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When I try to connect my XP laptop to my aparment wifi it says acquiring network address. But when I connect my TV and ps3 all I have to do is open the internet and it ask if I accept the apartments terms.

I hit agree and I get internet access, but I cant make that page come up on my laptop.


I have tried using different browsers. Also I could not find anything in the settings that helped. I tried turning off the firewall.

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2 Answers 2

It's possible that the network adapter in your laptop is inferior to the ones in your PS3/TV and can't connect/hold the connection. I would guess for one of two reasons:

  • The adapter is just old and has a weak signal
  • The adapter only supports 802.11b/g networking and the network you're trying to access is 802.11n and doesn't have backwards compatibility (I've had similar problems with this one in the past)

In the first case, you should try accessing the internet in different areas of the building to see if you can get a signal anywhere. If you can and the signal just isn't strong enough for your laptop in your apartment, I'd recommend getting a new USB wifi adapter. I got a TP-LINK TL-WN822N a few months ago myself. It's fairly inexpensive, high powered, supports 802.11n and improved my signal a lot. This would also probably fix issue #2, but might not be necessary, because...

If you can't get a signal anywhere in your building, my next guess would be a network compatibility issue, most likely the one I mentioned. You can check whether your card supports 802.11n with the method in another answer. If it doesn't, see if you can check with whoever manages the network in your building to see if the network is 802.11n only and perhaps politely ask them to implement backwards compatibility (this is generally pretty simple).

EDIT: I'm leaning toward the second option. If you're running XP your laptop is probably pretty old and likely wouldn't support 802.11n. Incidentally, you may want to look into an operating system or perhaps even computer upgrade as XP will be losing support in less than a year.

It could well be something else as well, those are just my first two guesses. The usual stuff about upgrading your network drivers and whatnot applies as well.

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By apartment WiFi I am assuming an apartment complex with multiple users connecting to it?

It could be that all of the local IP addresses the Apartment router is able to assign have been assigned, leaving your laptop in the acquiring network address state. I think the reason why your T.V and PS3 connect to the WiFi immediately is because they have already obtained an IP address from the Apartment router. This is assuming that the Apartment building is using a generic router that is only able to assign the default number (253 if I remember correctly) of IP addresses.

If you have another device - one that hasn't connected to the Apartment WiFi previously, you can determine whether or not the router has assigned all of the available IP addresses to devices in your apartment by trying to connect with that device. If the other device cannot connect to the WiFi, you may need to talk to your land lord or whoever is in charge of the buildings network infrastructure to check if there are any available IP addresses.

If you're told that the above is not the issue, you could try opening the command line (type cmd.exe on the Start menu search and run it as an Administrator) and resetting your Ipconfig settings by typing:

ipconfig /release followed by ipconfig /renew

Other things you could try include "forgetting" the network or maybe disabling/enabling your laptops network adapter via the Network and Sharing center control panel.

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