Cause of the dead zones of reception of the wifi signal, how to find them, and how to solve and capture the signal as best as possible.
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How to find Wi-Fi dead zones
A dead zone is simply a space inside our apartment, office, or any other area where the wifi doesn’t take. In the following chapters, we will try to understand what causes this dead zone and what we can do to avoid it or at least minimize its effects on network coverage.
What causes Wi-Fi dead zone?
The most common cause of the dead zone for wireless networks is the distance from the signal source. If you live in a large house or office and the wireless router is in one corner of the building, there may be a dead zone in the opposite corner of the building that is not reached by the Wi-Fi signal. After all, the houses were certainly not built with the spread of the signal in mind, and often the fault is the thick walls, crossed by metal elements that interfere with the wireless. Large metal objects such as cabinets or doors certainly do not favor the diffusion of the signal.
Others electronic devices present in the Wi-Fi path can then interfere and create new dead zones: a cordless phone, a microwave oven, a baby monitor, a wireless burglar alarm and a wireless audio system are classic trouble-making items.
For those who live in heavily populated neighborhoods or large apartment buildings where everyone has their own wireless router, Wi-Fi coverage can be affected by constant interference. More specifically, if neighbors have their Wi-Fi networks on the same wireless channel as ours, this can reduce network signal strength or even produce dead zones.
How to find Wi-Fi dead zones
We don’t have to use a PC program to find these dead zones; nowadays we can rely on the faithful smartphone or tablet to check if the Wi-Fi network catches up in the whole house: on balance, if the signal strength drops to zero, here is the dead zone; if the signal is picked up at a very low level this is also a problem, because an unstable signal can cause lower speeds.
If we use an Android device we can track Wi-Fi dead zones in the home or office using a free app such as WiFi Heatmap, available from the Google Play Store.
By downloading this app and starting it we will be able to scan the cover of the Wi-Fi network for every corner of the house, the only thing we have to do is turn slowly for all the rooms! Once the tour is over we will have a map of the house or office with a green map where the signal is excellent, a yellowish color where the signal is good, and the red areas where the signal is poor or even absent.
Another app that we can use to map the Wi-Fi network is Network Analyzer, available free for Android and for iPhone / iPad.
With this app, we can check the intensity of the Wi-Fi signal in every corner of the house, check the connection speed, the distance from the modem, and the level of interference with nearby Wi-Fi networks.
To find other useful apps to use on Wi-Fi networks, we recommend reading our guides Compare WiFi networks to find the best one (WiFi Analyzers) e 10 Wi-Fi network scanner app for Android.
How to eliminate or minimize Wi-Fi dead zones
Once you understand where the dead zones of the Wi-Fi network we are using are, we recommend that you follow the simple tips below to try to eliminate or minimize the impact of the dead zones:
- Relocate the router: if the router is in a far corner, it is better to place it in a more central area of the home or office, if necessary also using telephone extension cables or Ethernet cables of at least 10 meters.
- If the modem or router is equipped with antennas, move them away from each other so as to avoid interference between them and cover a larger area (sometimes even 2cm of distance is enough to get good results).
- Try to eliminate obstacles, especially electronic devices near the modem or router.
- Let’s change the Wireless channel and find the most powerful one and less congested.
- We use a Wireless repeater o Range Extender to expand the network. This type of repeater costs very little, they connect to electrical sockets and are simple to configure, as also seen in our guide How does the wifi repeater or “Range Extender” work and which one to buy.
- Alternatively, we can use a Wi-Fi Powerline and take advantage of the home electrical network, as seen in the guide Internet on the electrical outlet with the Powerline.
- To cover the whole house we can also focus on WiFi Mesh technology, which uses various routers positioned in strategic points, as seen in the article Mesh WiFi: how to increase wireless coverage.
- Use a wired connection or connect two routers together. If there is good wireless coverage throughout the house except in one room, you can run an Ethernet cable from the router to the bedroom and connect it to another wireless router in the room; for more information, we can read our guide on how to connect two wireless routers together.
By following the proposed suggestions we will be able to bypass the Wi-Fi dead zones and increase the coverage of the Wi-Fi signal in every corner of the house or office.
Wi-Fi dead zones can be a problem, particularly in large homes, huge open spaces for office use, or homes that use old stone walls. Electromagnetic waves respond to precise laws of physics and it is not possible to extend them without using one or more tricks among those reported in the guide above: if the problem is evident and we need total coverage, we advise you to focus on wireless repeaters or WiFi Mesh to solve any signal problem.
Always on the same topic, we can read our guides Strengthen the wifi signal and avoid frequent disconnections and What slows down the speed of the Wifi network and the internet connection.