Perhaps you’ve noticed that your internet connection has become slower than usual. Then, you start wondering what materials can block your WiFi signal.
Anything from furniture to your windows’ glass can slow down your internet! This article will share all the materials that might block your WiFi signal and how to avoid such frustrating situations.
Table of Contents
- What Is a WiFi Signal?
- Materials that Block Your WiFi Signal
- How Do You Gauge the WiFi Signal?
- Solutions for Wi-Fi Interference
What Is a WiFi Signal?
The quicker the transfer rate of these signals, the better connection quality you will get when using your wireless gadget.
Unfortunately, particular substances can interfere with this transmission rate, resulting in weak signals or slow connections.
Woman hand using a smartphone with a wifi icon
Materials that Block Your WiFi Signal
Now let’s take a look at some of the most common materials that can disrupt your wireless connection:
Metals such as steel and aluminum are highly reflective regarding radio waves and can easily reflect or absorb them before they reach their intended destination.
It might interfere with your connection if you have metal furniture near your router or access point.
Solid concrete walls are a common building material for stability and soundproofing, yet, they can block out valuable Wi-Fi frequencies, potentially affecting your connection speeds.
The greater the wall’s thickness, the slower your data transfers will be. Therefore, if you have any solid concrete walls at home or work, it’s probable that they are interrupting your device’s signals from reaching their destination.
A concrete wall
Plaster and Metal Lath
Plaster and metal lath have the power to weaken your signal seriously.
The Plaster walls are too absorbent, thus preventing radio waves from penetrating, whereas metal lath reflects them like a reflection in a mirror, effectively hindering their progress.
Ceramic tile is a noble material used in many homes and businesses. Unfortunately, this material is not ideal for transmitting WiFi signals as it absorbs radio waves like a sponge.
Ceramic tiles near your router make it harder to achieve optimum signal speeds.
A white tile background
Windows and Tinted Glass
Windows and tinted glass can block out WiFi signals due to the special type of heat-insulating glass.
This same material absorbs radio frequencies so that any device inside won’t get a Wi-Fi connection, even if outside is strong and available.
In other words, these windows might look like regular ones, but when it comes to wireless connections, they offer no chance for success!
While mirrors can be great accents for any room, they are not conducive to maintaining a strong WiFi connection.
It is because mirrors reflect radio waves, creating what’s referred to as a “dead zone” and preventing signals from breaking through.
Black frame mirror
Drywall consists of a gypsum board sandwiched between two layers of paper, making it lightweight yet strong enough for construction purposes.
However, this material will cause interference when placed too close to routers and other electronic devices such as TVs.
2.4 GHz Frequency Gadgets
The 2.4 GHz frequency is popular among many household electrical components, such as microwaves, Bluetooth speakers, baby monitors, cordless phones, etc.
These devices all operate at similar frequencies, which could cause interference with one another if too many operate simultaneously.
This interference could lead to slower speeds than usual or even complete loss of connection, depending on how much traffic is within range.
Bluetooth technology works based on frequency hopping, which uses multiple channels to achieve stable connections while avoiding interference.
When Bluetooth devices get within range of Wi-Fi ones, they can interfere with and disrupt wireless traffic.
This results in lagging or delays, which are not preferable for anyone using either technology.
Neighbor’s WiFi Network
If you live in a densely populated neighborhood, chances are good that you will experience some interference from nearby networks.
It happens because many people set up routers close together, leading to overlapping channels that cause service disruptions.
If possible, it would be best to move away from competing networks.
Water can be a formidable foe for Wi-Fi networks, as its ability to absorb radio frequencies impedes connection speeds and stability.
For example, your router or access point near a lake or swimming pool may slow down or lose signal completely.
Moreover, living in humid regions can also adversely affect the quality of your network due to moisture in the air distorting signals.
Blue-colored clear, calm water
Your home appliances may emit hazardous electromagnetic radiation (EMR) that could disrupt your router’s connection speed or even cause it to disconnect.
Items such as fridges and air conditioners are potential sources of this EMR; therefore, you should consider their distance from the router for optimal internet performance.
You might not be aware, but furniture can interfere with your Wi-Fi connection.
Massive furniture made from metal or wood, such as sofas and bookcases, can obstruct signals and reduce your network’s strength.
To ensure you don’t experience weak connections on any device that requires a strong signal, try to keep large items away between your router and those devices.
Big, blue, and cozy corner sofa
How Do You Gauge the WiFi Signal?
We usually indicate WiFi signal intensity in decibels (dB), a logarithmic unit that measures radio wave magnitude.
Generally, we represent dBm with negative numbers; the power range fluctuates from -30 to -90 dBm. The closer this value comes to -30 dBm, the more robust and dependable your wireless network connection will be.
On the other hand, when it reaches near-90 levels of DBs, your connection is usually spotty and unreliable.
- -30 dBm: This figure symbolizes the most optimal Wireless signal you can get, and it’s usually only achievable when standing right next to your WiFi router.
- -50 dBm: Any number within this range ensures an impressive signal quality experience.
- -60 dBm: You will assure a reliable connection with this amount of strength in play.
- -70 dBm: Not a sturdy signal at all, unfortunately.
- -80 dBm: The movement of data may become unstable under these conditions; be aware!
- -90dB m or lower: The wireless connection is nearly impossible.
A man relaxing on a sofa with no network tablet pc
Solutions for Wi-Fi Interference
If you’re experiencing Wi-Fi signal interference issues, some steps can help restore your connection.
Test Your Wi-Fi Signal Strength
Testing your Wi-Fi network is essential to understand the extent of disruption you are dealing with.
An app such as Network Analyzer will provide a full picture of what’s going on and potential sources of electromagnetic interference.
Move Your Router or Gateway
Finding the best spot for your wireless router or gateway eliminates interference and ensures a steady connection in all parts of your home.
By giving your wireless device more space, you can guarantee that everyone can access an optical signal without disruptions.
Change Your Wi-Fi Channels
To maximize your wireless connection, you can easily modify the Wi-Fi channel utilized by your wireless router or gateway.
When selecting a new wireless channel, it’s necessary to ensure that its frequency doesn’t overlap with networks in neighboring areas.
Moreover, make clear channels used by popular public spaces such as airports and shopping centers.
Wireless device for the broadband network in an office
Hardwiring a Wi-Fi Extender
Hardwiring your router or gateway to an access point like a Wi-Fi extender is one of the best solutions to ensure fast and dependable internet access all around the home.
Not only will you have higher signal strength, but it also eliminates any possibility of interference that could affect your connection.
Shield Against EMR
To protect your home from excess Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR), you can use materials such as aluminum foil and specific paints to shield it.
It helps ensure that the router stays secure from any external sources that could interfere with its connection speed or cause it to disconnect. Additionally, these measures reduce the radiation released by the device for extra safety.
Man connects the internet cable to the router’s socket
We have identified many materials that could obstruct your WiFi signal, ranging from metal blinds to appliances operating on the same frequency. Now you can take corrective measures to avoid any potential WiFi interference.