Have you ever had a seemingly strong wifi signal, yet had a slow interrupted connection?
If you can see other wifi networks on your network list, the problem could be that these networks are causing interference on your network.
Interference from a neighbor’s wifi signal can have a real negative effect on how well your wifi network works. However, there are various things you can do to reduce the effect these wifi signals have on your network.
Why Would My Neighbor’s Wireless Signal Affect Me?
If you are experiencing problems with your wifi it could be down to interference from other networks in your area.
If the networks surrounding yours use the same frequency and overlapping channels, it could be causing your wifi to drop packets of data which can slow down your overall experience.
This is especially likely if you live in an apartment block with lots of different competing signals, or if the signal from your neighbor is particularly strong.
As well as other wifi networks, it should be noted that there are plenty of different things that can cause interference on your network. There is also the chance that physical objects are causing interference on your network so you should check this before moving onto the following solutions.
How To Stop Wi-FI Interference From Your Neighbors
Move Your Router
Perhaps the simplest thing to do would be to move your router. If your router is close to your neighbors, physically moving it away from his wifi signal will stop some of the congestion. This will likely be especially effective if you don’t use wifi that much in the area where your router was originally located.
If however, you need to use wifi in a congested area, then perhaps some of the following steps will be more helpful.
Use The 5GHz Frequency
If you have a dual-band router with the option to use the 5GHz wifi frequency, then setting this up could seriously reduce the amount of congestion you experience. This is for three reasons.
Firstly, 2.4GHz is the most common wifi frequency. As such, if you use this frequency you are more likely to experience congestion from other networks also using this frequency (not to mention interference from devices like cordless phones, Bluetooth speakers, etc.)
Secondly, the 5GHz network doesn’t have as long a range as the 2.4GHz network. While it is generally faster, the fact that it doesn’t have as long a range means that even if your neighbor is using a 5GHz network, it isn’t as likely to reach your network and cause you problems.
Finally, the 5GHz network has many more channel options than the 2.4GHz network. We’ll explore this in more detail below, but basically what it means is that even if your neighbor’s 5GHz network manages to reach you, you will be able to change the channel it uses to one that shouldn’t be affected by any interfering networks.
Change The Channels You Use
If you are experiencing interference from your neighbor’s wifi network it could be because you are both using the same wifi channel. This is especially likely to be the case if you are using the 2.4GHz frequency.
Basically, the 2.4GHz frequency has 14 channels. These channels all overlap with the ones they are next to, so most routers are set to automatically pick channels 1, 6, and 11 to broadcast on as these channels are the only ones that don’t overlap.
However, because of this, you may experience interference from other networks that also use these three default channels.
If you want to change the channels you use to see if this reduces interference, first, you should analyze the wifi signals in your area. After that you can choose the channels that have the least interference. Luckily, there are loads of programs that will do all the hard work for you.
Speak To Your Neighbor!
If the above steps haven’t really helped, it could always be worth speaking to your neighbor about the problem. After all, if their network is causing you problems, then yours could be doing the same to them.
If you can both agree to set up your routers at opposite ends of the house, you may find that both you and your neighbor will enjoy a congestion free wifi connection.
Some people say that we don't talk to each other as much as we used to. Neighbors remain strangers, when perhaps in the past, would have become eventual friends. Maybe wifi can bring us all closer together! Whoever would have thought technology would actually get us to talk and integrate more?! (well, we can only hope!).
Ok, we have digressed enough...back on topic!
If you are still struggling with congestion even after following all these tips, then perhaps your best bet could be to simply use Ethernet cables in the really bad areas.
Ethernet cables are immune to signals from your neighbors wifi and in fact, even without interference from neighbors you will likely end up with a much better connection by using Ethernet.
Hopefully, after trying out some of these tips you will be able to solve any problems you may have had from wifi networks in your area. If you have any further questions, please ask in the comments section below!