Why Can’t I Find CenturyLink WiFi On My Laptop? (Plus Simple Solutions)

If you need to work on your laptop, but it does not have internet access, then you are stuck. If your computer will not connect to CenturyLink’s wireless network then you can’t get anything done! What should you do? The following tips may help you!

Occasionally, your CenturyLink Internet gateway will not recognize your laptop. It’s not uncommon for CenturyLink modems to malfunction. Our recommendation in that case is to add a WiFi router. 

An Ethernet cable connects a WiFi router to your CenturyLink modem rather than replacing your entire setup. This is a great WiFi solution for users who work from home, use VPNs, stream videos, and play video games.

You will need to turn off the WiFi on your CenturyLink modem in order to use your new route, but that is very easy to do. All you need to do is login to your router and deactivate the WiFi radio, or contact CenturyLink and ask them to assist with turning off your WiFi. 

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CenturyLink WiFi on my laptop
CenturyLink WiFi on my laptop

We receive a lot of questions about this issue. Your CenturyLink Internet gateway is a great device, but it has a lot on its plate. It handles WiFi, internet, and much more- which is a lot for a single device. 

While this doesn’t mean that the supplied router that you received with your internet is no good at all, you can certainly get better performance from a standalone WiFi solution, which we covered in our best mesh devices for CenturyLink article

You will encounter two scenarios if this is your issue.

  • It appears that WiFi is available, but you are unable to connect.
  • There is no WiFi connection.

If you fall into the first category, there are a few things you can do. 

In general, 2.4GHz networks have better range, but slower speeds, while 5GHz networks have faster speeds but a lesser range. 

The first thing you want to check is that your WiFi is actually working. 

Are you trying to connect your laptop to CenturyLink WiFi only, or do you have additional devices connected? If there are other devices that are connecting just fine, then your laptop is the most likely culprit. 

Try rebooting your laptop, updating your WiFi device drivers, and checking if Windows updates have recently been installed. 

In some cases you can uninstall the latest Windows update to restore Windows back to its previous state. If the update caused a WiFi driver issue then this should resolve that issue.

Luckily the answer is yes, we can! Take a look below.

  1. Try to connect your laptop to your WiFi gateway with an Ethernet cable and check to see that you do indeed have access to the internet, and that you can login to your CenturyLink device. 
  2. Once you have logged in, check your settings and ensure that your WiFi network is being broadcast and that the CenturyLink WiFi radio is switched on. 
  3. If all of your CenturyLink router settings are correct, then the next thing to do is check out your laptop. 
  4. Open up Network Settings – Click Manage known networks (or something similar) and remove all saved networks from there so they don’t show up as options when you try connecting again.
  5. Go back into your WiFi networks and refresh the list.
  6. If your WiFi is still not showing up, or it is showing up but not connecting, then read on for more solutions.

Is your WiFi device enabled and ready to connect?

There have been some reports that the easiest and quickest way to fix the problem would be to update the network card driver with the manufacturer’s recommended driver rather than the default Windows driver. 

Next, update your Windows installation if you have installed the latest version of your WiFi network card’s driver. Because Mac users generally won’t experience these problems, we will focus on Windows problems in this article. 

Try finding a removable WiFi adapter to test with if you have followed all these steps but are still unable to see your WiFi network. 

When I travel, I always carry an Ethernet USB adapter as well as a WiFi USB card with me. It comes in handy when you have trouble connecting to the internet.

Connecting to the network, but not able to use the internet

Although this is less common than not being able to see the CenturyLink network, there have been some reports of this issue. 

If you are connected to the WiFi with your laptop or smartphone and there is no connection until you are back on your cellular data connection, then you need to check out your WiFi connection’s configuration. 

Most WiFi configurations are handled directly by the WiFi gateway itself, as it is responsible for handing out IP addresses and the general network settings for your environment. 

If this device is not sending your laptops the correct IP addresses or DHCP information, then you will connect to the network but your data packets will have no idea how to get out onto the network if they have been configured incorrectly.

Make sure that while you are troubleshooting your connection that you set your router gateway to automatically issue addresses to all your devices. If all of these settings look good then you need to move onto the next section.

More Serious Issues

If you still cannot connect, even with an inexpensive USB WiFi card, then you will need to contact the CenturyLink support staff to see if there is something wrong with your CenturyLink hardware. 

They can quickly help you diagnose the issue over the phone, and if you need to replace your device then they can arrange that for you.

If you are looking to upgrade your wireless network then be sure to check out our article about the best mesh WiFi for CenturyLink Internet. We outline some of the best WiFi routers that you can get to replace the basic wireless functionality that comes standard with CenturyLink hardware. 

Replacing your hardware is probably the quickest and most simple way to make sure that your WiFi issues are fixed once and for all, and at the same time you will be able to enhance the network speed and performance of your network.

A WiFi booster is simply an inexpensive device that plugs into your wall and relays WiFi signal.

This means that if you place it half way between your CenturyLink router and the place where you are trying to use the WiFi on your laptop then you will instantly boost your signal.

You might also notice better speeds and latencies if your signal improves enough with a WiFi booster.

Below are our recommendations for affordable and effective WiFi boosters.

Treat yourself to a new laptop

Wait a minute, this seems a bit extreme right? Not really. If you are like me, or any of the other millions of people that are stuck working from home right now, then you might be surprised by how much a new tool like a laptop can help. 

How is that possible, I hear you ask?

Here are just a few great reasons that come to mind:

  • Better WiFi!! Most new laptops have far superior hardware to aging systems
  • Faster loading times for you vital work applications
  • More storage
  • Better displays, much better for you eyes after hours of staring at your work
  • Improved battery life

I could go on and on about why a new laptop makes life so much easier, from the typing experience (no more sticking space bar for me since I upgraded to my new Dell, haha), to enhanced cooling so my laptop doesn’t start freaking out after it hits its thermal throttling temperature, etcetera, etcetera, ad infinitum…

So I have taken the liberty of gathering the best laptops for general browsing, working, and even some light gaming in some instances. 

I will write a full article soon, but in the mean time, here is a list of 10 of the best laptops available right now. 

These are not budget killers either, especially if you need to enjoy your laptop.

And remember, even if you aren’t in the market for a new laptop, then it doesn’t hurt to start shopping around early. 

In fact, many of these laptops will also make a great Christmas gift if you are looking to improve the quality of life of a loved one that is stuck at home.

Finishing up

As we have learned, the fix for your CenturyLink WiFi issues not showing up on your laptop or mobile device can usually be done quite easily. 

It is always great when a simple Windows driver update fixes the problem for you, but sadly that is not always the case. 

If you are still having network connection issues after following all the basic troubleshooting techniques that we outlined for you, then be sure to contact  CenturyLink support right away to see what the underlying cause could be.


Why is my  CenturyLink WiFi not showing on my laptop?

Several factors may cause your CenturyLink WiFi connection to stop functioning under Windows 10, including the WiFi driver (software) for the hotspot is not properly installed in the computer, the WiFi device (hardware) is not properly connected, and you recently changed the password for the hotspot

Why is my CenturyLink WiFi not showing up?

The  CenturyLink My Account app also allows you to restart your modem remotely. To restart this device, sign in and tap Internet. See Restart Your Wireless Gateway, Modem or Router for instructions on how to restart your modem. The Internet device you're using might need to be restarted.

Why is my laptop not finding my WiFi network?

An operating system uses a wireless network driver to communicate with wireless and network adapters. You may have outdated or corrupt drivers on your laptop if it doesn't show your wireless network. Drivers can be updated manually or automatically.

Manually Connect Your Tablet to  CenturyLink WiFi

By selecting Settings > Wi-Fi, make sure WiFi is turned ON. If your tablet is set up with WiFi, it will detect nearby wireless networks. From the list of available networks, tap the  CenturyLink wifi network. Once connected, your tablet will begin connecting to the CenturyLink wifi network.

How do I connect to  CenturyLink free WiFi?

To help your phone automatically connect to  CenturyLink WiFi hotspots, go to Settings > WiFi and select  CenturyLink wifi from the list of in-range networks.