Better Wireless Networking

Home Got dead spots, inconsistent connections, slow data throughput, here’s a few tips to help get better performance and coverage from your Wifi setup. The leading cause of poor transmission and connection dropping is interference from other devices that transmit signals in the 2.4 frequency band. Cordless phones are the most frequent culprit moving the cordless phone base will improve the performance especially when the base is moved into a room where there is no computer that is using the wireless network.

Another frequent cause of interference with a wireless network is other wireless networks. When multiple wifi access points are placed in close proximity all operating on the same channel. All the networks will slow down due to the interference. Network Stumbler is a free program that will find all wireless networks operating in close proximity and shows what channels they are operating on. Then you can use configuration utility for your wifi router to change the channel that your network is operating to a channel that is not being used by anybody else.

Computer network signals flowing through Ethernet cables can also fall prone to interference from nearby power cables and speaker wiring through inductance. Poor Internet connection through a WiFi network could because there is interference in the connection between the router and the Cable or DSL modem. If this the case, then move the router and the broadband modem away from any electrical power conduit or any other device that could potentially give off electrical interference such as a CRT computer monitor or television.

If it’s not the entire network that’s performing poorly but one or maybe two computers then interference is not the problem but poor reception. The more walls separating the access point and the client PC, the weaker the signal will be. The best possible solution is locating the access point at the closest to an equal distance to each of the client computers that connect wirelessly. The antennas that come with WiFi routers are usually very cheap are the minimum required to put out a signal that would cover an average sized house. There are many after market antennas on the market that can be attached to the access point or a PCI WiFi card in a desktop computer that can receive a lot more signal than the antennas that are normally provided with these devices. The internal antennas found in USB WiFi adapters are dreadfully inadequate but by using an USB extension cable the WiFi adapter can be placed in a area where greater signal strength can be found.

Sometimes the household is physically larger than what a regular WiFi router can cover. There is a way that you can use another WiFi to extend the wireless network coverage area. Wireless Distribution System (WDS) has been a part of the 802.11 a,b,g standard for years. When a WDS supported WiFi receives a WiFi Signal, amplifies it and retransmits it. Not all WiFi routers support WDS so check the documentation for your WiFi router.

These tips won’t solve all the causes of poor wireless network performance but will help you tackle the most common causes so that you can get surfing with a consistently fast connection.

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