A weak or intermittent Internet or WiFi signal can be frustrating, but what most people don’t realize is that many common items can cause signal interference. WiFi signals are radio waves and as they are transmitted, they can encounter obstacles that weaken them or stop them altogether.
If you are experiencing a weak WiFi signal or an intermittent Internet connection, it’s quite possible that something is interfering with your Internet or WiFi signal. We list seven common items that can interfere with your Internet signal and what you can do to fix it.
Here are 7 common things to check that may negatively affect your Internet:
1. Location of your router
Where you place your router matters. If it is too far from your devices, tucked behind items, on the floor, or not in a centrally located area, your Internet connection will suffer. All these obstacles make it hard for the WiFi signal to reach devices.
The solution: Make sure your router is off the floor, central to wear you use devices most, and in clear view. We cover mistakes to avoid when setting up your router in this article.
2. In-floor heating
Yes. Your luxurious in-floor heating can slow your WiFi. How? Your WiFi signal communicates via radio waves that travel through your WiFi router to get to your devices. The metallic mesh in the radiant heating system can be an obstacle for your WiFi signal.
The solution: You don’t have to give up your nice warm floors. However, consider where your router is placed. If you only have one router that has to send signals through the flooring to get to your devices, consider getting a secondary router or whole-home mesh WiFi system to extend the reach of your WiFi signal throughout your home.
3. Thick walls and floors
Different wall and floor materials block wireless signals to varying degrees. Thick walls or floors weaken WiFi signals, especially materials like concrete.
The solution: Like the in-floor heating solution, consider an additional router or whole-home mesh WiFi system to increase your coverage in every room.
4. Plaster walls
Plaster is one of the materials that can disrupt high-frequency radio signals, AKA, your WiFi signals. If you live in an older home with plaster walls (or even a modern home with plaster walls, you may experience a poor Internet connection.
The solution: Like the obstacles above, an additional router or investing in a mesh WiFi system help increase your WiFi coverage to get around this obstacle.
5. Metal Buildings
Your WiFi signal may struggle if you have a house trailer, machine shop, garage or an outdoor metal gazebo. Buildings with metal roofing or metal support structures will create a barrier for WiFi radio waves, creating an obstacle for your high-frequency WiFi signals.
The solution: Add an additional router to your network if you live in a small space or invest in a mesh WiFi system for a larger home to help boost your WiFi.
6. Tin roof
Will a tin or metal roof really affect the WiFi in your home? It is possible. Metal can cause major wireless Internet disruption because metal tends to deflect rather than absorb WiFi radio waves.
The solution: Don’t go replacing your roof just yet. Whole-home WiFi systems like mesh make it easy to increase your WiFi signal coverage, which makes your WiFi stronger against interferences. Consider this upgrade if you are dealing with poor WiFi.
7. Pinched or bent coax cables
Lastly, if you have cable Internet that uses coax wiring for your Internet, you might experience poor connections if the coax wires get pinched or bent. Coax wires can get misshapen from many things: getting stepped on, chewed on by pets, bent from cramped storage, etc.
The solution: Make sure coax wires are cleared from areas where they can be stepped on or tripped over. Also keep them clear from pets and check any exposed coax wires for signs of wear and tear. For coax wires that are within walls or out of reach, you can use a tool like the DSS01 coax cable tester to test a coax outlet or coax wire to see if an Internet signal is being received. This makes troubleshooting your intermittent or weak Internet connection incredibly easy.