Wireless issues

+3 votes

I'm currently having issues with my wireless speeds. Cable connection works perfectly, however when connected through wifi the connection is unusable (high ping, unstable and inconsistent connection and slow speeds). I have done some tests and established that there is a slow throughput between devices connected wirelessly to the router. 

Can you tell me what the cause of the problem is?

asked Feb 25, 2015 in ADSL by kwanda01 (490 points)

1 Answer

0 votes

Wireless technology is radio-based, which means connection performance decreases when the distance between devices increases.

Low or poor signal is mainly caused by five (5) major factors:

  • Distance problems
  • Physical obstructions
  • Wireless interferences
  • Outdated firmware on the router
  • Power outage

 Distance problems

Wireless devices have limitations when it comes to their signal range.  If your wireless network devices are too far from each other, consider relocating the devices.  Remember that distance is directly proportional to signal strength.  The farther you are from the access point or router, the weaker the signal.
To check if you're getting a stable connection, perform a continuous ping.  If you're getting replies most of the time, this means the connection is stable.  If time outs are occurring frequently, the connection is not that stable.

Physical obstructions

Wireless networks are also susceptible to obstructions that may lead to low signal. Oftentimes, the signal gets reflected, refracted, or absorbed by the obstruction.

Common obstructions are:

  • Cabinets or drawers
  • Mirrors, glasses
  • Metal objects
  • Thick walls and ceilings
  • Aquariums

If you have any of these objects between your wireless adapter and access point, consider relocating your access point or router somewhere high to get around the obstruction.

Routers have a default broadcast range that is dependent on their wireless networking standard (Wireless -B, -A, -G, -N, -AC draft) and the wireless signals broadcasted by the router may not be able to completely penetrate thick walls and other common obstructions.

Wireless interferences

Common sources of interference are:

  • Neighboring wireless networks
  • Microwave ovens
  • 2.4 GHz cordless telephones
  • Bluetooth® devices
  • Wireless baby monitors

To solve the problem, change the channel and SSID on your access point or router.  Preferred channels to use are 1, 6, 9 and 11 since they're considered as non-overlapping channels.  To learn how to change your network's wireless channel, click here.

If you are not sure about the settings, it is best to leave it at its default settings.  The channel is set to Auto by default.  This automatically defines the best wireless channel for your wireless network.

Outdated firmware on the router

Outdated firmware on the router can sometimes cause connection issues in your network.  To fix this, you need to upgrade the firmware of your router.  To learn how to update your Belkin router's firmware, click here.

Power outage

One factor that may also trigger the poor performance or loss of wireless signals coming from the router would be power/electricity interruptions.  If you are not able to acquire any wireless signal after a power outage, you may powercycle the router by unplugging and re-plugging the power cord.

However, if the powercycle still does not resolve the problem, you may need to reconfigure the wireless settings of your router.

answered Feb 26, 2015 by AfriDude (43,970 points)