There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to get some work done or trying to play a game only to have your internet speed grind to a halt. This is an issue that people all over the world experience though, and many times the issue is caused by interference. There are certain objects and devices around your home that will stand in the way of your wireless network connection.
If you haven’t taken the time to look for these potential interference issues, you might be missing a simple fix that can dramatically improve your internet connection. That’s why we broke down the major causes of network interference down below, so you can easily explore the different options and fix any potential issues that you have.
- Your Neighbor’s WiFi Network
- Household Electronics
- Old Bluetooth Devices (Metal, Mirrors, Concrete, Glass, etc)
- Fish Tanks and other Water Containers
- Building Materials
- Too Many Users on Your Network
If you believe any of the items on the list above might apply to you, explore that item a bit more down below and try to fix the issue. You’ll be amazed by how big of an impact even minor changes can have in your home when you remove a serious point of interference. Even something as simple as a fish tank in the wrong place can leave you with a poor internet connection all throughout your home, so look around and make changes where necessary.
Slow Internet? It Could Be Your Neighbor’s WiFi Slowing your speed:
If your internet connection is running slow, or you just aren’t getting the consistency you were expecting, your neighbor’s wireless connection could be the culprit. Wireless networks run on specific channels and if you’re using the older 2.4 GHz channel for all your devices, there’s a good chance someone else is using that same channel. This is especially true if you live in a crowded location with many different neighbors around you. Luckily, there is a pretty decent solution available to you if this is the cause of your interference, the 5 GHz channel.
Solution 1: Purchase a Modern Dual Band Router
To solve this problem retire your old 2.4 GHz router and invest in a new dual-band router that operates on both the 2.4 GHz spectrum and the 5 GHz spectrum. Making this change is like moving from a congested highway with just three lanes, to a less occupied highway with 24 lanes. Your router should easily be able to find a channel that nobody else is occupying unless you live in a very densely populated location, and even then you’ll suffer from much less interference. Just make sure you purchase a dual-band router that can run a 2.4 GHz network and a 5GHz network at the same time, otherwise, you’ll end up with older devices that can’t connect to the internet any longer.
Solution 2: Adjusting Your Router Channel
To verify that your router is experiencing congestion issues due to your neighbors, download WiFi scanner software on your computer or a mobile device and check all the networks around you on the 2.4 GHz band. With one of these tools, you can very quickly see which channel your router is using and how many other networks are utilizing that same channel within range of you. If multiple people are all sharing your channel, they’re likely causing problems for you, especially if their wireless signal is strong at your location.
When going through the setup process most modern routers will check the available channels and select one with the least interference, but that’s not the case with every router. To get the best possible performance out of your new 5GHz router, visit the router’s control panel and manually set the default channel used to an empty channel, or the least congested channel you can find. You can use a WiFi scanning tool to check the condition of the surrounding 5 GHz channels and the 2.4 GHz channels so you can select the best option for each.
After setting your new router to work on the least occupied channels possible, you should enjoy a smoother connection and fewer interference issues. If you’re still dealing with interference, you’re likely having problems with other devices as well.
Your Household Electronics Might Be Causing You Problems
Another common reason to experience WiFi interference in your home is all the different electronic devices you have around your home. Devices like cordless phones, surveillance cameras, and baby monitors can all lead to interference.
House Phones and Baby Monitors:
House phones and baby monitors that operate on the 2.4 GHz spectrum is most likely impede with your WiFi signal; While buying these devices look for details and upgrade your WiFi to 5Ghz spectrum or downgrade the devices to 900 MHz spectrum to eliminate the signal interference.
There are also devices like washing machines, ovens, radiators, air conditioners and other large electronics that can block WiFi signals. Fortunately, these are difficult to move due to the layout of the house or due to space constraints. The only way you solve this problem is to position your wireless router in an area of your home where large electronics won’t be blocking the signal. The farther you position it from major electronics the better.
Keep the Microwave far from the Router:
Your microwave could be leaking out slight amounts of its microwaves during operation, and those waves can interfere with your wireless connection up to 6 meters away from the microwave. The best way to minimize this problem is to move your wireless router as far from your microwave as possible. Sure, any wireless devices you use out in the kitchen could still suffer from interference, but at least all the other devices in other areas of your home won’t suffer as well, because your router’s signals themselves won’t be getting blocked entirely, just over on the kitchen side of your home.
If you understand how to get into your router’s control panel using the web browser on your computer or mobile device, get into the control panel and adjust your 2.4 GHz wireless channel to one of the low channels if possible. Channels 8-11 tend to suffer from microwave interference most because they are closer to the frequency used by most microwaves. Moving down to a lower channel can help with this issue.
These may not work for everyone and every type of interference but these changes are easy and free to improve your WiFi range. If these not helping, invest in a dual-band wireless router and use 5 GHz network connection to connect to WiFi.