How to tell if your neighbors’ WiFi is interfering with your wireless connection and how to fix it

You are quietly at home streaming a series, browsing the web, gaming online or making a video call from your PC and the wireless connection is not working well, it is slower than Usually, it cuts out from time to time, it disconnects you and interrupts your activities.

The immediate thing for many is to blame your carrier, to think that the router your ISP provided to you is very bad, or that the rest of the equipment in the home network such as WiFi extension cords or powerline lines is having a problem. You check it and everything looks fine, what’s wrong?

Okay, maybe the problem is on the other side of your walls and it’s interference with neighbors’ WiFi networks degrading the quality of your wireless network preventing you from stably connecting. and with good speed. What can you do?

Mapping of available channels

WiFi networks operate using what are called “channels” of the electromagnetic spectrum. They are like lanes on a highway on which our data travels in every frequency band. Each wireless access point or router establishes a WiFi connection based on one or more of these channels, directing all the traffic it handles through them.

If this channel is saturated with multiple connections, such as neighboring WiFi networks, or experiences interference from other nearby channels, the connection will suffer from packet loss issues, reduced speed, increased latency and therefore of a lower quality that can sometimes even cause micro-cuts or speeds much lower than those theoretically achievable with our equipment.

If the interference in the WiFi channels is very high, you will probably never get a good connection speed.

It doesn’t matter whether you change the operator’s “ugly” router for the better of the market or whether you buy a new generation computer or mobile. If this interference in the WiFi channels is very high, you will probably never achieve good speed.

Therefore, if you start having problems connecting to your home WiFi, the first thing you can do is map or draw the general situation of the WiFi channels around you to see which ones are the most free and find out. there are some that give you less interference. This is something that we can do room by room, because in general, the neighbors’ connections stretch with different intensity through the different walls of the house.

How to find these free and interfering channels? Well luckily there are plenty of apps out there that give us information about our wireless connection, each with its pros and cons, free or paid. One of my favorites is WiFi Analyzer, available for free for Android and Windows 10 (in this case, you just need to search for it in the app store), software that gives us this information showing the signal strength of each frequency band.

The graphs show us for each frequency band (2.4 and 5 GHz) all the WiFi connections that our network adapter is able to detect, by plotting their intensity with superimposed lines or curves and placing each connection in the channel to which it is associated.

In this way, it is possible to see at a glance which channels are free and which are full of connections and interference, thus being able to move our connection to the clearest to have the best possible quality and speed.

If we press the “View” button at the top of the screen, we can also get a “Channel Score” which helps us that instead of a graph the app rates the channels with stars, showing those which are less saturated with more stars, they are there, and therefore those which it is preferable to use for us.

How to move the WiFi connection to another channel

Routers tend to automatically choose the available channel as soon as they restart based on certain parameters like interference, but in the most basic models they are not always able to change on their own when one of the them is saturated or that this choice is not always the right one. more appropriate.

If you want to change the channel, which you can do as many times as you want to always have the best connection, you just need to enter the router through the classic link http://192.168.1.1 in the web browser (or a similar one, for which we recommend that you consult the instructions for each specific router), find the WiFi network configuration and find the option corresponding to the channels.

In the menu we will choose the one that suits us best in each case and thus improve the quality of our wireless connection (here you have a more detailed manual to do this).

Back to top button