Enable Wireless-N on Intel Wi-Fi Adapter

Can't Connect to Wireless-N Network

During the initial setup on my ThinkPad Helix, Windows could not connect to my 802.11n Wi-Fi network. The setup proceeded normally when connected to the 802.11g network. After setup completed, I again tried to connect to the Wireless-N network.1 This failed again with an error like "Windows could not connect to the wireless network." I knew the network functioned fine, because my three-year old ThinkPad could connect just fine. When I took a look at the driver settings, the problem was obvious: 802.11n support is disabled by default!

The Fix

I have no idea why Lenovo chose to ship the machine in this state, but it's easy to fix once you have Windows set up. This fix applies to any machine that ships with an Intel Centrino Advanced-N wireless adapter.

  1. Open the Device Manager2
  2. Expand the "Network adapters" section
  3. Select the "Intel(R) Centrino(R) Advanced-N xxxx" where xxxx refers to your particular model number (mine is 6205)
  4. Go to the "Advanced" tab
  5. Select "802.11n Mode" from the property list
  6. Change the value to "Enabled" (yours should match the picture below)
Change "802.11n Mode" to "Enabled" in order to connect to Wireless-N networks with your Intel Centrino Advanced-N wireless adapter.

Change "802.11n Mode" to "Enabled" in order to connect to Wireless-N networks with your Intel Centrino Advanced-N wireless adapter.

Now you should be able to connect to 802.11n networks on the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands with no problem.

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