skip to content

Troubleshooting laptop network issues

Getting connected

If you're having difficulty connecting to the Internet from your laptop, try these steps first.

  • Use DHCP ("obtain an IP address automatically") to obtain your IP address and DNS settings.
  • Check that your web browser connects directly to the Internet (your home University's proxy server may not work here).
  • Set your computer's clock to the correct time (otherwise it may think web certificates have expired when they haven't). Use the Network Time Protocol to set your computer's clock automatically.
  • Low batteries often cause connection problems, so plug your laptop into the mains if possible.
  • Cambridge eduroam users: the UIS have some helpful information. This is not for visitors, who should be configuring eduroam using credentials from their home institution.
  • UniOfCam users: you need to authenticate via a web browser. If this does not happen automatically then try to visit a non-Cambridge website beginning http not https and you should be redirected to the authentication page.
    • Local pages may be accessible without authentication.
    • https pages cannot be redirected since the purpose of the https protocol is to prove that you are accessing the website which you think you are accessing.

If this does not help then email help@maths (append Please give us the following details to help us diagnose the problem.

  • Wireless connections: the most recent usage data from the web page
  • Wired connections: the information from accessing the web page on your laptop.
  • Your office number.
  • Which network are you connecting to (eduroam, UniOfCam-Guest, wired eduroam, or the "ordinary" wired network)?
  • The operating system of your laptop (e.g. Windows, Mac or Linux).
  • Any error messages you are getting.


If you can't print from the laptop network check the following.

  • You are authenticated to the laptop network. You cannot print unless you have logged into the laptop network. Check your Internet connection by browsing the web or with the command "ping". If you have been disconnected and cannot reconnect, send an email to help@maths explaining this.
  • The laptop print service is running.
  • Try another printer. The one you are trying to use may have a stuck queue. If you can print to one printer but not another please tell help@maths.
  • Try to print a test page. Some files are complex and awkward to print. Printing them from a different program or using a newer printer may help.

You've checked the above, all is fine and you still cannot print from your laptop. You'll need to email us. We need the following information. Please try to include as much as possible of the following.

  • Wireless connections authenticated via Raven: the most recent entry on the wireless usage page. The data on this page is for your Raven account so it is fine to access it from your desktop if your laptop is not working.
  • Wired connections: the content you see on the status page when accessing it from your laptop.
  • What happens when you visit the webpage
    Do you ...
    • Get no reply - the browser hangs
    • Get a shorter than expected list of printers - there should be around 100
    • Have no problem viewing that page
  • Which printer(s) you tried to print to
  • Which program (application) you printed from
  • The type of file you tried to print - eg webpage, pdf file, image ending in .jpg
  • The time (approx range is fine) you sent the job to the printer

Unable to connect to \\ on Windows 10

Once authenticated on the network you try to connect to \\ but receive the error:

You can't access this shared folder because your organization's
security policies block unauthenticated guest access. These polices
help protect your PC form unsafe or malicious devices on the network.

You need to enable insecure guest access (don't worry, we run lapserv.maths so it is safe to do the following). You need to configure AND ENABLE the group policy:

Computer configuration\administrative templates\network\Lanman Workstation
"Enable insecure guest logons"

Microsoft documentation on this can be found at You shouldn't need to reboot your laptop but if doesn't work after making the edit do a reboot.