Why Does My Hotspot Stop Working?

by Andy Walton

Wireless hotspot dropouts can be more than a minor irritation. Tasks such as online gaming or remote working prove extremely difficult to perform without a stable Internet connection, and even browsing or sharing files between devices becomes a chore when your wireless network constantly drops. Learning the factors responsible for hotspot dropouts will help you to troubleshoot an errant connection and make sure that your wireless use stays as stress-free as possible.

Signal Attenuation

Attenuation is the loss of a signal's power during transmission. Your wireless signal naturally loses power as it travels through the air, meaning that the further away your hotspot is from your devices, the more likely it is that your connection will stop working. In addition, some materials do not conduct wireless signals well and should be kept out of the signal path between your device and your hotspot. This is especially true of metals, concrete and plaster.


Wireless interference generated by other devices in the property can sometimes cause unstable wireless connections. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth devices communicate using radio waves, which may become corrupted if they clash with other radio waves of a similar frequency. Common household devices that can emit wireless radiation include microwave ovens, cordless telephones and LCD displays. Try to keep your hotspot and the devices on your network away from interference sources if possible.

Hotspot Shutting Off

Your hotspot may stop working due to a loss of power. This is commonly caused by overheating, especially if your hotspot is switched on constantly. If you suspect your hotspot is powering itself off, unplug it for a few minutes and gently dust it to remove debris from its air vents. If overheating is not causing the problem, your hotspot may be switching itself off due to an electrical fault. In this case, you should unplug it immediately and contact your hotspot vendor's technical support team.

External Factors

If you are seeing an unstable Internet connection from your hotspot, it may be that the Internet service to your property is dropping out rather than the hotspot itself. Some hotspots have connection lights to indicate whether they are getting a signal from your Internet Service Provider (ISP). If your hotspot displays a visual connection indicator, watch these lights when your connection goes down. If the connection lights are dropping along with your Internet access, the problem may lie outside your property and you should contact your ISP.

About the Author

Andy Walton has been a technology writer since 2009, specializing in networking and mobile communications. He was previously an IT technician and product manager. Walton is based in Leicester, England, and holds a bachelor's degree in information systems from the University of Leeds.

Photo Credits

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