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HOWTO: Prevent Wireless Interference

May 9th, 2008 by Greg Innes

Prevent wireless InterferenceMaking the transition from wired to wireless is an exciting step and with a wide choice of wireless IP cameras now available on the market you can keep an eye on your home or business without cluttering it up with cables.

Normally wireless connections are every bit as reliable as their wired counterpart but sometimes there can be something which prevents their smooth operation. Interference.

Interference

We’ve all experienced interference in some way, from the television picture breaking up during a heavy storm or crackling on the radio when you enter a built-up area or valley. Your wireless signal works very much in the same way as your radio or television and may dip in and out depending on circumstances and the environment.

We realise that when you are connecting your IP cameras wirelessly is it even more crucial that they remain connected at all times, especially when they are used as IP security cameras. So let’s take a look at some of the causes of interference and how we can help reduce their effect.

Placing your Wireless Access Point

The wireless access point is the device which recieves all the data from your wireless devices. This is typically your wireless router. The key to defeating interference is intelligent positioning of your access point. Here are a few simple rules which will help:

  • The access point should be placed in the center of your home to give the best all-round coverage.
  • Avoid mounting your access point to, or placing near a wall. Aim to have it at least 6 inches away from any wall. Note that wireless signals cannot pass through metal so if your walls have metal back insulation you may find your signal reduced significantly.
  • Keep your access point away from microwave ovens, refridgerators, washing machines or any other appliance that contains metal.
  • Mircowaves and cordless phone systems can also interfere with your signal. Make sure your access point does not have line of sight with these devices.
  • If you have a large home or one with many internal walls for the signal to pass through you might want to consider using a more powerful access point or two to cover a larger area.

Troubleshooting

If you have already set up your wireless network but are having trouble connecting to one or more of your devices then here are some ideas to help improve your signal:

Move your access point

Using the pointers above, make sure your access point is best placed in its current position. If not, consider moving it to another location to see if your signal improves. You can even monitor your signal strength on an attached computer as you move your access point from one location to another to gauge the best location.

Move the antenna

The range of signal produced from your wireless access point can be adjusted by moving your antenna. Try moving the antenna or setting it at a different angle to gain more coverage.

Change channels

If there are other wireless networks in the neighborhood your signals may be clashing with another access point. To remedy this you can change the frequency of your wireless signals in your access point by changing the channel number

Change phones

If your phone is providing interference to your wireless network consider changing your headset to the new 5Ghz models. Phones operating in the 5Ghz range will not interfere with wireless networks.

If you are still having trouble you might have to consider a different access point with a larger area of coverage or perhaps you may need to use more than one access point around your home.

3 Responses to “HOWTO: Prevent Wireless Interference”

  1. [...] I think I may be experiencing interference on my wireless network, what can I do? We’ve done a full guide on how to combat wireless interference. Check it out here: HOWTO: Prevent Wireless Interference Posted by greg on Thursday, June 5th, 2008 [...]

  2. [...] I think I may be experiencing interference on my wireless network, what can I do? We’ve done a full guide on how to combat wireless interference. Check it out here: HOWTO: Prevent Wireless Interference Posted by greg on Tuesday, June 17th, 2008 [...]

  3. [...] what can I do? We’ve done a full guide on how to combat wireless interference. Check it out here: HOWTO: Prevent Wireless Interference window.___gcfg = {lang: 'en-GB'}; (function() { var po = document.createElement('script'); [...]

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