If your Raspberry Pi won't connect to your WiFi network, or you're seeing some odd connection issues, we've found that it's usually caused by your internet router or router settings (the WiFi chip on the Raspberry Pi very rarely fails).
Here are some common fixes and troubleshooting suggestions. Most of the tips below apply to most models of Raspberry Pi, unless stated otherwise:
- [***MOST COMMON CAUSE***] Set your timezone/location - When you first set up a Raspberry Pi, sometimes you'll need to manually set the timezone/location to allow you to make a WiFi connection (even though the initial setup screens appear to set this for you). In a terminal window type in 'sudo raspi-config', then 'Localisation Options' - then set your locale, timezone and WLAN country. Make sure your time/date looks right, then reboot.
- [Pi 4 / Pi 400 only] WiFi Chip Software Update - A recent software update was made for the Pi4/Pi400 which can dramatically improve performance. In a terminal, type the following commands to update the software:
sudo apt update
sudo apt install firmware-brcm80211
- Power Supply - Where possible, avoid old phone chargers, computer USB ports or similar sources of power! Even if these devices list compatible voltage/current ratings, we've seen lots of WiFi issues where poor quality power supplies can't handle spikes. Ideally, use an official Raspberry Pi power supply.
- 2.4GHz vs 5GHz - If you're seeing connection drop-outs or poor reception, it might be because your router is connecting via the 5GHz band. Whilst 5GHz offers greater speeds over 2.4GHz, it can't travel as far. Try disabling the 5GHz band in your router - if that clears up the problem then you then know it's a WiFi band issue.
- Disable WiFi 'smart' switching - Some newer routers feature two WiFi bands - 2.4GHz and 5GHz - and many will automatically switch your device's connection between these bands in an attempt to help the connection/speed. This can sometimes cause issues, so when troubleshooting WiFi issues it can be useful to log in to your router and disable any smart-switching features (or disable the 5GHz band altogether).
- Turn off WPA3/mixed mode on your router - This isn't something we've come across ourselves yet, however some of our customers have reported that WPA3 and/or mixed mode on their routers will not work with their Raspberry Pi. Try switching to WPA2 instead and see if that resolves your issue. Your mileage may vary!
- Setting a static IP address for your Pi- Some 'smart' routers/hubs seem to have an issue if multiple Raspberry Pis are on the same network. Log in to your router and set each one with a static IP address to see if that resolves your issue.
- Change hostnames - If you're running multiple Raspberry Pis, you'll see that they all show up on your network as the name 'Raspberry Pi'. Whilst this is usually fine, it's a good idea to give each one a unique name to avoid confusion when troubleshooting network issues. To do this, open a terminal window and enter 'sudo raspi-config'. Then select 'Network Options' and then 'Hostname' to change the name that will show on your network.