SOLVED Wi-fi Finding Network Failure


Mar 16, 2022
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The source of the wi-fi signal is a T-Mobile "in-house internet" product which is sold employing 1 of several receiver/modems. The main one & claim to fame is the one that is about the size of a quart jar and their spec pages just say it uses Wi-Fi 6. In the case I am helping on for a neighbor, his wrist watch and two Android cellphones are connected easily. My own Lenovo Idea Pad 5 (bought in Nov 2022) found the T-Mobile network coming from the box and connected easily.

His older Lenovo laptop (not sure of model but ~6 years old) absolutely refuses to even find the network much less connect to it !

Both Lenovo laptops are running Win 10 (mine came with it and his was just updated to Win 10.) We contacted T=Mobile support and they walked us through setting up a side network using only 2.4gHz rather than the basic 2.4/5.0 that it uses as default. New SSID etc. That changed nothing and his laptop still refuses to admit the existence of the T-Mobile wi-fi networks. T-Mobile Support threw in the towel after several calls, said the problem is with the neighbor's laptop and gave up. So all of this mess leads me to a couple of questions:

1) What is the most likely issue here ? Maybe the network adapter built into the neighbor's laptop lacks the ability to handle the so-called (newer terminology) Wi-Fi 6 protocol? That is my best guess and strange that T-Mobile never mentions that.
2) Will a plug-in USB dongle bypass the internal network adapter in the Lenovo laptop and potentially provide an inexpensive workaround such that the "Locate Networks" feature of the laptop will then see the T-Mobile wi-Fi 6 network?

Has anyone seen this issue before and have suggestions?

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