About a year ago, my brother bought a laptop with Windows Vista on it, but when he connected to my wireless network, he didn’t gain access to the internet. He could see all the computers in the network and access shared files, but no internet. Vista showed the connection as “Local access only”. We tried all kinds of settings in Vista, but no luck. In the end we figured it must be the way my network was set up, and we gave up – he was only visiting for a day, and at home he would have direct internet access, no network settings needed.
Today I installed Windows 7 beta on a new computer, and when I tried to access the internet with it, the same problem came up: “Local only”. Naturally I went looking for answers online (no, not from the new pc!), but all I found was a description of the problem, and people offering all kinds of solutions that simply don’t work. However, in the end I ran into an old page that describes how to solve it in Windows Vista via regedit, by removing IPv6 altogether. Luckily I read “remove IPv6” before I read the ‘via regedit’ part, and I went into the network settings and removed IPv6 by unticking a box. It worked straight away, my network now says “Local and Internet access”, and I can surf the Internet without a problem.
Step by step:
- click the Start button
- click “Control Panel”
- click “Network and Internet”
- click “Network and Sharing Center”
- click the link “Local Area Connection”
- click the button “Properties”
- untick the box in front of “Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6)”
- click the OK button
- close the Local Area Connection popup
- observe the value of Access type. This should now be Local and Internet.
I’m not sure exactly why that change makes the difference. I can tick the box again, and the internet connection will remain in place. Also, while the box was unticked, I changed users and found the other user’s account to have “Local only”. I then *ticked* the IPv6 box, and the effect was the same: Local only changed to Local and Internet.
Of course I can’t promise it will work for everybody, as I only tried it out on my own setup, and I did it in Windows 7 beta, not Vista. Please let me know in the comments whether this worked for you or not, so maybe we can determine exactly which combination of settings does and doesn’t work in the whole setup.
Following the comments of Lorenz and Joe Vinas, I’ve tested it myself, and this seems to be the actual cure: disable and enable the network adapter. I think Lorenz is right, my fix of switching off or on IPv6 probably just causes the network adapter to restart. Still indeed, although it’s a cure, it’s not really a solution. It should not be necessary to restart the network adapter!