6 Reasons Why Your WiFi Keeps Disconnecting and How to Fix It

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Whether you’re in the final stages of researching a major article, on a Zoom call for work, or just gripped by the season finale of “Ozark,” a dropped WiFi connection at an inopportune time is a huge buzzkill. People deal with this modern annoyance all the time, sometimes for months before they do anything. Here are some of the most common reasons why this happens and what you can do about it:

1. Too many devices are connected

Back then, the average household had a computer or two to get online. Now, with smartphones, iPads, smart TVs and more, it doesn’t take long for WiFi to jump on the fight bus. “Amazingly, even if a connected device is not actively sending/receiving data, it will still consume some of the available bandwidth,” says Neil Parker, CTO and co-founder of the live wedding app. Lovecast, in an email. “This means that if you have many devices connected, you may start to see slowdowns or drops in your WiFi connection.”

The fix: Parker says the first and easiest solution is to disconnect unused devices from your WiFi. The easiest way to do this is to just change your WiFi password, which will launch everyone. Then you can allow only certain devices to join. “If that’s not possible, you can also try changing bands (maybe connect to the 5 GHz band instead of the 2.4 GHz band where it can be less crowded),” he suggests. he. In general, the 5 GHz band has faster connectivity but shorter range than the 2.4 GHz band, which has longer range but can be slower. Change the band by accessing the settings of the individual device.

Temporarily reducing heavy Wi-Fi usage can also help, for example, stopping playing or downloading a movie.

Finally, you may need to upgrade your connectivity. First, run a speed test to check your current speed. (Google “speed test” to see a list of websites where you can do this.) You may have too many devices connected for the internet speed you’re paying for. If so, contact your ISP to upgrade. But you might want to try some of our other fixes before you spend the money.

2. The router is in a bad location

This is the most common reason for WiFi failure, explains Aseem Kishore, founder of Help Desk Geek in an email. If your access point is buried three doors down in a closet, and the device you’re trying to connect it with is approaching the outer limits of its signal range, you’re going to experience a signal drop of up to until you move your device closer to the access point,” he says.

The fix: Install the router in the room where you plan to use WiFi as close or as close as possible. Mike Dragan, COO of event app Oveit, advises elevating the router so there are no obstructions in the way and placing it as close to the middle of the house as possible. “You should also stay away from reflective objects like glass, mirrors, and metal, as WiFi signals tend to bounce off them,” he explains via email.

3. You get radio interference

“Most of us place our WiFi routers next to our cordless phones, Bluetooth devices, and smart TVs, which causes all these different signals to interfere and eventually cause the signal to drop. If you’ve ever wondered why your phone stops receiving WiFi when you’re next to the microwave, say hello to radio interference,” says Kishore. Radio interference can also occur if you live in an apartment or condo building and everyone everyone has their own Wi-Fi router nearby.

The fix: Change the channel your WiFi operates on. “Use an app like WiFi Analyzer that tells you which WiFi channels are being used the most. Choose a channel that’s being used the least,” radio engineer Sam Brown emailed wireless technology blog OneSDR. “Alternatively, switch to the 5 GHz band. In general, this is a very good solution for WiFi in buildings where there may be hundreds of access points operating in the very popular 2.4 GHz band but relatively few of them operating at 5 GHz.”

4. The wireless card needs to be updated

Drivers for electronic devices, like printers and computers, require semi-regular updates or they won’t work well. If you’re having trouble with Wi-Fi drops (especially if it’s a single device), check to see if the device drivers need to be updated.

The fix: As with other types of tech, you’ll need to go straight to the source to fix this pickle. “To upgrade your wireless card drivers, go to the manufacturer’s website and get the latest versions,” emailed Steve Scott, CTO of Spreadsheet Planet.

5. The router needs a break

People are quite punitive for devices. We keep cell phones, laptops, and all manner of digital devices turned on at all times, whether or not we’re using them and expecting them to perform to their maximum potential. Routers are no exception to this habit, but they also need the occasional downtime!

The fix: Turn off your router and modem and keep them unplugged for at least 30 seconds, says Stewart McGrenary, director of Freedom Mobiles. Then restart them in this order: “First connect the modem and wait for it to connect completely. Then you’ll need to turn on your router. Sometimes that’s all that’s needed,” he says.

6. You need new equipment

Sometimes not all reboots and repositions make things better. In these cases, it is probably time to adopt a new technology. “Older routers are becoming less and less compatible with newer services,” says Gadget Review CEO Christen Costa via email. “You might find it works after a reset…for a while. But eventually you’ll need to get a newer router.” If you rent from your Wi-Fi provider, make sure you’re using an up-to-date version. If you own one, it’s probably time to bite the bullet and buy a new one.

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