Having access to Wi-Fi in the home or office is an essential that most of us have come to take for granted. When the Wi-Fi goes out for an extended period of time, it can literally become one of the biggest predicaments and disappointments of your day.
Usually, Wi-Fi connectivity issues can be easily corrected with quick troubleshooting practices like resetting the router. However, in cases where the Wi-Fi signal is consistently weak or doesn’t reach its potential range in certain areas, it may be wise to check for sources of frequency interference.
The following three tips should help you on the road to finding and fixing your Wi-Fi connectivity problems:
Using a Frequency Analyzer to Find the Cause
Wi-Fi signals run in the 2.4 GHz or 5.0 GHz, depending on the type of router technology you’re using. A frequency analyzer can be used to test the strength of the Wi-Fi signal at various points in the router’s field of range, in order to identify weak spots and find other waves that may be competing with the Wi-Fi signal frequency.
A signal analyzer can quickly help you find the exact cause of the Wi-Fi interference by picking up waves being transmitted from nearby devices that may be distorting or blocking your router’s signal. You can rent used analyzers for cheap if you need to use one for an occasional troubleshooting job.
Repositioning the Router and Other Electrical Components
Once you’ve located the source of the interference, you can start mapping out a better configuration in your home to avoid further signal issues. Sometimes this may be as easy as moving your router a few extra feet away from the cordless phone, or it may require something more drastic like reorganizing a computer workstation to keep certain components out of the router’s way.
Regardless of the cause, most cases of Wi-Fi interference can be corrected within a half an hour of finding the source of the problem.
Become Familiar with Common Causes of Interference
You can avoid the hassle of having to find and fix Wi-Fi connectivity issues in the future by becoming familiar with some common sources of Wi-Fi signal interference in the 2.4 GH and 5.0 Ghz, which include but are not limited to:
- Microwaves – Using a microwave oven within close proximity to your router, computer, or Bluetooth device can cause interference.
- Cordless Phones – Some cordless phones that operate in the 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz frequencies can also cause interference.
- Satellite Dish Service – Some of the coaxial cables and connectors used to facilitate satellite service can be causes of Wi-Fi signal interference.
- Wireless Speakers – Again, this includes speakers that operate in the 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz frequency band.
- Power lines, power stations, and railroad tracks – nearby electrical infrastructure that routinely transmits high voltage can disrupt Wi-Fi connectivity.
- Monitors and LEDs – some displays emit harmonic interference that can interfere with 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi signals, particularly between channels 11 and 14.
Finally, remember that any device that operates in the 2.4 GHz or 5.0 GHz band is capable of causing Wi-Fi interference.