How does wireless Internet interference happen?
With all the technology in a home today, wireless interference can be a growing challenge. It generally fits into one of these categories:
- Physical interference such as walls, windows and building materials
- Other wireless networks that belong to neighbors or other devices
- Electronics in your home
While we can’t always change our surroundings, it’s important to understand that the materials used to construct each home and physical items within your home can impact Wi-Fi.
Walls, doors and windows between your Wi-Fi modem or router and your devices can obstruct the wireless signal distributing consistently throughout the home. Even the construction of the walls makes a difference. Wood, plaster, brick, steel and concrete are all items that will interfere with Wi-Fi signals.
What can action can I take? Identify where your Wi-Fi devices will be used most often. Determine if there is an optimal place to put your Wi-Fi modem or router, where it can be as free from these interference points as possible.
Other Wi-Fi Networks
Other Wi-Fi networks that are within range of your home and devices can impact your Wi-Fi performance. There are a limited number of channels – or space – available for Wi-Fi to run on, which can result in your neighbors’ wireless interfering with your Wi-Fi.
Wi-Fi Modem Channels
Many Wi-Fi modems and routers will determine which channel is best to connect to when they are rebooted. Simply unplug the power to your modem or router for 10 seconds, and then plug it back in. When the modem comes back online, it may attempt to find the best wireless channel available – meaning less interference.
If the modem doesn’t change channels automatically or interference issues continue, the wireless channel may need to be changed.
- If Midco provided your wireless modem, contacting our technical support team at Mido.com/Contact for assistance.
- If you have a third-party router, contact the manufacturer for details.
Wi-Fi networks can run on two frequencies, 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz; however, not all Wi-Fi modems and routers or devices can connect on both frequencies. Newer equipment will have the capabilities for both. These are called dual-band devices, and use 802.11n or 802.11ac technology.
Because 2.4Ghz is very common in many consumer electronic devices, there can be a lot of interference on this frequency. While 2.4 Ghz has good distance/range, it can’t handle as much capacity or throughput. Today, there’s typically less interference with 5Ghz, because it’s not as common in consumer products. The 5Ghz technology has a shorter distance/range, but uses updated technology to allow for more capacity or throughput.
What action can I take? Because manufacturers make devices with the technology they choose, it’s best to simply be educated about the equipment in your home. Note that the location where you Wi-Fi most, and placement of Wi-Fi modem or router factor into whether 2.4Ghz or 5Ghz is the best technology for you. Each home and user are different.
Today’s world is full of the Internet of Things – and it’s only growing as our homes become filled with an increasing number of devices that connect to the Internet, mostly wirelessly. Examples of devices that can cause wireless interference include laptops, phones, tablets, streaming media players, TVs, Blu Ray players, printers, exercise equipment, sound bars, thermostats, refrigerators, bathroom scales, security cameras, cordless phones, microwave ovens and more.
Knowing how many wireless devices in your home won’t fix interference issues, but it can help understand why there might be interference.
What action can I take? If you are not using devices – especially for their wireless features – disconnect them from the wireless network. If a device can be directly connected to the Internet instead of through Wi-Fi, interference may decrease. Some devices can be adjusted to only use Wi-Fi when they need it, instead of constantly connecting to it.