How to Stop Bluetooth and WiFi Interference


How to Stop Bluetooth and WiFi Interference

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shutterstock_120828007The advent of Bluetooth and WiFi has led to more devices than ever being deployed in the same area, and the result of this can be interference and reduced performance. This article looks at the effects interference can have, some of the possible causes of interference and finally some ways to reduce or eliminate interference with your Bluetooth and WiFi devices

What interference can do

If devices on a WiFi network or Bluetooth connection experience interference, this can slow their performance considerably. It can also reduce the range of wireless coverage between devices and can cause the wireless connection to drop out intermittently or even fail altogether.

What causes interference

Because Bluetooth and wireless devices operate in the 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz bandwidth, any other nearby wireless devices operating in that bandwidth can cause interference. Some common sources of interference include:

  • Satellite dishes, cables or connections
  • Microwave ovens
  • Power lines or nearby power stations
  • Cordless telephones
  • Wireless speakers
  • LCD displays and monitors
  • Baby monitors
  • Other nearby WiFi networks.

Another common source of interference can be physical barriers posed by the structure of buildings. Metal, concrete and plaster all pose a high risk of interference, while glass and wood are less of a problem.

How to reduce interference

There are several things you can try to reduce or eliminate interference with your Bluetooth or WiFi devices. These include:

  • Use one of the apps that are now available to scan the area around you and determine the frequencies nearby networks and devices are operating at. These apps will not only show you the most common frequencies, but will also recommend which frequency you should switch to for the least amount of interference.
  • Reset the base station on your network, as when it starts up it will automatically default to the frequency with the least traffic and interference.
  • Reduce the number of devices you have operating in the same area. If they are non-essential devices such as Bluetooth radios, consider disconnecting them.
  • Reduce the load on your WiFi network by plugging some of your devices directly into the routers via cables.
  • Move your base station. If structural barriers are causing interference or there are too many other wireless devices nearby that cannot be moved, consider moving your base station to a less congested area.

Interference reduces efficiency by slowing performance, so if you are experiencing interference in your office environment then try implementing some of the suggestions offered here. You may find that one or two small adjustments will be all that are needed to get your Bluetooth and WiFi devices back up to speed.

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