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Wi-Fi deadspots are very real, and tend to be annoying, fickle things. Despite maybe a wireless signal being strong enough for everyone else in a room to receive it, something may be interfering with the device. As a result, the Wi-Fi simply isn’t sufficiently strong enough to connect the device to the Internet. Fortunately, there are a few troubleshooting steps that may be taken to resolve the connection’s cutback.
Step One: Check Your Positioning
The first step to any Wi-Fi troubleshooting is to make sure that the router is located far enough away from any other electronic devices, as these devices can negatively influence the strength of the signal. This is especially true when these devices are positioned between the router and the workstation it is connecting to. Walls and floors can also affect the signal–the thicker the obstruction, the weaker the signal.
A relatively simple fix, especially when the router needs to be shared by multiple floors, is to elevate its position on the lower level. This reduces the amount of space the signal will have to cover before passing through the ceiling/floor (ideally without issue), as well as the amount of obstacles it has to contend with to reach the users on the level it is on.
Step Two: Antenna Adjustments
If a router (or PC) has an external antenna, it may be beneficial to adjust the antenna’s position until the signal’s sweet spot is found. Opinions of optimal antenna orientation vary, so it’s likely that the user will need to find the ideal alignment through some good, old-fashioned trial and error.
If that still isn’t effective enough to resolve the deadspot issue, there’s always the option of replacing the antenna itself. By simply unscrewing the included antenna and replacing it with a stronger model (or if absolutely necessary, a stand-alone antenna and extension cord combo), you can hopefully extend your reception out of your poorly-placed dead zone. After these adjustments are implemented, a device can pick up a signal that–under normal circumstances–would be out of reach.
If the equipment in question doesn’t have an adjustable antenna, there are USB adapters available to plug into a device that can work similarly to how the standalone and extension cord setup can, thanks to their longer USB connection cords.
If these adjustments still don’t deliver satisfactory results, it may be worth it to consider investing in a Wi-Fi extender. Rather than trying to maneuver a router and receiver to make a better connection, using a Wi-Fi extender means there only has to be a clear signal to each device from the extender’s position. This is a very effective solution if an immovable obstacle (say, for example, a wall) is blocking the signal, as the extender can create a detour around the obstacle, preserving the signal quality.
Step Three: Upgrades and Updates
Finally, check the router and adapters themselves. While age shouldn’t have too much effect on their performance, it could eventually develop into a problem if left unaddressed. Therefore, like all other office solutions, the costs associated with regularly upgrading equipment will likely be well worth the investment. However, if the equipment in question is too new to warrant a complete replacement, or hasn’t had its firmware upgraded in a while, it’s worth checking with the manufacturer or online for any updates that have been made to the device’s firmware or drivers.
With these practices at your disposal, your Wi-Fi isn’t likely to cause many problems in your office again. If you still can’t get your Wi-Fi to work as intended, NTConnections would be happy to help. To learn more, reach out to us at (703) 288-9767.