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General Wireless Tips
FAQ ID: 2123 Product: WirelessUpdated:9/23/2022 4:31:03 PM

The following are some general wireless tips to help minimize the impact of interference within an environment.

Assign your network a unique SSID. Do not use anything that would be identifying like "Smith Family Network". Choose something that you would easily identify when searching for available wireless networks.

Do not turn off the SSID broadcast. The SSID broadcast is intended to be on and turning it off can cause connectivity issues. The preferred method of securing a wireless network is to choose a strong form of encryption with a strong and varied encryption key.

Note: after setting up the SSID, encryption type and encryption key/passphrase, please make a note of them for future reference. You will need this information to connect your wireless computers to the wireless Router/access point.

Change the channel. Most wireless access points and Routers are defaulted to channel 6. If you have a site survey tool that will display the channels you can plan your channel selection around neighboring access points to minimize interference from them. If your site survey tool does not display the channel try using channels 1 or 11.

For 802.11n performance you must use WPA2 AES security.

Note: Due to Wi-Fi certification considerations if you choose WEP, WPA or WPA2-TKIP encryption this device may operate in legacy wireless mode (802.11b/g). You may not get 802.11n performance as these forms of encryption are not supported by the 802.11n specification.

Please also make sure that the wireless hardware is not placed in any type of shelving or enclosures.

Avoid stacking hardware on top of each other to prevent overheating issues. Maintain enough free space around the hardware for good ventilation and airflow. There should also be plenty of free space around the antennas to allow the wireless signal to propagate.

There are a number of other environmental factors that can impact the range of wireless devices.

  • Adjust your wireless devices so that the signal is traveling in a straight path, rather than at an angle. The more material the signal has to pass through the more signal you will lose.
  • Keep the number of obstructions to a minimum. Each obstruction can reduce the range of a wireless device. Position the wireless devices in a manner that will minimize the amount of obstructions between them.
  • Building materials can have a large impact on your wireless signal. In an indoor environment, try to position the wireless devices so that the signal passes through less dense material such as dry wall. Dense materials like metal, solid wood, glass or even furniture may block or degrade the signal.
  • Antenna orientation can also have a large impact on your wireless signal. Use the wireless adapter's site survey tool to determine the best antenna orientation for your wireless devices.
  • Interference from devices that produce RF (radio frequency) noise can also impact your signal. Position your wireless devices away from anything that generates RF noise, such as microwaves, HAM radios, Walkie-Talkies and baby monitors.
  • Any device operating on the 2.4GHz frequency will cause interference. Devices such as 2.4GHz cordless phones or other wireless remotes operating on the 2.4GHz frequency can potentially drop the wireless signal. Although the phone may not be in use, the base can still transmit wireless signal. Move the phone's base station as far away as possible from your wireless devices.

If you are still experiencing low or no signal consider repositioning the wireless devices or installing additional access points. The use of higher gain antennas may also provide the necessary coverage depending on the environment.

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