Beware of Dead Zones This October
October 4, 2021
Is there a room or area in your home where it’s impossible to get a good Wi-Fi signal? Do you avoid it at all costs whenever you’re using your laptop, tablet, or phone? Or is it an area in your home where you would normally want to spend more time, but you have to leave every time you need to go online? Chances are, you have a dead zone in your house. A dead zone is a room or area in your home that your Wi-Fi signal can’t reach.
Wi-Fi is incredibly convenient and useful, but it has its limitations and can often leave dead zones in areas your signal isn’t strong enough to reach. Fortunately, there are ways to find and get rid of dead zones, so you can use your Internet connection anywhere in your house.
Let’s discuss what dead zones are, what causes them, and how to fix them.
What Causes Dead Zones?
Your Wi-Fi router gives you coverage via radio waves, so anything in your home that can interfere with radio waves can cause a dead zone. Homes with thicker walls, especially if they contain metal, can pose a significant threat to your signal’s reach. Large metal objects like filing cabinets can interfere as well. Water has been known to interfere with signals as well. Avoid placing your router next to a fish tank or any other large water container.
You should also look out for other devices in your house, like old cordless phones, your microwave, baby monitors, wireless security systems, and wireless sound systems. If you live in an apartment building, your neighbors’ Wi-Fi signals could be interfering with yours. This can be possible especially if your neighbors are on the same wireless channel as yours.
Another thing to be mindful of is distance. Sometimes, your home or space is just too big to be covered by a standard Wi-Fi router. If you live in a large home with your router in one corner of the house, you might have a dead zone in the opposite corner.
How Do I Locate Dead Zones?
The simplest way to find any dead zones in your house is to walk around your home with a wireless device like your phone. Watch your Wi-Fi signal on your device very closely as you do this. If it drops to zero, you’re in a dead zone. You should also note any areas in which your signal drops to a very low level, even if you don’t lose it completely. Walk slowly and stop frequently, as your device’s Wi-Fi signal indicator doesn’t update immediately and may need a little time to accurately reflect actual signal strength.
If you’re looking for something more than that, you can find free software depending on the device you’re using. If you use a Windows or macOS laptop, you can download free programs like inSSIDer to measure your signal strength.
How To Fix Dead Zones in Your Home
Once you’ve figured out where your dead zones are, it’s time to get rid of them. The first thing to try is repositioning your router. Move it to a more central location in the middle of your home, and avoid placing it in a cabinet. It’ll produce a better signal if it’s in an open location. You should also look for any other obstructions between your router and your devices. Avoid placing it next to large metal objects, large containers of water like fish tanks, and other devices like microwaves and or other wireless systems.
Switching the different wireless channel can help if possible. Most routers are capable of using 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequencies. Keeping it on one that your other devices or appliances don’t use will reduce interference.
You should also adjust or replace your router’s antenna. Make sure it’s up and pointing vertically. If your antenna is already in the right position, see if your router’s manufacturer provides a more powerful antenna for a wider range.
If you think you can go online at home without needing to be wireless at the time, using Ethernet cables is always a solid option if you want to maximize your Internet connection’s speed and reliability. You’ll never have to worry about dead zones or dropped Wi-Fi signals if you don’t mind handling some extra cabling.
If you want to continue using Wi-Fi but none of the above solutions are working for you, you could try boosting your signal with wireless repeaters or extenders. There are many different kinds of devices that can help you with this, so finding the right one for you and your home might take a little research and consideration.
Dead zones can get in the way of your Internet use for several possible reasons. It’s not always easy to find what causes them or the best way to fix them. But hopefully you can now narrow down the different causes and solutions, and get back to using your Internet connection uninterrupted.