• 12/03/2015
    8:00 AM
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7 WiFi Killers That May Surprise You

That festive holiday decor could be slowing your WLAN performance. Learn about little known and unusual sources of wireless interference.


cordless phones

Thanks for this list Lee! I didn't know about the cordless phone problem. I wish I had known what to look for when I bought my cordless phone replacement a couple years ago!

Re: cordless phones

Unfortunately, the cordless phone thing can be downright rediculous. I have studied phones that were labelled as 5.8 GHz only, and watched them change frequency to 2.4 GHz when you move them beyond a certain range away from the base. Same with 2.4 GHz phones changing to 900 MHz or even 400 MHz, with no mention of these in the data sheets. Then there are the "digital" phones that aren't- that can be heard clearly on a scanner.  Though this is an older article I wrote from a periodical no longer in print, it tells all about the phone wonkiness:



Re: cordless phones

This was a really good reference for things to look out for when troubleshooting Wi-Fi.  

Many of these I wasn't aware of and now can consider when Wi-Fi issues appear.


"but can drive you nuts when they disrupt your streaming video while coworkers are nuking their burritos" haha this is so true !

Great article thanks 

Aluminum and Christmas Decorations

Also watch out for Aluminum Blinds, Aluminum reflectors in light fixtures and Christmas tree decoration.

I ran into a problem on our campus with a person who had aluminum blinds in their window. The AP was right outside her door. Pull up the blinds and you had full Wi-Fi Signal. Drop the blinds and zero signal.

 Also ran into a situation with dramatically reduce Wi-FI signal in a classroom. Turns out the ceiling lighting fixture had a aluminum reflector. Moved the AP a few ceiling tiles and problem went away.

 I have an interference problem right now in a large auditorium with all the decoration and a large Christmas tree affecting not only the Wi-Fi, but also the wireless microphones and monitors.

 A spectrum analyzer help in tracking down the culprits and helps show the staff and students the reasons for the interference.


Re: Aluminum and Christmas Decorations

Thanks for chiming in with this advice @tgawel! Very helpful. Did it take a while to figure out that the aluminum blinds in that office were the culprit?

Re: Aluminum and Christmas Decorations

Alarm clocks with a wireless outdoor temperature sensor can also cause interference and the worst part is that in the whole troubleshooting process, the alarm clock is the last device that one would consider as the problem. It is another instance where a spectrum analyzer can save countless hours. Installing a quick app on a phone can also provide some insight on the type of RF that occupies a location. 

Thank for Sharing

Some of these could be the reason for my slow Wifi. Will have it checked. Thank you so much for sharing. Was surprised that bluetooth is included on the list.

Re: Thank for Sharing

Glad you liked the list! Thanks for chiming in here.