Fix: Linksys Shows Guest Wifi Only

Cisco Linksys routers offer a feature that most of the other routers don’t. With a guest Wi-Fi functionality running beside your main home Wi-Fi, the router offers internet connection reliability and security. Since your guests will be connected on a different Wi-Fi, your main Wi-Fi bandwidth will not be a limiting factor. You can continue browsing at reliable speeds on the main Wi-Fi. This also means that the data you share on your main home Wi-Fi will be safe from prying eyes, and since the password is not shared with others, unauthorized access will be curbed.

Despite all the pros, there have been several reports of an unavailable main Wi-Fi. People that have experienced this problem say that their computer shows the guest Wi-Fi only. Others are able to find the main Wi-Fi but the connection is limited. Apparently for others, their more recent Mac laptops are able to find the main Wi-Fi and connect to the internet successfully. What might be causing this issue, and how can one correct it? This article will explain briefly why you cannot find the main Wi-Fi and give you a simple remedy.

Most of the users that reported this problem were running a Windows XP or a Vista operating system. Some PC designed for Windows XP and Vista do not support WPA2 Personal encryption which Cisco Linksys routers use. This is a common problem with the Toshiba laptop. Toshiba Windows XP SP3 does not have true WPA2 – Personal encryption which runs on a 63 hexadecimal passcode, only WPA – PSK (Pre-Shared Key), whereas the Macbook Pro does have WPA2 Personal thus the main Wi-Fi is visible and connects on the Macbook. The guest Wi-Fi usually uses a mixed encryption because it is logical that your guests might have different devices that don’t support the WPA2 – Personal encryption.

Another problem may be with your WLAN drivers. If your drivers are corrupt or out of date, the WLAN card might not be able to decode the WPA Personal encryption and therefore partially connects to the main Wi-Fi or not find it at all. You might need to update your drivers to get it back on track. The router firmware might also need updates if your WLAN is not the issue.

Here are the methods to resolve these issues.

Method 1: Switch your router encryption from WPA2 Personal to WPA – PSK

To select your desired security system on a Linksys router:

  1. Open a Web browser and type “” into the address bar.
  2. Enter your username and password. On most Linksys models, both the default password and username are “admin.”
  3. Click the “Wireless” tab, and then select “Wireless Security.”
  4. Open the “Security Mode” menu and select a security mode. Pick (Manual) WPA/WPA2/Mixed and save the changes
  5. Try to find the Wi-Fi on your computer and connect to it

If you have a Mac PC, you might need to sync with router in case you get an “IP Address Conflict With Another System On The Network” error.

Method 2: Update your WLAN card drivers

If your computer can find the main Wi-Fi but cannot connect to it or has a limited access, then it is likely that the drivers are not functioning correctly. This issue has been common with the Atheros AR5007 802.11b/g Wi-Fi adapter that has compatibility issues with the Linksys E2000. The suggestion is to update the WLAN with new drivers. Atheros Wi-Fi adapters are mostly used in Toshiba, HP and Acer computers. Here is how to update them.

  1. Press the Windows logo key + R to open the Run dialog box.
  2. Type devmgmt.msc in the Run dialog box, and then press Enter. If you are prompted for an administrator password or for a confirmation, type the password, or click Allow
  3. In Device Manager, expand Network Adapters devices
  4. Right click on your Wireless/Wi-Fi device and select ‘Update Driver Software’
  5. Choose ‘Scan Automatically for Updated driver software’ and let the scan find and update your drivers
  6. Restart your computer

Method 3: Get the latest firmware for your Linksys router

The firmware dictates how the router behaves. It is likely that incompatibility issues have been resolved in the updated versions.

  1. Go to the firmware update page here
  2. Search and download the firmware and manual/instructions of your Linksys router
  3. Load the firmware with the help of the instructions manual and restart your router.

Kevin Arrows

Kevin Arrows is a highly experienced and knowledgeable technology specialist with over a decade of industry experience. He holds a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certification and has a deep passion for staying up-to-date on the latest tech developments. Kevin has written extensively on a wide range of tech-related topics, showcasing his expertise and knowledge in areas such as software development, cybersecurity, and cloud computing. His contributions to the tech field have been widely recognized and respected by his peers, and he is highly regarded for his ability to explain complex technical concepts in a clear and concise manner.