If you have noticed that while your WiFi signal is apparently strong, your connection is slow and often interrupted, there is a chance that the issue is caused bu other networks around you. When you check your network list, you are likely to see your neighbor’s WiFi signal and this can have an impact on the performance of your WiFi. The good news is that there are some ways in which you can reduce the effect of other WiFi signals to ensure that you enjoy better performance for yours.
Why does your Neighbor’s Wireless Signal can affect you?
It is possible that your neighbour’s wireless network is causing interference and affecting your WiFi. If the networks around you use the same frequency and overlapping channels, your WiFi may drop packets of data that can slow down your connection and spoil your experience. Interference is an issue that can especially affect those who live in an apartment complex where there are many competing signals or where there are signals that are stronger.
Apart from other WiFi networks, it has to be noted that there are many different elements that can cause interference on your network. It is possible that some physical objects such as wardrobes or walls are causing interference. Before trying anything else, make sure that you check that these are not the culprits. If you have confirmed that there are no physical objects that could be causing interference, you can move to the next options to get the issue resolved.
Move your router
Moving the router is probably the easiest way to get the issue fixed. You just need to move your router away from your neighbor’s, if you notice that it is too close to their WiFi signal. By physically moving the router, you may be able to reduce some of the congestion. If you don’t tend to use WiFi in the area where the router used to be located, moving the device will be particularly effective. However, if you have to use WiFi in a congested area, then maybe you can try one of the different steps.
Use the 5GHz Frequency
This solution will work for users who have a dual-band router that supports the option to use 5GHz WiFi frequency. By using this frequency, you can significantly reduce the amount of congestion you have to deal with. There are three reasons why this works. The first one is that 2.4GHz is the most common WiFi frequency, meaning that if you use it, there are more risks to deal with interference from devices such as Bluetooth speakers, as well as congestion from other networks.
The second reason is that the 5GHz network’s range is not as long as the 2.4GHz network’s and while it is faster, the fact that it doesn’t have a long range means that if your neighbor uses 5GHz network, it is less likely to reach your network and affect it. Last, but not least, the 5GHz network features more channel options than the 2.4GHz network, which essentially means that even if the 5GHz network of your network can reach you, you can change the channel that it uses to one that shouldn’t be affected by any interfering networks.
Changing the channels you use
If you are dealing with interference from your neighbor’s WiFi network, it may be that you are both using the same WiFi channel. There are more chances of this happening if you are using the 2.4GHz frequency, as previously mentioned. This frequency has 14 channels and all of them overlap with the ones they are next to. The majority of routers are set to automatically select channels 1, 6 and 11 to broadcast on since these channels are the only ones that won’t overlap.
The problem is that due to this, it is possible that you come across interference from other networks that use these three default channels as well. In order to change the channels that you use, to see is this helps to reduce interference, the first thing that you need to do is to check the WiFi signals in your area. Then, you will be able to select the channels that have the least interference. The good news is that there are many programs that will take care of all the difficult tasks.
Talk to your neighbor
If you get along with your neighbors, talking to them about the issue may be the best and most simple way to solve things. In any case, it is worth giving it a try and it is likely that your network is causing issues for them, just as theirs is affecting you. In the end, they may be as eager to solve the problem as you are. If you can agree to set up your routers in opposite locations of the house, there is a bog chance that you both will be able to enjoy a congestion free WiFi connection.
Use Ethernet cables
If the above options have not worked and you are still dealing with congestion, maybe the best option is to use Ethernet cables, particularly in areas where the connection is not good at all. Ethernet cables won’t be affected by your neighbor’s WiFi and you are even likely to enjoy improved connection with the help of Ethernet.
Additional considerations – What not to do
At least one of the steps previously mentioned should help you to solve the WiFi signal issues. However, there is something that you shouldn’t try under any circumstance and that is jamming. Jamming is sending disrupting signals of your own in order to block a WiFi signal. Although it works, it is against the law in many countries and it could lead to fines and other issues. It may be effective for a while, but in the end, as soon as your neighbor notices something is wrong with their WiFi, it may not take long for them to come knocking on your door, upset and trying to find out what is the problem with their signal.