WiFi is one of the best things to happen to the Internet. It gives us the freedom to browse the web, watch videos and play online games anywhere. We’re no longer constrained by our ethernet cords.
But as you probably know, your WiFi signal is fickle thing. It’s easily affected by just about everything around you.
I once had a major issue with my WiFi signal. I used to keep my router on the floor in the corner of my office. The signal was really poor in my living room – just one room over. What was the problem?
My concrete wall. And the furniture in my room. And the mirror on my wall. Once I moved my router to the other side of the room – away from the wall and mirror – my signal went back to normal.
You probably have objects and materials in your home that are hindering your connection.
A WiFi repeater can help strengthen your signal and overcome some of the things that are blocking your WiFi signal. But there are some objects and materials that you may not even realize are interrupting your connection.
Take a look around your home. You have a lot of furniture. In the home office alone, you probably have at least one desk and a chair. Between your router and your device, you may have cabinets, beds, sofas, chairs, tables and other pieces of furniture that standing in the way.
The bigger (and thicker) the furniture, the greater the disruption to your signal.
If your router is hiding behind big pieces of furniture, like your bed or office desk, try moving out and away from these objects. Placing the router in an open area can help prevent signal disruption and improve your Internet speeds.
2. Mirrors and Windows
Windows are probably the last thing that come to mind when it comes to WiFi disruptions. If anything, windows should help prevent signal disruptions, right? Wrong.
Don’t let their transparency fool you. Windows can actually block your WiFi signal. How? Because the signals will be reflected by the glass.
Some new windows have transparent films that can block certain wave types, and this can make it harder for your WiFi signal to pass through.
Tinted glass is another problem for the same reasons. They sometimes contain metallic films that can completely block out your signal.
Mirrors, like windows, can reflect your signal. They’re also a source of electromagnetic interference because of their metal backings.
It’s best to keep your router away from mirrors and windows whenever possible.
3. Home Appliances
Large household appliances can also disrupt your WiFi signal, including refrigerators, ovens, washing machines, microwaves, dishwashers and air conditioners.
Appliances have metal and electrical components that interfere with your network signal.
It’s impractical to move your home appliances, so you’ll need to move your router if you want to avoid these signal-blocking objects.
4. Concrete Walls
It’s easy to see why concrete would be a major problem for WiFi signals: it’s an extremely thick material.
It’s very difficult for WiFi signals to pass through concrete walls and floors – even with a WiFi booster . The thicker the concrete, the more difficult it is for the signal to move through.
If you live in a concrete building, try moving your router to an open area away from walls.
Metal is one material that you may not realize is interfering with your WiFi signal. In fact, metal is probably the most difficult thing for your signal to pass through. Why? Because it’s a conductor which absorbs electricity.
Radio waves are electromagnetic, so metal absorbs them. That’s okay if the waves are absorbed by something that can interpret the data or sound. But because most of the metal objects in your home don’t have this capability, the waves simply stop at the metal object.
The metal in your office furniture, door handles, appliances and décor items diminish your signal.
Move your router away from as many metal objects as possible.
I know what you’re thinking: how can water possibly affect my WiFi?
Anything that has a considerable amount of water will reduce a WiFi signal – and that includes humans. The signal will struggle to pass through water, which can significantly diminish your speed.
Avoid placing your router near a fish tank, inflatable pool or any other object that contains a lot of water. That includes people, too.
7. Your Neighbor’s WiFi
Unless you’re lucky enough to not have any nearby neighbors, you’ll probably have to deal with interruptions from nearby WiFi routers. Most experts will tell you that the biggest source of WiFi interference for people is their neighbor’s networks .
Most WiFi equipment operates on the 2.4GHz band, which is crowded. If you’re using a 2.4GHz router and live in a crowded area, nearby connections may be hindering your wireless network’s performance.
Moving your router won’t solve the problem. Unless you can convince your neighbors to move out or get rid of their wireless routers, you’ll need to buy a dual-band router to solve the problem. This will allow you to switch to the less-crowded 5GHz band.
8. Analog Video Senders
One sneaky WiFi disrupter is an analog video sender. This can include nanny cams and wireless security cameras.
Anything that can transmit pictures via cable or satellite to a TV or computer monitor can affect the strength of your WiFi signal. These objects usually have a wide reach, so they can even affect a neighbor’s home. If you don’t have an analog video sender but your neighbor does, it could be their equipment that’s interfering with your signal.
9. Metallic Blinds
Have you ever wondered why your WiFi signal is so spotty just outside your sliding glass door or your back patio? If you have metallic blinds on windows or doors, they could be the culprit.
We know that metal can be a serious signal disrupter. It makes sense that metallic blinds would have the same effect.
Swapping out your blinds for non-metallic options should solve the problem. Your signal may still be weaker outdoors because you’re so far from the router, but at least you won’t have the blinds absorbing the signal and making it even slower.