What is a wireless dead spot?
A dead spot is simply an area within your home, building, office, or any other area that's supposed to be covered by Wi-Fi; but it doesn't work there. Maybe you're using a smartphone or tablet and walk into a room where there's a dead spot, the Wi-Fi will stop working and you won't receive a signal.
What causes wireless dead spots?
Anything that interferes with Wi-Fi radio waves can produce a dead spot. If you have a large home, building, or office and have your wireless router/access point in one corner, there may be a dead spot in the opposite corner where the Wi-Fi signal can't reach.
It's important to take into consideration that most buildings were built before Wi-Fi was developed, so they may be constructed in ways that interfere with Wi-Fi.
- For example, old buildings may have thick plaster walls that contain chicken wire for support, and this metal wiring can block Wi-Fi signals.
- Large metal objects like file cabinets or metal walls may also block Wi-Fi signals.
How to detect wireless dead spots
You don't really need fancy software to identify dead spots, just simply pick up your wireless device, connect to your wireless network, and walk around your home, building, or office. Pay attention to the Wi-Fi signal indicator on your device. If signal strength drops to zero, you've found a dead spot.
How to fix wireless dead spots
Now that you've figured out exactly where your wireless dead spots are, you'll probably want to eliminate them. Here are some tips for patching up your Wi-Fi coverage.
- Reposition Your Router/Access Point: If your router/access point is in one corner of your home, building, or office, and there's a dead spot in the opposite corner of your building, try moving the router/access point to a more central location (the middle of your home, building, or office).
- Identify and Reposition Obstructions: If your Wi-Fi router/access point is sitting next to a metal file cabinet, that's going to reduce your signal strength. Try rearranging your place for ideal signal strength. If there's a metal file cabinet, microwave oven, or anything else that seems to be obstructing the signal from your router/access point and producing a dead spot, move the obstruction (or your router/access point) and see if that eliminates the dead spot.
- Switch to the Least-Congested Wireless Channel: Use a tool like Wi-fi Analyzer for Android or inSSIDer for Windows or Mac to identify the least congested wireless channel for your Wi-Fi network, then change the setting on your router/access point to reduce interference from other wireless networks.
Whether or not you have wireless dead spots will depend on your router/access point, its positioning, your neighbors, what the walls are made out of, the size of your coverage area, the types of electronic devices you have, and where everything is positioned. There's a lot that can cause problems, but trial and error can help you pin down the culprit.
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