Our neighbors can sometimes be the worst! They’re loud, they’re fighting most of the time, and decide to have parties whenever you finally fall asleep. Tech enthusiasts may let all of this slide, but rage a war when their neighbors start to affect the Wi-Fi connection.

Not a lot of people understand how a Wi-Fi network is connected, and what it means to have other networks in your vicinity. If you happen to live out in the country, you won’t encounter that problem. However, since your neighborhood is most probably backed with people, you’ll have surrounding Wi-Fi networks that can actually affect the performance of your own.

Multiple Wi-Fi networks near each other can interfere and cause a problem to some. Maybe your Wi-Fi experiences difficulties and slow-speed related issues because something is interfering within the surrounding network. It all depends on various factors, including the model and type of your router and that of the neighbor. Let’s go ahead understand more about it:

Wi-Fi Networks Can Interfere Together

Routers require channels in order to operate properly and provide you with a wireless connection. It’s just a bunch of frequencies divided on certain ranges that the router uses to hook up the wireless connection. But when other networks are around you, they sometimes might use the same frequencies; ending up creating channels on frequencies that are being used by other networks. This is how an interference might happen.

If you have a modern router of some type, they usually try to locate the best channel available and use it for the Wi-Fi connection. They can analyze surrounding airwaves and identify what’s being taken. But if you have someone really close to you, your router might choose taken slots. When that happens, your internet speed can be affected drastically. In that case, you should look into changing the channel of your wireless connection. Here’s a video.

2.4 GHz vs. 5 GHz Systems

Networks that are old and 802.11b/g/n will most likely rely on 2.4 GHz range. That might not be the best settings when you’re encountering interference. This channel might even handle more than 14 wireless connection and still present a possibility to overlap. Most probably, if you have more than three networks, your connections will overlap. You can’t physically do anything about it. If your whole house is surrounded with a tinfoil cover, you would be fine. But you obviously don’t live in a pile of leftover food.

But if you do own a modern router, it might come equipped to standardly engage with 5 GHz. The thing about 2.4 GHz is that it can only handle three channels which are non-overlapping. 5 GHz offers you on the other hand 23 channels. Don’t think it will end all possibilities of interference. If you’re still connected on a channel with another network, overlap will happen. It’s just that 5 GHz allows more room for many networks in the vicinity.

It’s better to check whether you’re using which system. Because, if most of your neighbors are using 2.4 GHz as well, this might cause a problem for you. If you’re on good terms with your neighbors, and you’re experiencing difficulties with your wireless connection, you might want to reach out after knowing this information.

Devices Other Than Routers Can Also Interfere

Another detriment to using 2.4 GHz is that devices other than router can interfere with the wireless connection. Cordless phones, for example, use 2.4 GHz in most cases. And that’s not the end of it. Baby monitors and similar devices will also be connecting on the same range. This will probably increase the possibility of an interference, which leads to slow internet speed and performance difficulty.

It’s always better to upgrade your router and use one that runs on 5 GHz. Make sure to set it up not to use any older standards. Since you can’t really control the surrounding area and the devices that engage, upgrade yours and save the hassle.

Don’t Worry, Older Devices Won’t Bother

Some think that even if you get a decent router, you’ll be affected by those around you using terrible devices. The rumor is that any device running on 802.11b will still slow down your connection.

However, as we explained so far, as long as your neighbor is on another channel, you won’t be affected. But if run a 802.11b device on a newer network that is using 802.11n or 802.11g, your speed will be affected drastically. Other devices will try to use methods in order not to harm or damage the 802.11b model on the network.

If you happen to encounter that problem in your house with multiple devices, all you need to do is upgrade any 802.11b ones. Know that they’re pretty outdated by now. The first got first introduced back in 1999, that’s 20 years ago. 802.11g came in 2003 to replace it. The tech world is always evolving, and we need to upgrade to stay on top of the latest innovations and operating systems.

That’s it for now, everyone. We hope you never get to encounter any problems with your wireless connections. If you have slow internet speed at home, you might want to check if your connection is interfering with your neighbors.

With a simple upgrade, you can save yourself the hassle and enjoy smooth scrolling all day long. Have you found our guide helpful? Did you manage to get your connection out of network overlap? Let us know all about it in the comments below. We’re more than happy to hear from you!