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Reduce the Noise

For wireless network to perform well, two things need to happen:

1. The wireless signal must be strong
2. The wireless noise floor must be low

Data is modulated in the gap between the noise and the signal. To improve the signal you need to follow the guidelines outlined in in our article, Position the Router for Success.

To reduce or eliminate noise you need to:

  • Replace devices that operate in 2.4GHz band with devices that are more “friendly” to WiFi networks. For example:
    • Legacy cordless phones that operate in the 2.4Ghz band. New DECT 6.0 phones operate in the 1.9GHz and do not interfere with the wireless router.
    • Sonos audio system kills wireless networks. Hardwire the Sonos devices with a network cable to eliminate the extra ordinary noise.
    • Other devices that typically operate in the 2.4Ghz band and can cause interference include baby monitors, remote control cars, old wireless intercom, some weather stations, and legacy X10 equipment.
  • Survey the network location for less noisy channels. Gone are the days of a “quiet channel” in the WiFi spectrum. However, some channels are less noisy than others. You can survey your area for wireless noise with mobile apps for smart phones, and other wireless survey apps that run on both Windows and Mac. Once you identify a quiet channel, change your router to use that channel, or see if it changes to it automatically after a reboot.

The image below shows a survey done with aWiFi Explorer for Mac OS X. As the image shows, there is no completely quiet channel, but if we had to chose a channel for a new router, it would have to be #4: