April 25, 2007

WiFi Blockers

I am a web designer and in my day job, I'm also the kind of go-to all-around tech guy. So if something goes wrong with any of the computers in the office, I'm the one that has to fix it. I was the one that switched the office from miles of Ethernet cable to Wireless Networking a couple of years back. What a lot of people don't realize is that everyday object can cause interference in WiFi. Everything from cordless phones, to televisions, to refrigerators, to plumbing, to microwaves (that's a big one), to game systems (especially with wireless controllers), and more all these can affect your WiFi signal.

When I was setting up the network, I went out and bought a keychain WiFi signal detector at WalMart for around $20. It has 5 lights, 4 are green and 1 is red. You press a button and the light dance back and forth for a few seconds. When they stop bouncing, the more green you see, the stronger the signal, if it's red, the device cannot pick up a signal. It's a handy little device, but its by no means accurate. And, it doesn't tell you what is wrong or why the signal that should be there, isn't.

I ended up just buying a more expense wireless router, and eventually got it all figured out, but it would have been a lot easier (and probably more effective) if I had had some proper equipment, or even better a professional service to come out and audit our wireless network.



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1 comment:

Mike said...

I don't know what I would do without my wireless network or my WiFi connection on campus. Lol.

My network has been acting up lately. Bleh, for some reason it'll disconnect the computers and the router has to be reset for them to pick up the connection again. Possible sign of the router about to die? dunno.

Hopefully it goes away, lol. Professional servicing would be nice but can be expensive at times.