My wireless connection is having problems. How can I fix this?
There are a number of possible wireless issues that can be corrected with the appropriate troubleshooting. Below are some common issues that you may come across when using a wireless connection.
Why does my Wi-Fi disconnect frequently or run slowly?
Every single home in the world has some degree, whether small or large, of wireless interference – or EMI (electro-magnetic interference). Additionally, interference sometimes originates from outside the home. This can cause issues maintaining a connection to the wireless network and can also affect the speed of the wireless connection. Wireless performance cannot be guaranteed due the many variables in homes which can affect wireless connections.
If the computers connected with Ethernet are working well, but the Wi-Fi devices are not, then the issue at hand is likely EMI. While the list of variables that can cause EMI is massive, there are some basic and common things we can check to improve the Wi-Fi signal:
How high is the router off the ground?
Generally we want the router to be about 3-5 feet off of the ground, or in other words, at about the same height as the devices being used or even higher.
Is the wireless signal traveling through walls?
Some walls cause interference more than others. For example, walls made of steel will cause massive interference; walls with plumbing in them will cause significant interference, and walls with electrical wiring inside will also cause some degree of interference.
Is the router near any electronic equipment?
For best results, try to separate the router from any electronic devices – especially home theater equipment and appliances, but even smaller devices as well. Wireless baby monitors, cordless phones, wireless headphones, and key fobs are more examples of devices that can affect your devices ability to keep a connection to the wireless router
Are there any other wireless technologies in the home?
Yes. Devices that utilize Radio Frequency (RF) can impact wireless signal in your home. Please make sure all devices which use wireless frequency as well as radio frequency are positioned away from the router as much as possible.
Are there any potential sources of interference outside the home?
While you may find information online which provides more suggestions to potential sources of interference outside the home, a neighbors' wireless network is more likely the culprit of that interference. Unfortunately, there is not much that can be done about this except utilizing the 5GHz frequency in order to separate from neighbors' 2.4 GHz networks (more on this below).
Which channel is the router set to?
Wireless routers can operate on different broadcast channels (from 1 to 11) and can also be set to Auto in order to auto-negotiate the best channel. When troubleshooting EMI, try changing the channel to 1, 6, or 11. There are smartphone apps which can analyze each of the channels and display which are crowded and which are not. These apps can help us find the best channel to use. Please bear in mind that other devices and networks nearby may be changing their channels as well, and as a result, channel changing can sometimes only provide a temporary solution.
Which frequency is the router using?
Most routers and wireless devices are using 2.4 GHz. If troubleshooting EMI is not producing results, try setting the router to 5 GHz. Please bear in mind, any devices which will connect to the network must be capable of communicating at 5 GHz. Using this frequency is particularly helpful when surrounded by other wireless networks or when all other troubleshooting fails.
What security standard should I be using for my home?
This can depend on what the router can provide, and what the device can support:
- If all of your devices are manufactured after 2006, your router should be configured to use WPA2-AES. This is default should a router be factory reset.
- If you have a mix of devices manufactured before and after 2006, WPA/WPA2 and TKIP/AES would be recommended. However, this is not optimum as WPA and TKIP are not only less secure, but limited to 54Mbps.
- Using WPA-AES or WPA2-TKIP are not recommended as they are less secure, and may not connect reliably.
What are some alternatives to correcting my wireless issues?
Modem and router manufacturers have developed equipment which allows an internet connection to be extended to an area which has minimal or no service. Range extenders/ repeaters, access points are a few popular examples more geared for wi-fi, while Multimedia Over Coax Alliance (MoCA) and Ethernet Over Power (EOP) utilize your home's existing coaxial and power lines to deliver internet connection wired. NOTE: Cable ONE does not offer this equipment for lease or purchase. These items can be obtained online or at your local retailer with an electronics department. For support of this equipment, please contact the respective manufacturer.