Troubleshooting Wireless Network Issues

by Lou Horton on May 18, 2012

On a regular basis we speak with customers that have intermittent issues with their wireless network connections dropping or not receiving a good signal.  Assuming there are no issues with the router itself or the connection to the Internet, there are some steps that can be taken to improve a wireless network.  Wireless networks operate on a very congested radio frequency that is used by many other devices.  Other househould devices such as cordless phones and microwave ovens can degrade or disrupt wireless signals.  Metal including heating and air conditioning ductwork can disrupt and redirect wireless radio frequencies.

If you are having signal strength or issues with connections dropping one of the first things that can be done is to check which channel your wireless network is operating on.  For most wireless networks there are 10 channels over which the network can operate (channel 1-11).  This can be misleading though because only 3 of the channels (1, 6 and 11) don't have overlapping frequencies.  For this reason it is not recommended except in very specific circumstances to operate your network on a channel other than 1, 6 or 11.  When determining which channel is best for your network it is a good idea to see what channels other wireless networks near you are operating on.  How to obtain this information will vary depending on the wireless software or operating system that you are using.  Other wireless networks that are close by will also interfere with your signal so you want to set your network for a different channel if possible.

If you have chronic issues there are many other things that can be done to improve your wireless network including high gain antennas and multiple access points.  Before the proper solution can be prescribed, a proper wireless site survey needs to be completed as every home or office space will respond differently to the installation of a wireless network.  If you need assistance with any networking issues, please feel free to call us at (630) 444-7220.

Wireless Network Setup

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