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Evaluating the Causes of Weak Wi-Fi Signal and Ways to Overcome Them

There was a time when computers had to be connected to phones via cable for internet services. Wireless technology has ended those days when accessing the web means sticking to a place. Wi-Fi has helped greatly to improve internet connectivity whether in residences or in healthcare sectors. Technological changes, over the years, has made Wi-Fi more accessible and the demand for this reliable internet source has surged incredibly throughout the globe.

Why demand for Wi-Fi connectivity is so high

Massive usage of mobile devices like smartphones, tablets or laptops have contributed to an increased demand for Wi-Fi connectivity.  However, wireless internet connectivity is yet to reach its saturation point. According to global technology research firm Gartner, 225 million smartphone were sold in the second quarter of 2013. It increased worldwide mobile sale by 3.6%. The tablet market has also reported a healthy growth.

With so many wireless devices available in the market, Wi-Fi will play a major role in keeping people connected. The Wi-Fi market is conducive and demand is expected to remain persistent for few years. However, those using wireless gadgets have a demand for uninterrupted services, faster speed and improved coverage.

Similar to other forms of technology, Wi-Fi is not completely perfect. There are times when Wi-Fi signal may be weak. Wi-Fi signals are radio waves and lot of things can interfere with these waves, weakening your wireless connection and making it unreliable.

What are the causes of weak Wi-Fi signals and how can you overcome them?

The wireless connection speed may be slow and even get disconnected at times. Some of the common causes behind such connectivity problems include distance from the router, obstruction and presence of other wireless enabled devices. Among other issues, the most prominent problem that crop up while using Wi-Fi in a household is interference from the other appliances.

Other wireless network affecting the performance of your Wi-Fi

Other wireless network in the area can be an issue. In order to determine what types of interference is affecting your network you can use Android applications like Wi-Fi Analyzer. It will suggest the ideal network that you can use i.e. a network that is not so crowded. With this application you can walk around the area and locate the place where you will get the best signal. If you do not have access to wireless analyzing applications, change the signal to a different channel and see whether connectivity improves.

Household appliances hindering Wi-Fi Connectivity

It is astonishing but true that energy efficient light bulbs leak radio signals which can collide with Wi-Fi wavelengths and hinder its performance. Microwave ovens and cellular phones are also up there in the list. Your wireless network may be disconnected when the light bulb is switched on, the cordless phone or the microwave is in use.

These problems can be solved if the appliances are in different locations and not in between the devices and the wireless router.

Positioning the wireless router

Positioning the wireless router can greatly impact coverage area and signal strength. For example, if you are trying to connect your home router from outside the building it will be difficult to establish connection. The strength of Wi-Fi weakens when it travels through  brick walls. Does that mean you have to sit in the same room as your router? Closeness to the router no doubt enhances performance but you can enjoy Wi-Fi in all rooms of your house by simply positioning it correctly. The following tips shed more light on how you can place your router for an uninterrupted Wi-Fi connectivity:

  • It is always best to place the router in the middle of the house instead of keeping them in a room that is in the corner.
  • If the router is kept at an elevated surface, signal reception is better
  • Keep the antenna of the router vertical
  • The router should be placed over such materials through which signals can travel easily. If the router is kept on a metal desk, signals will be obstructed and its performance will decline

Depending on the type of router, you can attach better antenna for improved signal quality and enhanced coverage.

Written By

Steven Scheck is the Principal of Inspire WiFi, the nationwide leader of multifamily wifi and healthcare wifi. When he isn't bringing Wi-Fi to the masses, he enjoys spending time and traveling with his wife and 4 kids and occasionally gets in a round of golf. He is also very involved in philanthropic causes in Miami and nationally.

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