Why does my Wi-Fi disconnect frequently or run slowly?
Every single home in the world has some degree, whether small or large, of wireless interference – or EMI (electro-magnetic interference). Additionally, interference sometimes originates from outside the home. This can cause issues maintaining a connection to the wireless network and can also affect the speed of the wireless connection. Wireless performance cannot be guaranteed due to the many variables in homes that can affect wireless connections.
If the computers connected with Ethernet are working well, but the Wi-Fi devices are not, then the issue at hand is likely EMI. While the list of variables that can cause EMI is massive, there are some basic and common things we can check to improve the Wi-Fi signal:
How high is the router off the ground?
Generally, we want the router to be about 3-5 feet off of the ground, or in other words, at about the same height as the devices being used or even higher.
Is the wireless signal traveling through walls?
Some walls cause interference more than others. For example, walls made of steel will cause massive interference; walls with plumbing in them will cause significant interference, and walls with electrical wiring inside will also cause some degree of interference.
Is the router near any electronic equipment?
For best results, try to separate the router from any electronic devices – especially home theater equipment and appliances, but even smaller devices as well. Wireless baby monitors, cordless phones, wireless headphones, and key fobs are more examples of devices that can affect your devices ability to keep a connection to the wireless router
Are there any other wireless technologies in the home?
Yes. Devices that utilize Radio Frequency (RF) can impact wireless signal in your home. Please make sure all devices which use wireless frequency, as well as radio frequency, are positioned away from the router as much as possible.
Are there any potential sources of interference outside the home?
While you may find information online which provides more suggestions to potential sources of interference outside the home, a neighbors' wireless network is more likely the culprit of that interference.
Which frequency is the router using?
In most cases, your Sparklight provided modem is dual-band, meaning your modem automatically switches between 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. In general, most routers and wireless devices are using 2.4 GHz. If troubleshooting EMI is not producing results, try switching the network your device is connected to. If you have a dual-band modem provided by Sparklight, you should have two wireless networks you can connect to. Test your speeds on both networks to see which provides the strongest, fastest connection. Typically, the 5Ghz network will produce faster speeds closer to the modem. It is helpful to use when surrounded by other wireless networks. Keep in mind that the 5Ghz network's wifi range is shorter than the 2.4 GHz network, but is faster. Whereas the 2.4 GHz network is typically slightly slower but has a longer range.
What security standard should I be using for my home?
This can depend on what the router can provide, and what the device can support:
- If all of your devices are manufactured after 2006, your router should be configured to use WPA2-AES. This is the default should a router be factory reset.