Go back to the office? Here’s how to ensure a good network connection

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Q. I take my laptop back and forth from my home to my office. Many times when I arrive at the office I am unable to print to the company printers. If I restart my system it will sometimes fix the problem, but not always. Any idea what’s going on and how I can fix it?

A. When you bring your computer home, it will most likely automatically connect to your home Wi-Fi network. When you bring your computer back to the office, it also automatically connects to Wi-Fi.

From what you describe, I suspect that your office has both public and private wifi and your computer automatically connects to the public wifi which probably doesn’t have access to company printers .

Restarting likely causes your computer to rejoin private Wi-Fi, which sometimes fixes the problem.

The next time you encounter this problem, check your connection and make sure you are on the corporate network. If you’re not, log out of public then manually log into private and I bet your print functionality will return.

Q. I received the following message and I don’t know how to correct the situation: Windows has detected an IP address conflict. Another computer on this network has the same IP address as this computer. Contact your network administrator to help resolve this issue. It’s a private network, and I’m the administrator. What can I do?

A. Each device connected to your home network is assigned an IP address by the router. This is how the router knows how to transmit data between the internet and this device or other connected devices.

IP address assignments are handled by your router using something called DHCP, which stands for Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol.

Basically what happens is that your device connects to the network and the router assigns a unique IP address when the router detects the device.

Occasionally, the router may assign an IP address from the DHCP pool that has already been assigned to another device. When this happens, your computer sees the other device on the network and generates this error.

Sometimes the computer continues to work fine, but other times the computer may have trouble accessing the Internet.

The quick fix is ​​to renew the DHCP address on the affected computer. To do this, open a command prompt and type the command ipconfig /renew. This will cause the computer to request a new IP address from the router.

If that doesn’t work, try restarting the computer and the router to see if that helps.

In extreme cases I have seen the need to reboot all network devices to resolve this issue. But that’s not very common.

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