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WiFi Signals

WiFi signals are unstable, line-of-sight radio waves that can be affected by people, radio/cellular signals (mobile phones, TV remotes), picture frames, walls, appliances, and pretty much anything else that is in between your computer and the router. Believe it or not, even the Sunlight, wind, humidity, and temperature can also have an affect on them.

Internet Routers

The router is the base where all communications to the internet takes place. There 2 common types of routers are Mesh and Traditional.

Now there is really no clear cut way to say which would work better for your home as they both perform the job in different ways. However, if you have a lot of dead zones, walls, and multiple floors you generally want a Mesh system.

Router Traditional Mesh
Number of nodes 12-3+
CostLowerTypically higher
SetupSimpleSlightly harder
Speed Generally fasterUsually slightly slower
Coverage area1,500 to 3,000 sq ft1,500 to 6,000 sq ft
Coverage rangeLessMore
Number of devicesLessMore

Understanding WiFi Networks

Because WiFi signals are transmitted by radio waves, most routers these days offer 3 separate networks for connecting to it - these are 2.4ghz, 5ghz, and WiFi 6. Each of these networks also has it's own speed limitations and ranges. We could get into real technical talk about this but for our purposes all we need to understand that...

Network Range Speed Interference
2.4Ghz Long Slow More Prone
5Ghz Short Fast Less Prone
Wifi 6 Short Fast More Prone

Beware of WiFi "Vampires"

Whether you realize it or not you probably have a lot of WiFi "Vampires" in your home. These are any and all devices that are connected to your WiFi network that even when they are "off" they are continually sucking up WiFi trying to ensure they are connected. So in all reality they are never "off" the internet.

Some of these are...

  • Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Microsoft Home.
  • Smart TV's, Smart Plugs, Smart Refrigerators, Smart Washers/Dryers, pretty much everything "smart".
  • Wireless/WiFi Security Systems, Ring Doorbells, WiFi Cameras
  • WiFi enabled sound systems and speakers such as Soundbars and Sonos.
  • Apple TV's, Roku's, Fire Sticks, Google Cast Devices.
  • Cable / Satellite TV set-top boxes (they use WiFi for On-Demand content and updates) and Internet TV systems like Xfinity X1, AT&T TV, SlingBox, Spectrum, suddenLink, etc. and some COX packages.
  • Computers, mobile phones and tablets. Especially older ones greater than 2 years.