Causes of Poor Wifi Connection
In this week’s NETSPECTRUM blog, we will be going over some of the things that could be causing your poor Wifi connection in your home and some troubleshooting steps you can take to remedy your poor connection.
What is Wifi?
Wifi is a branded name for wireless internet signal between devices and a router in your home. The word Wifi isn’t actually short for anything as many think. If your connection is weak, you’ll have disconnections or low speeds.
Factors that can Affect Wifi signal
- Brick and stone are particularly hard for Wifi signal to get through
- Metal objects around your Wifi router can distort your signal by reflecting/bouncing the signal; same goes for thick glass.
- Putting your router in a cupboard can weaken the signal, keep out in the open in a centralized spot
- Water can absorb a Wifi signal, avoid putting your router near a fish tank
- Some microwaves, baby monitors and cordless phones operate on the same frequency as the 2.4GHz Wifi band and can interfere with the signal – note that 2.4GHz has a longer range, so if you’re far away from your router/access point, 2.4GHz would be the best to connect to.
- Many devices connected to the same network. Make sure you have a secure password protecting your network. If your neighbours are all on your network, it’s going to be slow.
- The further the Wifi signal has to travel, the weaker it will get. Avoid putting your router in the basement of your house.
Troubleshooting Wifi Signal
Is your Wifi signal poor on all devices that are connected to the Wifi network, or just one?
The first question to ask yourself when having signal issues with your Wifi is whether all devices are having the issue, or only one of your devices. If it’s a specific device that is having the issue, it’s not likely your network at fault, but the device you’re trying to connect.
- Turn off your device and turn it back on. Make sure you are fully shutting off the device (not just locking the screen and putting the device to sleep). This is called a “reboot” or “power cycle”.
- Make sure your device has the most recent software updates
- Keep in mind that some devices have better network cards than others. Just because you’re able to pick up Wifi in a certain spot on one device, doesn’t mean you’ll get the same connection with other devices. Try moving closer to your router with the affected device.
- Contact your device manufacturer to troubleshoot further
Is it every device connected to the network having issues? If so, there’s obviously an issue with the connection.
- Check the cables, disconnect and reconnect the cables to ensure they’re seated in the ports of your router properly
- Are there a lot of other devices connected to the same network? If your network speeds are slow, it may be another device that’s using a lot of bandwidth (ie an xbox downloading updates).
- Unplug the router, wait 10 seconds, plug it back in. Wait for all the lights to come back on and see if you can reconnect. This fixes the issue more times than you can imagine and it’s an easy fix! Some routers need a reboot (power off and on) on a semi-regular basis. A tip that can help here is to plug your router into a timed outlet and schedule it to reboot at a time when you’re not using the internet. *NOTE: do NOT hit your router’s reset button, unless instructed by tech support. The reset button clears all settings on your router and sets back to factory default.
- If your connection is still down, call your internet service provider to see if there are outages or other troubleshooting steps they (or we) can take care of over the phone.
Is it only happening in certain areas of your house?
If your signal is fine in the living room, but once you’re in the laundry room it drops out, it may be due to where your router is placed. Keep in mind the “Factors that Affect Wifi Signal” tips above.
You can either try repositioning the router to a more central location. Or look into purchasing a Wifi range extender.
Of course, managing your Wifi connection is one thing when you need to get connected, having a good connection in the first place is your Internet service provider’s job. Let NETSPECTRUM get you connected. We connect people with Cable and DSL connections throughout Northern Ontario and wireless internet connections in rural Northern Ontario.