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Summary:

It’s time to stop blaming your Wi-Fi connection problems on “congestion.”  Research by UK wireless regulator Ofcom reveals that after eliminating non-wireless issues, like device configuration errors and Internet connection problems, the root cause of most people’s Wi-Fi connection woes is interference. This interference comes from […]

2735119115_23c1eb3043It’s time to stop blaming your Wi-Fi connection problems on “congestion.”  Research by UK wireless regulator Ofcom reveals that after eliminating non-wireless issues, like device configuration errors and Internet connection problems, the root cause of most people’s Wi-Fi connection woes is interference. This interference comes from other devices using the same 2.4GHz spectrum used by 802.11b/g, including baby monitors.

Many people believe that Wi-Fi problems in densely populated urban areas are due to congestion — that there is simply too much data to push through the available channels, and that their neighbors are using all of the available bandwidth. However, the Ofcom research says this isn’t the case, and the more likely culprit will be interference in the 2.4GHz spectrum. It states, “It only requires a single device, such as a video sender, to severely affect Wi-Fi services within a short range, such that a single large building or cluster of houses can experience difficulties with using a single Wi-Fi channel.”

So before you start blaming congestion, check your house for likely sources of interference, and try switching channels. The Ofcom report names as likely culprits:

  • Baby monitors
  • AV senders
  • Microwave ovens
  • Wireless security cameras

Other devices that might interfere in this spectrum include cordless phones, fluorescent lights and Bluetooth devices. Unfortunately, if the source of interference is in a neighbor’s apartment, it will be much harder to eliminate.

Share your Wi-Fi tips in the comments.

(Via Ars Technica)

Image by Flickr user dwaynehoov

  1. [...] Could your wifi be having trouble because of your baby monitor? [...]

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  2. I found that the Wii internet kills my wireless, so I disbaled this function on the Wii – problem solved.

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  3. Haha, nice pic…straight out of my flickr photostream :)

    I have a baby monitor (and a few in neighboring houses) and a few wireless phones and my WiFi is pretty solid. Using a D-Link DIR-655 router FWIW.

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  4. [...] gear news, the Verizon MiFi 3G router went on sale, while I pointed to a report that blamed poor Wi-Fi performance on baby monitors. I reviewed new “computational knowledge engine” Wolfram Alpha, while Sam tried out [...]

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