The microwave is known to many as a kitchen staple for quick meal preparation. But have you ever noticed disruption to your Wi-Fi signal when you heat up a meal? You’re not alone.
This common yet frequently overlooked issue can seem like a minor inconvenience, but over time, it can lead to disrupted data and prolonged connectivity issues.
Fortunately, this frustrating issue can be resolved with a few simple adjustments.
Microwaves and Wi-Fi: A Radio-Frequency Rivalry
Microwaves and Wi-Fi routers both operate on the 2.4 GHz frequency band. When you turn on your microwave, it emits in this 2.4 GHz range heat your food. At the same time, your Wi-Fi router is trying to send and receive data using radio waves in the same frequency band. As these signals are travelling at the same frequency, they tend to interfere with one another. Think of it as a crowded room where everyone wants to stand in the same spot.
This interference leads to various connectivity issues, from slow loading times to frozen video screens, the disruptions are not just minor annoyances but can be frustrating when users are trying to work from home or simply enjoy a good Netflix binge.
The Domino Effect
When your microwave interferes with your Wi-Fi, it’s not just about momentary glitches or occasional buffering, it’s about losing data packets.
Data packets are like small parcels of information sent from one point to another over your network to allow for the more efficient sharing of information. When your microwave signal interferes, these data packets get lost in transit and be resent, which causes a backlog in the system.
The Microwave is Only the Beginning
Before you decide to ditch your microwave, you should know that they aren’t alone in causing this issue. Baby monitors, cordless office phones, and Bluetooth speakers are also contributors. Whether you’re in a living room or a boardroom, these gadgets can bring your digital operations to a grinding halt if not managed well. This could translate to disrupted data signals, severely impacting productivity.
It is also important to check the age of your microwave. Older microwaves are particularly notorious for disrupting Wi-Fi signals. They lack effective shielding, releasing more interfering signals than newer models. They can also generate harmonic frequencies, which are multiples of the primary frequency and create additional levels of interference.
Solutions for Homes and Offices
Your Wi-Fi router allows you to explore different channels within the same frequency band. Wi-Fi routers operating on the 2.4GHz band typically have channels ranging from 1 to 14. By switching to a different channel, you move your Wi-Fi traffic away from the interference that is generated by your microwave. This is a quick way to sidestep the interference and keep operations running smoothly.
If you can, opt for a dual-band router that lets you switch to a 5 GHz frequency and the latest Wi-Fi 6 standard, which offers faster speeds, improved capacity, and better performance. The 5 GHz frequency is less crowded and less prone to interference, and when combined with the benefits of Wi-Fi 6, you can expect a significant improvement in your internet experience. By simply switching to this higher frequency, you can mitigate the issues of signal disruption and enjoy a more seamless online experience.
Another thing to consider is the distance between your router and your microwave. The closer the device is to your router, the higher the chance of signal disruption.
Ready for Uninterrupted Connectivity?
Your microwave should only be reheating last night’s dinner, not disrupting your Wi-Fi. With a few adjustments, both your domestic Netflix sessions and your high-stakes office video conferences can proceed without a hitch.
Whether you’re running a household or a business, uninterrupted connectivity is a modern-day necessity. Get in touch with us today to learn more about how you can optimise your Wi-Fi experience.