It’s common to find at least one specific corner of your home where you experience poor Wi-Fi signal. No matter how much you experiment with the position and placement of your router, it simply doesn’t seem to work. There are several reasons that can cause interference with your Wi-Fi signal. In this blog, we’ve listed four common things that can hamper your Wi-Fi performance and how to fix it.
1. Physical Barriers
The construction of the building can be a cause of Wi-Fi interference. The more walls and objects a Wi-Fi signal has to pass through, the poorer will be the connection. Some materials that cause interference are:
• Mirror, Metal, Concrete: These three materials cause the highest Wi-Fi interference. There isn’t much you can do about them except positioning your router in a way to have an uninterrupted line of sight with your device(s).
• Bricks, Marble, Water: These three materials have a medium effect on your Wi-Fi signal. Although you can’t fix brick walls, you can control some of the interference caused by marble and water. Most countertops are made from marble, especially in the kitchen and other living spaces. Avoid placing your router anywhere near your kitchen or other areas that have marble.
Similarly, if you have a fish tank or aquarium placed anywhere that forms a hindrance between your router and your device(s), you’ll get poor signal. Water can potentially block your Wi-Fi signal. Also remember that our bodies are made up of 70% water, meaning if you sit or stand directly between your router and device, there will be a signal drop.
• Glass, Wood, Plaster: They cause a low level of interference with your network. But you’ll always do better if you have less of these materials in the line of sight of your device(s) and router. Also, make sure not to place your router in a cabinet made of glass or wood or other materials. It’ll put an extra layer of interference between your router and device.
2. Other Wi-Fi Networks
It might be surprising, but it’s a fact that your neighbours’ Wi-Fi networks are one of the major causes of interference, especially those that use 2.4 GHz band. If you live in an apartment or a busy area, it’s a common occurrence. However, you can easily fix this problem by upgrading to a router that uses 5 GHz band.
3. Electrical Appliances
Electrical appliances such as microwaves, cordless phones, wireless monitors, older Bluetooth devices and a poorly wired satellite dish can all affect your Wi-Fi signal. However, not these appliances interfere. Electronics that use 2.4 GHz spectrum are mainly responsible for the hindrance, especially if you’re using 802.11g and 802.11 n routers. The latest Bluetooth devices don’t hamper your Wi-Fi performance.
4. Security Settings
If you’ve got an old router (with WEP protection) for your home network, a stronger security setting can also moderately affect the performance of your Wi-Fi. This is common with low-end routers. While WPA/WPA2 (an upgrade of WEP) may have some effect on the Wi-Fi performance, you should never consider disabling security settings or downgrade to a weaker security setting. More recent security technologies like WPS in a router are designed in such a way that they don’t slow your Wi-Fi speed. Even the latest routers with WPA/WPA2 security encryptions are now designed with special hardware that has no adverse effects on your Wi-Fi.
To get the best Wi-Fi performance, switch to an 802.11ac dual-band router and place it where it’s almost free of these hindrances. Although Wi-Fi is still not as fast and free of interference as a wired connection, the latest innovations have been making strides to close the gap between their performances.