How Does Nature Affect Wi-Fi?

How Does Nature Affect Wi-Fi?

26 November 2018

There are almost 4 billion internet users around the world, and if Wi-Fi hotspots keep springing up at this rate, numbers won’t even matter anymore. There are literally hundreds of millions of hotspots around the world, and there is no doubt that in future we’ll be able to connect wirelessly just about anywhere on Earth. This is actually one of IUNGO network’s biggest dreams and goals. However, it’s one thing to offer Wi-Fi in developed areas, such as cities, and quite different in mountainous areas, deserts or forests, where setting up Wi-Fi infrastructure can be expensive and structurally challenging.


Environmental Factors

It’s pretty easy to control Wi-Fi signals inside the comfort of your own home, but it does get a little trickier when you have to fight mother nature. In most cases, these natural occurrences won’t cause any long-term damage or cut off your Wi-Fi completely. However, it could help you explain why sometimes your device isn’t giving its best performance.


  • Temperature

Temperature mostly affects the router rather than the Wi-Fi signal. Most electronic devices are made to perform in a certain range of temperatures. When temperatures drop or rise outside its range, the device will have trouble functioning. That’s why, whether indoors or outdoors, a router Wi-Fi network will perform best in a certain interval of temperature.

  • Humidity

Wi-Fi and humidity definitely don’t get along well together. Moisture present in the air interrupts router signals, and, as a result, you’ll experience slow internet. Most routers are short range equipment, so they won’t be affected drastically. However, extreme moisture can greatly affect long-range Wi-Fi technology.


  • Rain & Lightning

Rain is probably the biggest headache when it comes to Wi-Fi working smoothly. Why? The radio frequencies are absorbed and partially blocked by rainfall. It messes up the signal the same way it reduces visibility while driving a car. That means if you use a light-pole-based Wi-Fi public hotspot, you’re likely to have murky Wi-Fi reception. By the way, storms and flashes of lightning make it even worse.

Unlikely Places for Wi-Fi

Climate can be tough on Wi-Fi. Siberia and the Sahara are probably not the best places to casually check your email, but you still would be surprised how far Wi-Fi can reach. For example, there was no electricity until 2005  in a small desert city of Sarahan, India, yet now they have a 20 meter Wi-Fi tower that serves this remote area. Actually, 2005 was also the year when a few Intel employees installed a Wi-Fi hotspot in one of the coldest places on Earth, the North Pole, making it the first wireless connection in the Arctic Region. It’s amazing what a proper hotspot and an Iridium satellite phone can do when connecting in such harsh environments.

To make things even more interesting, you can already connect to Wi-Fi while walking around Mount Girnar in India and even send a selfie right before reaching the peak of Mount Everest. By the way, if you ever plan to go on holiday to the Moon, be sure that a Facebook update will also be possible, thanks to four powerful telescopes that send a signal to the satellite revolving around the moon.

Of course, these are only stand-alone cool examples of where you can find Wi-Fi. Covering whole areas of land proves to be much more difficult. The irony is that even in such developed countries like the United States there are still huge challenges in connecting people to the World Wide Web. About 19 million US inhabitants in rural areas don’t have access to broadband internet, mostly because of how underdeveloped the infrastructure is, making network access expensive and unreliable. This just illustrates that we still have a long way to go in reaching the ultimate goal – giving the world full online access.