What's killing your Wi-Fi?

Wi-Fi

We reveal the hidden and unexpected threats to your wireless network and how to banish them

Appallingly slow speeds, dropped connections, and routers that are working fine one minute and apparently drop off the face of the Earth the next – anyone who has ever set up a Wi-Fi network will have battled with these problems.

Despite huge advances in speed and range, Wi-Fi remains one of the most unreliable everyday technologies, according to industry experts.

“People calling in with problems attributed to Wi-Fi is a significant part of our call base,” said Adrian Pote, general manager of broadband devices at BT, Britain’s biggest ISP.

In this feature, we’re going to find out exactly what Wi-Fi’s problem is.

We take an in-depth look at exactly how Wi-Fi and its various standards, bands and channels operate, so you have a full understanding of what you’re dealing with.

We’ve canvassed wireless industry experts to uncover the Wi-Fi killers – the factors that can suddenly and mysteriously deprive you of an internet connection.

From flaws in wireless routers’ default settings, to the wrong choice of security protocol, to the gadget installed in next door’s lounge, we’ll help you identify the factors that could be hobbling your router’s performance.

Finally, we’ll show you how to diagnose and fix the problems you encounter on your wireless network. We’ll explain how to use a combination of free utilities and specialist equipment to hunt down interference on your network, or extend its range and speed.

We’ll also offer advice on where to best place your router to avoid running into trouble in the future.

Find out what's killing your Wi-Fi:

How Wi-Fi works

The Wi-Fi killers

What can get in Wi-Fi's way

Fixing Wi-Fi problems

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Analysis