Indoor Wireless (Wifi)
by Willie du Plessis
Tue, Nov 28, 23
Indoor Wireless internet (Wifi) became part of people’s lives and part of the utility(water and electricity) in other countries. Some can’t live without it because the wifi medium is a convenient way to transfer internet and data through the air seamlessly. Obtaining the best wifi coverage is not that easy as some obstacles and elements can cause problems or even enhance the wifi signal.
We will be discussing some quick frequently asked questions (FAQ) to give users the best Wifi performance.
Q: Where is the best possible place to install a wifi access point?
A: As central and open air as possible to connect maximum devices.
Q: Why is there packet drops and disconnections?
A: First check if the signal level is stronger than -70db and ensure that the channel in use is open. (Use the wifi analyser app on android phones for the best results). Furthermore, try and change the channel width from 40Mhz to 20Mhz; this will allow better penetration but less throughput.
Q: Can speakers or strong magnets have an effect on the wifi signal ?
A: Yes and Yes. Magnets can cause huge packet loss and even change the frequency that is currently being used. Therefore, try to keep access points and any antennas away from magnets.
Q: Through how many walls can I transmit a Wifi signal ?
A: The best practice is to prevent any wall type penetration. Even though wall type penetration is possible, the consequences include losing half or more of your Wifi throughput potential. Wifi can be transmitted through at least one concrete wall and up to three wooden or dry walls. Going through glass and other reflective surfaces can enhance the Wifi coverage when installed properly.
Q: My Wifi is still slow after installing a 300Mbps or 1.2Gbps router. What now ?
A: Make sure that all devices are running on the same 300Mbps or 1.2Gbps 802.11n or AC protocol and does not use old Wifi (150Mbps and 54Mbps) equipment. This can bring the total Wifi speed down running in hybrid mode. Try to force your equipment to use the highest speed available in order to determine which device needs to be upgraded.
Q: I need to extend my Wifi coverage to another part of the building; can I use a repeater ?
A: A repeater is not a permanent solution and should not be looked at as a primary solution. This can half the Wifi speed and cause interference for itself and other devices. We suggest using another access point that is connected via a cable to the network, thus giving it another channel. Furthermore, we suggest to use the same ssid name to cause less confusion.