’’ enabled Wi-Fi card will not be able to connect to a wireless connection with ‘’a’’ standards.

Causes Of Your Wi-Fi Card Failing

If you want your Wi-Fi card to have a long lifespan, you will have to take good care of it. Various causes can make your Wi-Fi card spoil. Knowing these causes will help you to prevent them and hence increasing your Wi-Fi card’s life. The following are the reasons why your Wi-Fi card might go bad.

Mechanical Damage

One of the reasons why your Wi-Fi card might fail to work is because of mechanical damage. In some cases, your Wi-Fi card might get damaged or chipped during installation. When you put too much pressure on the Wi-Fi card while installing it, the Wi-Fi card will get damaged.

The pins on your Wi-Fi card interface might bend or break. When this happens, your motherboard will not recognize your Wi-Fi card, thus making it not connect.

Another situation where your Wi-Fi card may have mechanical damage is during regular maintenance. Do you regularly open your computer and move its parts? If you do, then you are at a higher risk of damaging your Wi-Fi card.

Electrical Damage

Another cause of your Wi-Fi card spoiling is electrical damage. For your Wi-Fi card to operate, it also needs electricity. When there is a sudden power surge, it might cause your Wi-Fi card to malfunction due to the excess current.

The mistake that most people make is not installing their motherboards correctly. When the motherboard gets poorly installed, it might lead to short circuits. During short circuits, the sudden burst of electricity might fry certain parts of your motherboard. The components attached to your motherboard might also be a risk of getting fired.

The pins of the Wi-Fi card directly connect to an open port of the board. Therefore it is at high risk of getting damaged during short circuits. You should ensure that you ground yourself before touching your Wi-Fi card. It is because the little static electricity that you might generate is enough to damage your Wi-Fi card.

Thermal Damage

Sometimes it can get scorching inside your computer, which is not suitable for the internal hardware. If the internal hardware gets exposed to extreme heat for too long, the heat might damage the hardware. That is the reason why most computers have cooling systems.

The problem will come when your computer cooling systems fail. Your computer will experience downturn performance since it cannot work correctly in such conditions. Moreover, your Wi-Fi card will also get damaged if it stays in such high temperatures for long. The high heat may ruin the inner circuits of the card, making it defective.

Symptoms To Tell You That Your Wi-Fi Card Is Bad

When your Wi-Fi card becomes defective, it is simple to tell. It would help if to be keen on the signs that it is showing you. Here are some of the symptoms to let you know that your Wi-Fi card is bad.

Wi-Fi Card Not Showing Available Networks

One of the signs that your Wi-Fi card is bad is its inability to show the available networks around it. Wi-Fi cards constantly scan the surrounding area looking for wireless networks. It will then reveal those wireless networks that are available to you. If you can’t see any available networks, including yours, then know that your Wi-Fi card is defective.

Dropped Connections

A bad Wi-Fi card will always have problems with the internet connections. You may experience frequent connections drops. The connection drop occurs when your computer gets a sudden disconnection from the Wi-Fi. In everyday situations, your computer should remain connected to your Wi-Fi at all times.  When it starts having sudden disconnections, then know that your Wi-Fi might be the cause of it.

Slow Internet Speed

The Wi-Fi cards can send and receive data through wireless connections. Therefore it allows you to do your tasks over your business’s local network and the internet. In the case that you’re your computer takes an eternity to download and upload data, know that your Wi-Fi card is defective.  A defective Wi-Fi card will cause your computer to have slow internet speed hence slowing everything down.

Failure To Lighting Up

Most of the Wi-Fi cards have an indicator light. However, some do not have this feature. It all depends on the type of Wi-Fi card that you use. If your Wi-Fi card has the indicator light feature, it should light up when your turn on your computer. If your Wi-Fi card does not light up when you turn on your computer, it is a sign that it is defective.

How To Fix Problems With The Wireless Card

The following are some of the ways you can solve the connection problems with Wi-Fi cards.

Resetting Your Router

One of the reasons your Wi-Fi card might have connections problems is because of the router. You might have an improper router configuration. To fix this problem, you will have to reset your router. Resetting your router is a straightforward task. You will press the reset button on your router, and your router will reset.

Confirm That The Password You Have Put Is Correct

Most people protect their Wi-Fi network using passwords. In some instances, you may put the wrong password when connecting to a wireless network. To fix this problem, you will disconnect from your network and reconnect back again. Ensure to set the correct password.

Remove Your Antivirus Software

Antivirus is essential as it provides online security. However, some antivirus programs can interrupt your wireless connection, thus causing connection problems to your Wi-Fi card. Therefore you will have to disable all third-party antivirus tools temporarily.

How Do You Enable A Disabled Wi-Fi Card?

You will first click on the start button and go to the ”Computer management” option. On the computer management option, you will select ”Device Manager” and double click on network adapters.  You will then right-click on your wireless adapter and select ”Properties”. Afterward, click on the ”Driver” tab and select ”Enable.”

How Do You Know The Type Of Wi-Fi Card You Have?

You will open the network and sharing center and click on ‘’Manage network connections.’’ there, you will find your wireless connection list. You will right-click it and choose status, then click details. Information about your Wi-Fi card will get displayed.


Wi-Fi cards are essential tools to ensure you connect your computer to a wireless connection. Therefore you should ensure you take good care of them. Thermal, electrical, and mechanical damage can quickly spoil your Wi-Fi card, making it defective. Many signs can tell you that your Wi-Fi card is bad. Some of them include the inability to recognize available networks and regular connection loss.

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David Huner
David Huner
David Huner is a tech lover. After completing his graduation from the University Of Phoenix, he started gather his knowledge mostly on latest technologies that keeps his life smart and cool. Now he wants to spread his knowledge with people who loves technologies.

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