Rok Ruzic

Nov 16, 2016

Five things in your home that are killing your WiFi

In many of our homes, WiFi signal is not what it could be, should be, and what you could make it to be. Electromagnetic signals, which is what WiFi routers use to transfer their data, are vulnerable to a number of types of barriers, many of which can commonly be found in our homes.

Here is a list of the lesser-known obstacles getting in the way of your WiFi…

Mirrors

It might seem odd to some, but mirrors are a major source of electromagnetic interference in a modern home. The mirror metal backing that reflects light so well also reflects your WiFi signal- the better part of it- and maintains the WiFi signal structure relatively well. That reflection then destructively interferes with your WiFi router’s transmitted signal, and decreases its strength. The effect increases with mirror size, and decreases with distance between your router and the mirror.

WiFi signals that need to pass thru one or more mirrors may result in rather large dead spots in the home.

Household appliances

Did you ever get the idea to hide that horrendous eyesore of a router behind your big screen TV? Or to squeeze it between your stereo equalizer and that big subwoofer next to it to keep it out of sight? That solution might somewhat lessen the injury to your acute sense of aesthetics, but it will also significantly worsen your WiFi signal.

Stunting the WiFi signal strength at its source will lessen the overall range.

Reinforced concrete

Concrete in itself is a dense material, and is only semi-permeable to electromagnetic signals, especially 5GHz. The reinforcing steel rebar in the concrete, somewhat depending on its denseness, pulls even more juice out of your signal.

The 5GHz band is the faster of the two WiFi bands, and with severe penalties for passing through concrete walls it is no secret that fast WiFi in even small high rise apartments can be a challenge.

Energy Efficient Windows

Windows coated with transparent metallic films such as Low-E (low emissivity) to help with energy consumption can kill your WiFi signal in a — similar way to mirrors. The metallic films reflect light and other waves, including WiFi signals, so, these are the typical double-pane windows that are awesome for the environment, are not so awesome for wireless signals.

Metallic blinds

Did you ever wonder why WiFi signal on your terrace can be so horribly bad, but in the room just a foot away it is excellent? If you have metallic blinds in that room, then you may have your answer. Metallic blinds will diminish your WiFi signal. Add to that a double pane of windows with metallic blinds and you may find your WiFi router not doing the job.

How to fix it with Plume?

One could go around the home removing mirrors, knocking down walls, pulling up the blinds and keeping windows open to help give your WiFi a fighting chance, but there is a more elegant solution with Plume Pods. Improving the WiFi coverage requires more WiFi access points spread out in each room of the home. This gives your WiFi enough oomph to power through the mirror or better yet go around it through the hallway Plume Pod.

wifi tech mesh networks internet of things