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Dealing With Slow Wifi Speeds? Here's A Few Diagnostics

Wireless internet simply isn't as fast as a wired connection of the same technology level at present, but that doesn't mean you need to deal with sloppy, lost packets and rampant disconnections. Whether you're enjoying some casual online gaming that doesn't need the perfect response time (ping) or just checking email, here are a few diagnostics and improvement points to make your wireless internet a lot more responsive.

Common Causes Of Blockage And Low Signal

If your wireless router or wireless mesh network has been installed and the signal seems to be low within your home, now it's the time to start getting closer to the device or looking for signal boosters. Unless you live in a mansion larger than many public schools in the US, the signal should reach most areas, barring a few causes of blockage or heavy absorption.

Modern wireless technology is a marvel of not just range, but being able to pass through objects while keep the data intact. This was a major problem because interior walls could slow down signals--effectively weakening their useful signal distance--and people walking around in the path of the signal could cause either blockage of absorption.

Modern wireless devices with IEEE 802.11N (Wireless-N) technology shouldn't have problems with most objects. The exceptions are thick, steel walls or other objects explicitly listed as problematic for the wireless standard. Your bigger problems are putting objects directly around the router and access points.

Avoid placing any objects without 2 or 3 feet of the wireless signal device. Blockage at the source will make any other signals weaker by default, and if you have objects such as clear vases or aquariums in the way, the signal can suffer from heavy refraction that ruins effective speeds as well as signal quality.

Sources Of Signals Interference 

Beyond moving obvious objects away from the wireless device, the biggest problem for wireless signals are other wireless signals is other wireless signals. 

If something operates on the same frequency as your wireless internet, the wireless receivers may receive the wrong information or have to struggle to accept all possible information at once. Confusion happens quickly as different types of information on the same wavelength becomes jumbled up, and you need to have an interior plan for controlling what signals you use.

First, figure out your wireless signal's frequency. Most Wireless devices on the market are 802.11n, but slowly being replaced by 802.11ac. These standards use 2.4GHz (gigahertz) and 5GHz by default, with 4.9Ghz as a close third. Other devices using similar signals are wireless mice and baby monitors at 2.4Ghz, both of which have brands and models available at other frequencies. 

Other people internet outside of the home can be a problem, but it's usually not the biggest culprit. Wireless frequencies also have channels, and with newer 802.11/wireless standards comes more available channels to make interference less likely. Even the issue of two router owners refusing to leave signal 1 can be changed as automatic frequency changes come into play, either by manually setting the wireless device's setting to auto or after constant failure on a single channel.

If you need help figuring out interference causes or just need someone to design your wireless network, contact a wifi design professional. Companies like Smartgrid Integrations Inc. can help