Slow Wi-Fi? Blame Your House

Slow Wi-Fi? Blame Your House

18 October 2018

Wi-Fi is a very sophisticated piece of technology that is designed to withstand many obstacles. However, it’s not invulnerable – even your own house can turn against you and affect the quality, speed, and reliability of a Wi-Fi connection. Knowing these silent household Wi-Fi killers will give you a better idea of how to avoid potential disturbances. It’s important to talk about this because Wi-Fi has become such a commodity in our everyday lives that we don’t even consider the possibility of it breaking down anymore, and let’s face it – for most of us that would be more than just a small inconvenience.


Physical Obstructions

Most people have the habit of placing routers in random places, usually on a shelf or an empty corner of a table, behind the sofa, on the ground, on the fridge or on the TV. Plug it in and leave, if it works, well, good enough! Nobody is expected to be a Wi-Fi scientist, we just live our lives and sometimes don’t have time to think about these things. However, if you start experiencing slow internet (if it’s not your provider’s fault), that means you should get up and take a good look around because the culprit is likely hiding somewhere in your own house.

For example, if you have your router placed somewhere on the hallway floor, we suggest picking it up and putting somewhere higher. Leaving your router on the ground or even behind the sofa can result in performance drops. That’s why you should put it up higher to extend broadcast range and avoid interference.

Physical obstructions can actually be a major problem, especially if you have lots of thick internal walls inside, and don’t even get us started if they’re covered in metal, concrete and even mirrors – all of these materials have a reputation of blocking electromagnetic fields. That’s why putting your router in the basement is not the best of ideas. Also, keep in mind that every device has different signal strengths, so don’t be surprised to find some dead spots in your house or office. Best tip would be to keep devices as close to the router as possible, but it’s probably better just to buy a stronger router.


Electric Devices

If the problem is not on the walls or router positioning, it could likely be your home appliances. Believe it or not, but certain electronic gadgets can easily cut through your wireless network. This could include alarm devices, satellite dishes, various Bluetooth devices, cordless phones and probably the most infamous culprit, a microwave. Microwaves operate at a frequency of 2.45GHz, which is pretty close to the 2.4GHz Wi-Fi band. The 2.4GHz Wi-Fi band actually broadcasts between 2.412GHz and 2.472GHz, so there are times when frequencies start overlapping. This is why data can get disrupted. The good news is that most microwaves are properly shielded, so it’s not a common problem. However, it might be smart to keep your router away from the kitchen.

Since Christmas is already around the corner, maybe it will be useful to tell you guys that even Christmas lights can be a problem. Yes, we’re talking about those swirly sparkles you use to decorate trees –  they can cause problems by wirelessly intercepting your Wi-Fi. Actually any electric lights can cause interference by emitting electromagnetic fields, but in reality, it mostly doesn’t cause any major problems. Just in case, keep your router away from any electric lights.