Why is my Wifi so slow??
If you have teenagers this is a recurring song.
Today we look at easy ways to combat interference and speed up wireless.
Foundational Knowledge (skip this if you don’t care why)
Unlicenced Wireless is limited by law to 2 watts of power and a few hundred Megahertz of frequency near 2.4 and 5GHz.
Lower frequencies provide better penetration through obstacles, in fact 5GHz and above are sometimes called “Line of Sight” wireless connections. But we can use this to our advantage if we don’t want our neighbour using our Wireless Guest connection.
The more useable 2.4GHz is broken down into 3 non-overlapping channels 1,6 & 11 which are 54Mbps each. Many new Wireless routers claim 150Mbps or more but that is achievable only by using 3 wireless radios, mimo bonded(multi-in multi-out), with NO other devices on the same wireless network, 2 feet from the wifi router, with no sources of noise.
Problem sources worst first
Microwave oven; a microwave is a powerful transmitter that is dangerously close to the 2.4Ghz frequency. Older microwaves tend to leak more over time, and with any latch or hinge damage. Luckily we all have a tool that can accurately measure microwave leakage; your cellphone! Note the signal strength of your Wireless AP, then put your cell phone in the microwave and close the door. (DO NOT turn the microwave on!) Look at the signal strength though the window in the microwave door, it should drop to nearly zero, after a few seconds. If it only drops slightly, it is time for a new microwave. The good news is microwaves only run intermittently.
Fluorescent lighting, including CFL bulbs, all have a ballast or transformer that steps up the voltage, and causes a steady humm of EMI interference. LED bulbs can reduce your noise floor significantly.
Older Cordless phones use the same frequency as wifi. Phones that say DECT 2.4Ghz should be replaced with newer 6Ghz models. It will be more difficult to convince your neighbours to replace theirs. (think Christmas present)
Other Wifi networks; wireless is a shared medium with a limited bandwidth. Some of the fixes here include changing the wireless channel, using the 5GHz range, adding more AP’s or using Mesh APs.
Disable WPS Press-to-connect to make sure your neighbour isn’t using your wifi. https://www.howtogeek.com/176124/wi-fi-protected-setup-wps-is-insecure-heres-why-you-should-disable-it/
The next version of Wifi WPA standard is coming but current revisions dont solve Wifi’s underlying problems.