So you’re about to start your shift working remotely at home when you realise your wireless connection to your laptop or desktop has the dreaded yellow exclamation mark – your connection to the world wide web is broken. You have done all the usual checks such as checking your modem and have troubleshooted but it still won’t connect. Have no fear! A guide to Wifi signal issues is here.
Sometimes your modem or internet connection from your provider isn’t the problem. It can all come down to just the simple position of your modem. The strength of the signal can also vary greatly depending on the type of modem you have. Simply moving your home-office closer to the modem or moving the modem closer to where you are working might be the key. Before you start seeing red (or yellow), read the tips below to find out what else could be causing a broken connection.
- You need to be aware of is what material your house is made of. A reflective sheeting within the walls of your house (or sarking) is used in almost all houses to reach the 5-star energy rating that is required by law for any new build or extension. This helps insulate your house, to keep the heat in winter, and the heat out during summer. However, it is this sarking that can cause havoc with your wireless connection. Let’s say you have added a new extension to the house and have put sarking in all four walls of this extension, and you have placed the modem in the older section of your house. If you tried working in the new area, you will mostly have difficulty connecting because you have blocked the signal from the modem with the sarking. So how would you get around this issue? You could try moving closer to the modem or moving the modem closer to you. Or another option is to get a newer modem with a stronger signal and place it in the roof. This way the signal should be evenly distributed in all parts of your home.
- If you live in a townhouse and one of your walls is directly joined onto another townhouse or if you live in an apartment or unit complex often these types of housing will cause problems with the wifi signal. Because you are so close together, other tenants might also have a modem which is interfering with your signal. So how can you fix this problem? You could invest in what is called a booster which is a device that reads the signal your modem is putting out and then the booster changes the channel the wifi is using. Thus, the signal you are connected to is not the same channel everyone else is using. You can also change the channel manually yourself following instructions from your internet service provider (also known as your ISP).
- OR if you live in an apartment, you will most likely have a load-bearing wall located somewhere within the apartment. These walls are built with a lot more reinforcement compared to other walls within a house/unit/apartment making the wall a lot more dense and thicker. This in turn could affect the signal if your modem is on one side of the wall and your work area is set up on the other side.
- Baby monitors can affect the signal, as can some wireless cameras and microwaves. If you are on a wireless call which keeps dropping try turning off the camera or microwave temporarily to see if this helps.
- Sometimes a metal frame to a house can cause interference. Especially for those who are located close together such as a multi-complex/duplex. There isn’t too much you can do for this, aside from trying to tips above, move the modem or the office or try a booster.
- Sometimes the Modem just needs a kick start, like you ready for your morning coffee. Turn the modem off and after 30 seconds turn it back on. This simple tip sometimes helps to ready the modem for the day ahead.
Before calling your IT company or Internet provider, be sure to check these 6 tips to make sure that your signal is not blocked and/or in need of a reboot.
*Remember, the above advice is a guide only. There can be many variables when it comes to isolating why a connection might be broken. Before you grab and test your modem up in the roof, it might be best to get an electrician and they can wire it up safely for you and then you can reconnect or call your IT provider to connect it for you.