Have you noticed areas of your home or apartment where wifi seems slower? What about that little wifi icon on your phone not showing a full connection? Now take it a step further: Are there places in your living space where wifi just doesn’t exist at all? Where you’re connected one second and then you take a couple steps more and the connection to your network just stops completely? These internet black holes are what we call wifi “dead zones”.
What is the cause of wireless dead zones?
Anything that interferes with wifi radio waves can produce a dead zone. Distance is also an important thing to keep in mind when you’re wondering why you have wifi in one room and not in the next. If you have a large home with your wireless router on one end, the opposite end may suffer from a dead zone where the wifi signal just can’t reach.
Another common factor that can negatively affect wifi is how a home is built. Since many houses and apartments were built before wifi ever existed, they are often constructed in ways that disrupt wireless signals. Older living spaces built with walls of thick plaster and chicken wire, heavy brick, or metal walls often suffer from blocked wifi signals.
How do I banish these dead zones from my home?
It’s easy to understand why no one wants wifi dead zones in their living space. We pay for wireless internet in our homes, so why not have it everywhere in our homes. Here’s a few tips on what you can do to send those unwanted dead zones to the nether regions:
Move Your Router (if possible)
As we mentioned, having your router located in one of the far sides of your house or apartment is a very common reason for dead zones on the opposite side of your living space. Moving the router towards the middle of your home will give the source of your wifi a more evenly distributed and centralized coverage area.
Keep in mind that that your additional coaxial cable outlets must be internet-enabled by your Internet Service Provider (ISP) in order to move your router to a new location. Contact your ISP if you move your router and there doesn’t seem to be an available internet connection coming out of the wall.
Change Wireless Connection Channels
In dense living spaces such as apartment buildings, people can suffer from router interference from other people and their many different wifi networks. This is because there are two wireless channel “bands” that internet users’ routers broadcast across - 2.4 GHz and 5 Ghz. Something that many people do not know is that you can in fact switch between these two channels within your router’s settings if one is overcrowded.
You can think of these bands like driving lanes on a road. If one lane is packed with cars while the other is almost traffic-free, wouldn’t you change lanes at the soonest opportunity? Wireless signals within channels function in a very similar way to cars in traffic. The more there are in one lane, the slower they move and the weaker their connections become.
First, downloading an application such as NetSpot (works for Windows 7, 8, and 10 and for Mac OS X 10.10 and higher) will help you in identifying which wireless channel of the two has lesser signal traffic. Next, changing the settings on your router will allow your network to broadcast across the channel that isn’t as bogged down by network interference from your neighbors. If you’re not quite sure on how to do so, you can either check out this guide or call your ISP for help.
One of the more obvious workarounds for an impaired wireless network is hooking up to the internet via Ethernet cable. If feasible, you could have an Ethernet cable run from your router to whichever room is suffering from a dead zone, whether that be along the floor or (in a more aesthetically pleasing fashion) by having a cable run through your walls.
Reorganize Furniture or Decorations
It’s not just what your home’s walls are made of that has an effect on wifi, but what’s within those walls as well. Objects such as mirrors, televisions, appliances or anything large made primarily of metal (i.e. decorative furniture, filing cabinets, etc.) have the potential to impair your network’s signal strength. Moving any problematic obstructions (if possible) or your router away from them may rid your living space of the dead zone.
Set Up a Wifi System
Setting up a wireless system (such as Milo) is often the best option for many households. This is because this technology is capable of extending wifi coverage throughout your home over a much larger area than a normal router can on its own. Wifi systems typically do this by having two or more router-like devices that communicate with each other (as well as your router) and work in tandem to eliminate wifi dead zones. Wifi systems differ from traditional network extenders in more ways than one, but one of the most important differences is that they don’t cut wifi speeds in half while extending the network’s signal like extenders do.
Been searching for reliable wireless internet coverage all throughout your home? The solution is Milo -- an affordable hybrid mesh network wifi system that brings you wifi wherever you need it, without breaking the bank.