Avoiding Wireless Signal Interference on Your Home Router

A few days ago my girlfriend and I made a few arrangements in our apartment. We moved our computer desk to another place, and somehow the wireless router was left very close to the computer monitor and speakers on my desk. We also have a TV cable box, and many networking cables dangling off the desk. The problem is that now when I use my laptop the wireless signal suddenly drops, and it does not get back online unless I restart the computer or move to a different area in my apartment.

Wireless network setup

I did not have this problem before when the wireless router was sitting by itself on top of a bookshelf, but now that is sitting close to all these other electronics, the problem has appeared. I cannot blame anything else but interference from the wireless signal with the other devices.

Once in awhile the wireless signal icon on my laptop goes this way:

Wireless Internet access not working

That means the wireless has dropped. Not good.

My apartment is fairly small and even though I was aware of the wireless signal interference when we did the move, I never thought it would affect me that much. As you can see overlooking these small things can make a great impact on your wireless network.

So, what would be the best way to setup your wireless router with less or no interference? I have been doing some research on the subject and this is what I have found so far:

Too many electronics especially metal ones around the wireless access point ( I use a Linksys G breadboard router which uses the 2.4Hz frequency range) can cause a lot of interference on your wireless signal.

This sounds like my problem!. So, sitting your wireless router in an open area is the best way to avoid interference. It would be ideal to put it not very close to a wall or any device like cordless phone or microwave. As you might know many cordless phone use the 2.4Hz frequency range as do microwaves. So having one of these devices close to your wireless router will create a lot of interference.

Another thing that I have noticed in wireless devices is that most of them use the Channel 6 to transmit the signal. I might write another post explaining channels in details and a how-to doc on how to change it, but if you know what I’m talking about, then by changing the channel to a different one rather than the default might prevent interference. I would rather pick channel 1 or 11 to avoid overlapping from near-by wireless access points.

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