Having some issues with your Petaluma City Schools-issued Chromebook not connecting to the internet while at home? When you use an app such as Zoom, does it often disconnect or fail to load while on your home wifi? If so, it sounds like there is an issue between your Chromebook and your home's wireless network.

Probable Causes:

  • Misconfiguration on Home Network. 
    • The most frequently-seen cause, in this instance the issue with the Chromebook lies with a setting or misconfiguration on the home networking devices or on the Internet Service Provider's configurations. The most likely issue is that a network firewall or a device setting is blocking traffic to and from the Chromebook, possibly because it suspects that the Chromebook's connection to our web content filter is malicious network traffic. 
    • Resolution: Attempt the Preliminary Steps below to see if performance improves. Reach out to your Internet Service Provider or whomever manages your home network for assistance.
  • Wireless Interference or Weak Signal
    • Wireless internet is subject to weak or interfered signals that can impact your device's network performance. An Chromebook with a weak signal to your home network cannot receive or send as much internet traffic as it would with a strong signal. As such, it is important that your device receive the strongest and clearest signal that it can when in use.
    • Resolution: Attempt the Preliminary Steps below to see if performance improves. Check your device's wireless signal icon and make sure it has as many bars as possible. Sit in a location as close as possible to the source of your home's wifi network, preferably within visual range. If your wireless modem or router is old or has diminishing performance, a replacement may be necessary.
  • Insufficient Internet Speed.
    • If your home's internet does not have enough bandwidth, websites may load so slowly that they time out and disconnect if they cannot be loaded quickly enough. If a single home has many devices using the internet at once, that internet bandwidth is split between all of those devices simultaneously. Ideally, each device should have at least 5 MB/sec of network bandwidth in order to support HD video streaming.
    • Resolution: Attempt the Preliminary Steps below to see if performance improves. Limit the number of active devices on your network at a time, or contact your ISP to inquire about increasing your internet bandwidth and speeds.
  • Hardware Failure.
    • An Chromebook's internal wireless adapter is quite hardy, but it can fail in rare instances. When that happens, the device will not connect to any internet sites regardless of wireless network being accessed, or it may even fail to turn on wifi at all. This event will be very noticeable since the device will completely fail all network-oriented tasks.
    • Resolution: Attempt the Preliminary Steps below to see if performance improves. If the issue remains, please follow the instructions in the following section, "Contacting the Petaluma City Schools Helpdesk".
  • Miscellaneous Issue.
    • If you are experiencing network connectivity issues with your PCS-issued device that does not fit any of the above categories, the PCS Technology Department will assist you however we can. 
    • Resolution: Attempt the Preliminary Steps below to see if performance improves. If the issue remains, please follow the instructions in the following section, "Contacting the Petaluma City Schools Helpdesk".

Preliminary Steps:
When you are experiencing a period of network connectivity issues, here are a few steps that you can try:
  1. Ensure that your Chromebook has the most up-to-date version of ChromeOS. 
  2. Fully restart the Chromebook by shutting down and then powering it back up.
  3. Fully restart your home's wireless router by shutting down and then powering it back up.
  4. Sit closer to the source of your home wifi. It is ideal to have unobstructed access to the wireless modem or router, since walls, active electronics, and other obstacles create wireless interference.
    • The best way to ensure a clear signal is to sit within visual range of the wifi router or modem while you use the device.
  5. Forget the Chromebook's saved wifi networks, and then sign into your home network again. 
    • This can be done by following the instructions under the section, "Forget a network", at the following link: https://support.google.com/chromebook/answer/1056578?hl=en
    • Do note that some of the saved networks have a little building icon next to them. These are PCS networks for the wifi networks on school campuses, so those should stay remembered. Forget all of the other networks except for those.
  6. Try connecting the Chromebook to another, known-good wifi network that isn't your home wifi network. You can connect to another private network (such as your neighbor's network) or a public network (such as the public library's wifi, Starbucks public wifi, or even the wifi at your school site). If other networks offer improved performance, then the issue lies with your home wifi; if performance is equally bad off-network, then the issue is the device.
  7. Use your cell phone as a wireless hotspot, have the Chromebook connect to the hotspot, and see if they can connect to the apps better. A wireless hotspot bypasses the home network entirely, so that will help us determine whether that is where the core issue is or not.

Contacting the Petaluma City Schools Helpdesk:
The Petaluma City Schools Helpdesk can assist with any issues that a student may be experiencing with their PCS-issued devices. While we can only support the device in question, we will do everything we can to isolate and resolve the issue.

The PCS Helpdesk can be reached by emailing helpdesk@petk12.org. Please be sure to include the information below in your email as well.

As per usual, all tech tickets should include the following information:

  • Student’s full name
  • Student ID number
  • School
  • Preferred contact information
  • A thorough description of the issue

In addition, for network connectivity issues, please provide the following information as well:

  1. What apps are you attempting to access, but is having difficulty doing so?
  2. Has this been a consistent issue since the Chromebook was first issued, or has this issue only started recently?
  3. Is the Chromebook in question able to consistently reach other websites using Chrome such as Google.com or petalumacityschools.org? Or does any web activity exhibit similarly poor connectivity issues?
  4. Are other personal devices in your home experiencing similar issues, or is it only PCS-issued devices that seem to be affected? It would help to know whether the issue lies with PCS-issued devices only, or if it is something that affects all devices on the network.
  5. What is your home's internet speed? This can be tested on a website such as speedtest.net.
    • Please be sure to share the results with us, either via text or screenshot. We definitely need to know the latency and download speed reading given.