A Wi-Fi adapter is an essential networking device. To connect your computer to Wi-Fi, as well as the internet, without the use of wires, you’ll need a Wi-Fi adapter. Also known as a Wi-Fi card, it’s a small hardware component that provides wireless networking capabilities. Wi-Fi adapters can fail, however. If you notice any of the five following signs, your computer’s Wi-Fi adapter may need replacing.

#1) Not Showing Available Networks

One telltale sign of a bad Wi-Fi adapter is failure to show available networks. Wi-Fi adapters work by scanning the surrounding area for wireless networks. If your computer is located in a commercial office space,, the Wi-Fi adapter may reveal the networks of multiple businesses. If you don’t see any networks available, including your business’s network, the Wi-Fi adapter may be bad.

#2) Dropped Connections

If your computer’s Wi-Fi adapter is bad, you may experience frequently dropped connections. A dropped connection occurs when your computer is suddenly disconnected from the Wi-Fi. Under normal circumstances, your computer should remain connected to the Wi-Fi at all times when it’s powered up. If it disconnects you from the Wi-Fi, the adapter could be to blame.

#3) Slow Speeds

Of course, slow speeds can be indicative of a bad Wi-Fi adapter. All Wi-Fi adapters are designed to both send and receive data. They’ll send and receive data wirelessly so that you perform tasks over your business’s local network and the internet. With a bad Wi-Fi adapter, the speed at which your computer downloads data and uploads data may slow to a snail’s pace.

To check your download and upload speeds, use a tool like Speedtest. There are other speed testers available, but they all work in the same way. They’ll exchange data with your data while monitoring its download and upload speeds.

#4) Not Lighting Up

Depending on the type of Wi-Fi adapter you have, it may feature an indicator light. Most external Wi-Fi adapters, such as USB Wi-Fi adapters, have an indicator light. When you power up your computer, the indicator light will turn on. If this light doesn’t turn on, it typically means that the Wi-Fi adapter isn’t receiving power.

#5) Pop-Up Error Messages

You may notice error messages popping up on your monitor if the Wi-Fi adapter is bad. Windows will often display pop-up error messages related to Wi-Fi problems. If the drive is corrupted, for instance, Windows may show a pop-up message notifying you of this problem.