WiFi is a technology that makes it possible for devices to connect to the Internet wirelessly. Your Shaw modem acts as a wireless hub, making WiFi available in your home. Because the connection relies on signal transmission from the modem to your devices, signal strength is important.
An easy to relate to experience of interference is listening to your radio in the car, one moment it can sound perfect, the next moment it may have static. Nothing changed, except, what is between your radio and the signal broadcast.
Symptoms of interference can slow speeds, dead spots, constantly reconnecting to the network, websites struggling to load, among others.
In your home, interference is caused by many things. This article will cover the most common causes of Interference to help you diagnose and optimize the WiFi in your home.
The materials, thickness, and the number of walls, ceilings, and other objects wireless signals must pass through, may limit the range of your home WiFi. You can minimize physical interference by ensuring a direct line of sight between your modem and device, or by positioning the modem somewhere central that reduces the number of obstructions. A wired connection to the modem will offer the best connection to devices on the same floor of your home.
Interference can be caused by other wireless networks, other 2.4 GHz frequency devices, and high voltage devices that generate electromagnetic interference.
The best wireless signal will be available with a clear line of sight between your modem and your device and will degrade with distance and obstructions.
In an ideal setting with no walls or interference, the theoretical best performance from a modem to a single device would be:
|Devices that||Data Rate||Approximate Range|
|Connect only to 2.4 GHz||54Mbps||100-200ft|
|Connect to 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz||54Mbps or higher||80ft|
|Connect primarily to 5 GHz||430Mbps or higher||80ft or more|
A single modem often can't provide WiFi coverage for a large home, or reach other areas around the home such as a yard or garage.
Note: The newest WiFi protocol (802.11ac) uses the less-congested 5 GHz band exclusively. Devices connected to 5 GHz WiFi will encounter less interference.
While much of the interference in your home can be unavoidable (eg. neighbour's networks, wall construction), there are things you can do to improve the performance of your home network.
Check out our video on WiFi Troubleshooting Made Easy