Take the 2-minute tour ×
Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I've got a problem with my wifi. It will only sometimes detect certain networks. Coincidentally the networks that only sometimes show up are the two networks I use most often: my home and work wifi. "workWifi" is unsecured, "homeWifi" is secure. That probably has nothing to do with it but they are the only networks I'm having trouble with. Here's a typical scenario:

I get to work and turn my laptop on, no wifi connection. I click on the wifi symbol on the menu bar and find a list of wifi connections but not "WorkWifi," the one I want. So I try a bunch of stuff, I'll disable/enable wireless, disable/enable networking, each about a dozen times. Restart the computer. Disable/enable wifi again. Restart again. Eventually I'll slam the screen shut in frustration and let it hibernate for an hour or so. Then I'll return and repeat the enable-disable-restart process. If I'm lucky some magical combination of restarts and hibernates and smashing my head on my desk, will get me wireless network I'm looking for. Then I can connect and start interneting. Sometimes, It'll never show up.

Now I'll leave work and go home. When I get home I'll open up my computer and sometimes it connects without issue and other times... No wifi. I'll click on the wifi icon and I swear it will list TWENTY wifi signals. It's like it's picking up the wifi router in every sigle house on my block EXCEPT FOR MY ROUTER! My router is not broadcasting a hidden ssid. It just isn't on the list. I'll now repeat the restart/enable/disable/smash head on desk routine until for some reason the SSID I'm looking for shows up or until I give up.

I've been trying to find solutions in other "networking" threads here but haven't found anything useful. But these commands are often requested, so I'll give you that info right now:

~$ lspci | grep Network
03:00.0 Network controller: Intel Corporation Centrino Advanced-N 6205 [Taylor Peak] (rev 34)

~$ sudo lshw -c network
   description: Wireless interface
   product: Centrino Advanced-N 6205 [Taylor Peak]
   vendor: Intel Corporation
   physical id: 0
   bus info: pci@0000:03:00.0
   logical name: wlan0
   version: 34
   serial: a0:88:b4:30:4b:08
   width: 64 bits
   clock: 33MHz
   capabilities: pm msi pciexpress bus_master cap_list ethernet physical wireless
   configuration: broadcast=yes driver=iwlwifi driverversion=3.8.0-35-generic firmware= latency=0 link=no multicast=yes wireless=IEEE 802.11abgn
   resources: irq:42 memory:c0500000-c0501fff

Does anyone have even the slightest idea of what might be wrong? Any help is greatly appreciated. My best guesses right now are that I might have the wrong driver or that the driver might not be communicating with the kernel properly. How can I check for these?

share|improve this question

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.