Wi-Fi interference

Do you sometimes experience slow Internet speed, poor signal, intermittent connections or unexpected disconnections? One of the most common causes of these problems could be Wi-Fi interference.

Here are some of the most common causes of Wi-Fi interference and what you can do about them.

1. Positioning your router

Where you put your router is one of the most important contributors to good—or bad—Wi-Fi coverage and signal strength.

Solution

Try and place your router in the middle of the space you want to cover to make the signal stronger everywhere. Moreover, it is better to put your router on an elevated surface: a desk or shelf rather than the floor. Like this, there are fewer obstacles (and people) in the way of your Wi-Fi signals.

2. Wireless and household appliances

Many devices which don’t even use Wi-Fi still emit radio signals in the same bands (2.4 GHz or 5 GHz) as your Wi-Fi router. Did you know your microwave oven functions on the 2.4 GHz band? That could be interfering with your Internet experience, slowing or disrupting your connection.

Here are some wireless appliances that can cause signal interference:

  • Microwave ovens
  • Bluetooth devices
  • Cordless phones
  • Wireless speakers
  • Neighbors’ wireless network
  • Baby monitors
  • Wireless cameras

Solution

In many cases the problem can be fixed by purchasing a Wi-Fi router that operates simultaneously at 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands.

If your Wi-Fi router only operates on 2.4 GHz, it might be possible to fix the problem by using a different channel (1, 6, or 11) to avoid the one causing interference. If you think that a certain wireless appliance is the source of signal interference, check whether it offers an option to change its own channel.

3. Many devices on the same Wi-Fi network

In your home, your probably have several devices all sharing the same Wi-Fi network. The more devices connected to your network, the less bandwidth each one gets. Even a handful of activities such as streaming video or downloading files can max out the shared network connection. When someone on your network is using bandwidth-heavy content, it may slow down Wi-Fi speed for everyone.

You Wi-Fi signal doesn’t stop at your walls or your front door, so it’s also possible that other people, like neighbor, could be using your network without you knowing.

Solution

If there’s a sudden drop in tour Wi-Fi performance, first check whether someone is using bandwidth-heavy content like video.

And to protect your Wi-Fi network from undesired users, you can improve the security. With the Nokia WiFi app, you can easily create or change your password and control which users are connected to your network. See a device you don’t recognize? You can simply disconnect it using the Nokia WiFi app.

4. Physical obstacles

The construction materials used for walls, ceilings or partitions in your home are one of the most common causes of a poor Wi-Fi signal.

Here are the interference levels of some common building materials:

  • Low interference level: wood, glass, synthetic material
  • Medium interference level: water, bricks, marble
  • High interference level: plaster, concrete
  • Very high interference level: metal

Solution

Rather than relying on your main router to penetrate all these materials, extend your network by adding an extra Wi-FI access point. For instance, with Nokia WiFi, you can add an extra Beacons to extend your network in the areas with high interference levels. The best technology to extend your Wi-Fi network is to use a mesh network, rather than a repeater or extender

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