WiFi Performance and Coverage Considerations
*Make sure your device supports 5GHz. 5GHz devices deal with WiFi interference much better.If you’re suffering from coverage or performance problems, where your WiFi connection only works in some parts of your flat, this can be due to a number of possible problems:
Third Party Software
Software on your computer can degrade your internet service. To eliminate this as the cause of any problems experienced, try turning them off and testing the connection.
- VPN – ‘Virtual Private Network’, often used by workplaces to enable staff to work from home securely. Get in touch with your VPN provider if you are experiencing performance issues only when the VPN is active.
- Torrents – Heavy downloading in the background can affect your connection speed, sometimes these can go unnoticed so it’s best to double check nothing is running in the background.
- Updates – Your computer may automatically update and this can cause slower speeds while the update completes. Check Windows Updater for activity on Windows computers.
- Firewalls – Some over aggressive firewalls can cause a complete lack of connection or slow speeds. Ensure your security software (Antivirus, Firewalls etc) are all up to date.
- Virus – A Virus can sometimes cause connectivity problems. Ensure you have a good antivirus installed and run regular scans to keep your device running smoothly
Look for any large applications on your computer which could be causing this extra step in transferring data to and from the internet, such as:
Use the search function on your device to locate third party software, try temporarily disconnecting them whilst you’re having problems to see if there is a noticeable difference.
InterferenceThere are other devices, WiFi networks or objects which are interrupting your own WiFi connection.
Look for anything nearby which could be causing this interference, such as:
- wireless printers
- wireless access points or routers not provided by ASK4
- bluetooth speakers or headphones
- personal access points or routers
- games console controllers
- christmas and fairy lights
If you’re able to find any of the above, try temporarily disconnecting them whilst you’re having problems to see if there is a noticeable difference. You may need to move the location of the objects or your device to get a better connection.
Sharing the WiFi
WiFi interference can also be caused by other users. Unlike a cable connection, the air is used to transmit and receive WiFi data. As a shared transmission medium, this means the more people using the WiFi, the lower your performance.
Imagine you were in a busy restaurant, but only one person was allowed to talk at any time. If two people were to talk at the same time, they would not be understood. Conversations would take hours! WiFi networks function in this way, but at incredibly fast speeds. The busier the restaurant is, the longer you would have to wait to speak.
We expect you to have a usable connection all of the time, but it is normal to expect some reduction in performance in peak times.
WiFi uses electromagnetic waves to send and receive signals, which in theory can pass through objects easily. The reality of this is that much like sound, it will be absorbed by objects and materials in between the Wireless Access Point and your device.
Materials such as thin walls and doors can be penetrated quite easily, however thicker and heavier materials may cause more issues. Modern buildings are designed to produce the best possible sound insulation between rooms, however this can come at a cost to your WiFi signal.
Whilst ASK4 plan our WiFi networks around the building design, the objects in between you and the Wireless Access Point will always be a factor.
Check your surroundings in your room, considering the path any WiFi signal may take. Knock on walls and doors to gauge the thickness and material.
- Supporting/foundation walls
- Brick/concrete walls
- Elevators or stairs
- Kitchen appliances (fridges etc)
- Clear glass
- Plaster walls
- Wooden doors
We design our WiFi networks to provide coverage throughout the building, meaning accessing your ASK4 broadband shouldn’t be a problem from most areas. As data is sent and received by both our Wireless Access Points and your devices, the wireless abilities of your device must be considered.
A laptop will usually contain a powerful and high performing WiFi card and antenna, compared to what you might find inside a smartphone, which has requirements to be energy efficient and fit into a small form. For this reason, we cannot expect the same level of performance across all devices.
Another consideration is the age, quality and standard of the device you are using. Look for “802.11n” and “5GHz” in your device technical specifications to ensure it is capable of these industry standards. If your device only supports 802.11a/b/g and 2.4GHz, you may find it does not perform as well.
Further Reading and TroubleshootingIf you’d like to learn more about how our Internet works and how this affects your connection, check out the following link. How Does Your Internet Work?
For help troubleshooting your problem, choose the page below which best matches your problem.