I recently received a new work laptop – Lenovo T460S. A cute little thing with impressive performance and reasonably good battery life. However, what people frequently complaing about online in regards of this laptop, is its absolutely, horribly awful wifi. This, in turn, is probably caused by it’s bad wifi chip, Intel Dual Bank Wireless-AC 8260. And they’re right – it’s a load of crap.
The laptop out-of-the-box, at least for me, requires a very strong wifi signal. You need to be close to the router and without any obstructions, or you’ll end up with a connection like mine – see the screenshot below of me pinging Google’s DNS servers:
So, I had a connection like that, while another laptop right next to that machine was connected in the same wifi but scored constantly under 200ms ping times to the same server. That’s not very impressive from a brand new laptop. The real fault lies within the drivers, though – the machine uses a wifi chip called “Intel Dual Bank Wireless-AC 8260”, which apparently Intel has been publishing just worse and worse drivers for.
When I got the machine, the driver date was 30.10.2016, so it was fairly fresh (got my laptop at the start of 2017). That’s the driver with constant timeouts, and the one that Intel probably used all their skills on to mess it up as badly as they could. The simple solution to (at least my) wifi problems on this laptop, is uninstalling the driver and using as old version of the driver as possible. That’s achieved by uninstalling the drivers as many times as you can, until finally you can’t uninstall it anymore and it defaults to something like this:
Every time you click “Uninstall”, also remember to actually REMOVE the driver from you system. Otherwise you won’t achieve much.
This is what the ping at a bad wifi looks like after removing the fresh driver and using an older one:
At least for me, the uninstallation process far fairly straighforward, and I wasn’t even required to reboot my machine before wifi started working again.
Issues with Windows Update
What I haven’t found a solution for yet, is Windows 10’s tendency of forcing updates on the driver. Every time you notice your wifi connectivity becoming super bad, go and rollback your driver, or if that doesn’t help, uninstall it time and time again. There’s a good chance the wifi will start working again.
When I find a way to block the driver from ever updating, I’ll update it here 🙂
Latest posts by Antti K. Koskela (see all)
- How to fix an Office Group with no Owners - November 14, 2018
- Help! My “Content and Structure” page in SharePoint Online is gone! - November 7, 2018
- Thanks for coming to my session at SPS New England 10/20 ! - October 20, 2018
- Speaking at SPS New England on 10/20! - October 17, 2018