Optimise your Router for a stable Wireless Connection

Wireless networking can be a blessing and a curse: great when it works and a mind-numbing frustration when it doesn't. A common complaint among many who have moved to Wi-Fi is that their wireless connection mysteriously fades in and out.

These two steps will help you create a stable, always-on wireless connection.

1. Replace your cordless phone. Cordless phones are among the worst sources of interference for wireless networks. They tend to transmit at a higher power output than Wi-Fi gear, making them louder and therefore harder to talk over, and they tend to transmit frequently, especially when the handset and base station are separated. Some 2.4GHz cordless phones let you select a channel, in which case you can try separating the phone's frequency from the frequency of your wireless network. For example, set your phone to channel 1 and your wireless router to channel 11. If your phone doesn't let you select a channel, try putting some distance between your phone and your router. Generally, it's not a good idea to place a cordless phone next to a Wi-Fi router. If this doesn't help, consider replacing your 2.4GHz phone with a 5GHz phone. This way, your phone and network won't be sharing the same airspace and won't interfere with each other.

2. Expand your wireless network. The farther you are from your wireless router, the greater the potential for interference to block or to slow your connection. For example, you may be able to connect just fine in your house, but on your patio, you may have an intermittent connection that disappears whenever your neighbour is using her cordless phone. The signal on your patio may be too weak to cope with the interference coming from the house next door. You can strengthen the connection with antennas or repeaters, or you can use a power-line bridge to import the connection from your router to your patio and feed it into a power-line access point. Instead of the weak signal from your distant router, you now have a strong signal from an access point placed right where you want to buttress your coverage area.

Helpful Advice from those Friendly People at DOT-COMmunICaTions