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This is an article excerpt from our Spring 2018 newsletter. The full newsletter contains other relevant articles, Huxley happenings, contact information and more! Click here to download a PDF of the newsletter. 

What are Common Causes of Wi-Fi Interference? 

If you’re experiencing slower than expected performance from your home’s Wi-Fi network, it could be the result of wireless interference. This typically comes from three types of sources:

1. Walls and floors blocking wireless signals
The construction materials in your home can greatly affect wireless communication speed and range. Materials such as wood and glass don’t have much of an effect. However, denser materials such as concrete, brick, and metal can make it difficult to connect. These denser materials can also slow your network speed or even completely block wireless signals from reaching certain parts of your home. Large furniture items such as filing cabinets or bookshelves, as well as appliances like stoves or refrigerators, can also interfere with Wi-Fi. You may be able to solve the problem simply by moving your router to a different location.

2. Appliances and electronics emitting radio frequency interference

Wi-Fi interference can also come from other electronics and appliances that aren’t connected to your wireless network but use the same 2.4GHz or 5GHz frequencies to communicate. Examples include cordless phones, Bluetooth devices, and baby monitors. Microwave ovens generate radio frequency noise as a byproduct, so if yours is located close to your Wi-Fi router, you may notice a network slowdown or get disconnected only when you’re using your microwave. Again, try relocating your router.

3. Other Wi-Fi networks using the same channel as your own Wi-Fi network

Interference from competing Wi-Fi networks is especially common in apartment buildings and other densely populated areas. Wi-Fi networks broadcast on channels, so when nearby Wi-Fi networks are set to use the same channel, they’ll constantly be competing with each other for limited bandwidth. To rectify this situation, see if your router is able to automatically find the least crowded Wi-Fi channel. If not, you may want to upgrade to a new router with this feature.