If you’re experiencing Wi-Fi woes, you may be finding yourself trapped in what’s known as the dead zone. While it may sound ominous, it’s an obstacle that can be easily overcome.
Bring your wireless Internet back to life by following Wi-Fi dead zone tips:
What Is A Dead Zone?
A dead zone is an area of your home/office where you can’t get a Wi-Fi signal on electronic devices such as laptops, smartphones, tablets, etc.
To better understand the problem, consider what Wi-Fi actually is: radio waves between your router or modem and your device. With that said, you’ve got to wonder…
What Causes Dead Zones?
Interference to your Wi-Fi radio waves is what’s causing dead zone issues. And there are many potential causes for this kind of interference. They include:
- Distance: The distance between your wireless router and your laptop or devices can definitely be an issue, especially if you have a large house or office space. To avoid dead zone issues, you may have to move your router and reduce the distance those radio waves have to travel. Perhaps relo the router to a more central spot.
- Construction: Older homes may be known for their character and quality construction, but they’re certainly not made with Wi-Fi in mind. Case in point: thick plaster walls embedded with metal support wiring that block Wi-Fi signals.
- Blockage: Could something be standing in the way of you and your Wi-Fi? Causes of interference commonly include big filing cabinets and metal walls.
- Other electronics: Our homes are filled with all kinds of gadgetry — from microwaves and baby monitors, to wireless security systems and wireless sound systems — known to cause issues.
- Other Wi-Fi: Living in “close quarters” to other wireless networks (e.g., an apartment or condo complex) can also affect Wi-Fi reception, especially if nearby neighbors have their Wi-Fi networks on the same wireless channel as yours.
Of course, identifying dead zones isn’t rocket science. For example, if signal strength on your smartphone drops to zero, you’re in the dead zone. Know, though, that there are tech tools you can use to detect dead zones and analyze signal strength.
- There’s a free Android Wi-Fi app for identifying Wi-Fi signal strength. Once you open the app, select the signal meter screen, then your Wi-Fi network. Walk around with your device with the app open and watch the signal strength change.
- Windows and Mac laptop users can opt for inSSIDer to measure signal strength.
- Make sure your wireless router’s antenna is up and vertical. An antenna pointing horizontally doesn’t offer the same amount of coverage.
- Change the setting on your router to the least-congested wireless channel, which you can find using tools including the Wi-Fi Analyzer for Android and inSSIDer for Windows or Mac (as described above).
- Set up a Wireless Repeater. When all else fails, a wireless repeater could extend Wi-Fi coverage over a larger area, say if you have a big house or ample office.
- Should your Wi-Fi connection be good for the most part, but you have a problematic area, you might opt for a powerline adapter, a handy device that uses existing electrical wiring in your home/office to generate Internet access. No new wiring required.