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Tip of the Week: 4 Reasons Your WiFi May Be Slow

b2ap3_thumbnail_wifi_interuption_400.jpgWireless Internet access is a luxury that seems commonplace. But there are many who experience trouble with their connections on a daily basis. Sometimes the problem stems from familiar issues that could happen at any minute, but other times the issues might not be so obvious. Either way, you should be aware of the most common disruptions to your WiFi signal, even those that you might not consider problems.

Outdated Technology
The router you’re currently using could have a lot to do with the quality of your wireless network, especially if you’ve been using it since you first installed WiFi. Older routers might have trouble keeping up with the increasing traffic and strain that you place on your wireless network. Ensuring that your wireless network is working to your preferred specifications is critical to keeping operations flowing without a hitch. Periodically updating your router hardware can help to solve this problem.  Work with your IT team to ensure you have a router that meets the up-to-date, specific needs of your business.

Everyday Household Electronics
Many people aren’t really aware of the fact that common appliances can interfere with your wireless connection. This could be something as simple as the microwave in the break room, or the cordless phones that are connected to your landline. As reported by PCWorld, “Most problems with cordless phones and microwaves involve products that use the 2.4GHz band.” This is because microwaves and WiFi connections are broadcast along the same frequency, and the problems are most often associated with 802.11b and 802.11g routers, bluetooth devices, and so on. Other appliances that can mess with your wireless signal include, but are not limited to: baby monitors, electric blankets, toaster ovens, and much more.

Nearby Wireless Networks
Just like some household appliances, other wireless connections are also broadcast using the 2.4 GHz frequency, meaning that traffic on the frequency is going to quickly grow congested, especially if you’re located in a high-population neighborhood. This, in turn, conflicts with the performance and range of your wireless connections. Taking advantage of a router that can simultaneously handle both 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies will help to free up some room on an otherwise crowded frequency. More modern wireless devices, like smartphones, gaming devices, laptops, and others, are all capable of functioning on both of these frequencies, which can significantly improve your network’s performance. Still, you should never purchase new hardware without first consulting technology professionals, like those at CTN Solutions,  especially when it concerns your business’s WiFi connection.

Walls and Other Physical Obstructions
Walls are built to keep things out, but a side-effect of this is that they can also block access to your wireless network, depending on where your router is placed. Ideally, you want to put it somewhere that can easily broadcast a signal to your entire office. But sometimes walls can get in the way of this. Obstacles like concrete and metal can block the signal, so it’s best to place your router somewhere that’s unaffected by these issues.

Christmas Lights
We hate to seem like a Grinch, but ISPs and computer companies tend to get an increased number of calls around the holidays because Christmas lights can interfere with wireless signals. Blinking lights tend to cause the most issue, reducing the effectiveness of your WiFi by up to 25 percent. When decking your halls, keep in mind that being too festive could cause network issues.

If you ever need help procuring routers and other hardware for your business, contact CTN at 610-828-5500. We’ll work with you to ensure that you get the most out of your wireless Internet.

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