If you’re experiencing slow WiFi speeds or patchy device connectivity, the culprit may be WiFi interference. While some causes of interference are easy to identify, there are others that may come as a surprise.
Essentially, WiFi interference occurs when external signals disrupt the functionality of your WiFi connection, leading to dead zones in your network, slow downloads, buffering shows, and limited browsing speeds.
Fortunately, professional WiFi engineers such as The Wifi Specialist can perform a site survey to identify the source of your signal issues. Once they understand your internet needs, they can perform expert repairs or even install a new network to ensure that your WiFi is performing at its best.
To help you understand the most common causes of WiFi interference, The Wifi Specialist has compiled a list of the top 10 culprits. These include building materials, cordless phones, access points, WiFi channels, wireless networks, wireless routers, baby monitors, home networks, Bluetooth devices, and microwave ovens. By considering the impact of these factors on your signal strength and wireless devices, you can improve your WiFi signal and enjoy a stronger internet connection.
1. Building Materials
One of the most common causes of WiFi interference is the building materials used in your home or business premises. Concrete walls and floors are known culprits of interference. When performing network health checks and signal heat mapping, The Wifi Specialist team often find that concrete structures can significantly impact WiFi performance. If your building has concrete walls and floors, it’s likely that you’re experiencing WiFi interference.
2. Wooden Walls
Similar to concrete, thick wooden walls, floors, and structures can also cause WiFi interference. While thin wooden walls, such as those found in sheds or garden offices, may not present a significant issue, thicker timber buildings like cabins can experience a notable loss of signal when moving away from the room where the primary router is located. If you have thick wooden walls or structures in your home or business, it’s important to consider the impact they may have on your WiFi performance.
3. Metal Structures
Thick metal structures in buildings can also cause WiFi interference. This applies to both commercial and residential properties, as well as construction sites and factories where heavy metal machinery is often used. If you work in a building made of thick metal or have metal structures in your home, it’s important to be aware of the potential impact on your WiFi signal. Interference may occur, which can affect your browsing speeds, connectivity, and overall performance. Construction sites and factories will also experience interference from the volume of heavy metal machinery that is needed for their job.
4. Your Televisions
While it may appear to be a sensible move, relocating your wireless router near your television may not be the best idea. This is especially true if you own a WiFi-enabled TV or a Sky Q Box. The reason for this is that electronic gadgets such as televisions and gaming consoles can cause WiFi interference, resulting in a weaker signal. To ensure that your router is situated in the optimal location, it is recommended that you avail yourself of the WiFi design services offered by The Wifi Specialist.
5. Bluetooth Devices
Bluetooth devices, such as smart speakers, keyboards, and headsets, can significantly interfere with WiFi signals. The reason behind this is that Bluetooth uses a technique called “frequency hopping” to send data. It involves hopping back and forth within the 2.4 GHz frequency band several thousand times per second. Unfortunately, this can cause interference when Bluetooth jumps into the same frequency band as your WiFi, leading to signal disruption.
6. Underfloor Heating
Underfloor heating can cause WiFi connectivity issues if your internet signals have to pass through multiple floors. This is because underfloor heating systems typically use metal pipes filled with water, which are known to be significant sources of WiFi interference. Our team of WiFi specialists frequently come across this problem while providing professional network repair services.
7. Standing Water
You might not expect to see water on this list. But, you’d be surprised by how often our WiFi installation experts have to solve a signal problem caused by water. Water creates massive interference with your WiFi signal. As a result, if you have a large aquarium, an indoor swimming pool or use hydronics to heat your home, your internet signal could be suffering.
8. Your Microwave
Much like Bluetooth devices, microwaves also transmit signals in the 2.4 GHz frequency band. The electromagnetic waves produced by your microwave interferes with WiFi and makes your connection suffer. If you are experiencing signal issues in your kitchen, your microwave could be to blame.
9. Baby Monitors And Radios
Another household device that you may not associate with WiFi interference is your baby monitor or radio. Both of these devices also transmit signals that occupy the 2.4 GHz frequency band, the same as your WiFi. The equipment will attempt to occupy the entire channel and interfere with your WiFi performance.
10. Other WiFi Networks
If you live in an area with lots of neighbouring houses, nearby wireless networks could be causing WiFi interference. Apartment blocks will also struggle with interference unless there is one central internet connection. Even more disruptive than a neighbouring network is having multiple WiFi routers with different networks set up in your home.
Is interference causing your network to underperform?
Frequently Asked Questions
What causes WiFi interference?
There are several things that can cause WiFi interference, including other electronic devices, physical obstructions, and competing networks.
What are some common culprits of WiFi interference?
Some common culprits of WiFi interference include microwaves, cordless phones, Bluetooth devices, baby monitors, and neighbouring WiFi networks.
How can I reduce WiFi interference?
You can reduce WiFi interference by identifying the source of the interference, moving your router to a different location, changing the channel on your router, and using a WiFi analyser to identify the best channel to use.
Can WiFi interference cause slow internet speeds?
Yes, WiFi interference can cause slow internet speeds by disrupting the signal between your device and the router.