Optimise Your Home Network for Remote Learning and WFH

Got network issues at home? Haven’t we all. Suddenly the majority of households are relying on their Wi-Fi a lot more.

 

Many of us are now working from home – We’re sat on Microsoft Teams, Google Meet or Zoom. Video calls for work aren’t the only thing clogging up your network – Odds are you’ve also got children sitting on virtual lessons, learning remotely.

We’ve gone from using our broadband to stream movies, scroll social media, send some emails and play games to families all using the bandwidth at the same time for multiple video conferencing all at once. Plus all those leisure activities on top!

So what can we do about it?

Understand Your Bandwidth

Here’s a little metaphor for bandwidth, in case you’re not familiar. Imagine you’re drinking through a straw. If you’re slurping on a diet coke, then it’s a simple suck. If it’s a milkshake you’re drinking then you’re either going to need more suction, or a bigger straw. Coke is speedy, milkshare can be slow.

If you’re sending a quick text-based email, it won’t need much bandwidth. If you want to press play on a 4K video and watch it immediately, then you’re going to need a bit more bandwidth.

Right now, with Zooms and other video conferencing taking centre stage in our home networks, we’re needing both upload and download bandwidth. For effective video conferencing you need both upload and download bandwidth capacity (you’re watching and transmitting video at the same time so you need Mbps both up and down).

Try doing a speed test (upload and download). To handle 2 or 3 Zooms at once, you’ll need around 11Mbps upload speed. Yo can also talk to your ISP to check how much upload bandwidth you have on your current plan. .

What Is Your ISP Giving You?

The more capacity you have, the bigger your bill will be.

If you are really struggling with your network, then consider chceking your plan with your ISP, and if needed, upgrade it to include more upload bandwidth. It’s also worth noting that you should also make sure that your ISP is capable of delivering these bandwidth promises. Most speeds to vary and are rarely guaranteed.

You may also want to check whether your ISP is ‘throttling’ you. If you are using (or trying to use) too much data, they may be restricting how much milkshake gets through your straw by biting on the end of it. Sometimes there is the option to pay a fee to stop them throttling you.

QUICK TIPS
  • Check your plan with your ISP
  • Consider upgrading bandwidth, if possible
  • Check you’re not being throttled
  • Check if your ISP offer dedicated fibre lines to each house or whether it’s shared between a cluster of homes

What If You Can’t Upgrade Your Plan To Get More Bandwidth?

Sometimes it’s not as straight forward as just upgrading your plan. It may be too expensive, or it may not even be possible in your location. Thankfully there are some things you can control within your home.

Let’s think about the devices that may be taking up bandwidth, but may not be needed all the time.

  • Smartphones – If you’re working on a video call or doing remote learning, then you probably don’t need your phone. It’s always doing things in the background. Switch them to Airplane mode when they’re not being used, or you know there are several of you trying to use video.
  • Smart TV’s – Let’s face it, Netflix and productivity don’t really go hand-in-hand (unless your Toddler is watching it while you work!). Any TV’s that are not in use, need to be powered down (not in sleep mode).
  • Wi-Fi enabled smart devices – Our homes are full of these nowadays. Anything using WI-Fi and running in the background can be switched off to try and save as much bandwidth as possible.
QUICK TIPS
  • Create a video schedule for your family and try where possible to avoid conflicts (both online, and offline…)
  • Schedule back-ups and auto-updates for during sleep time
  • Ban Netflix etc at capacity-critical times

What if none of this helps much – What then?

Consider Getting Wired

There is another way to optimise your home network – And that’s to run wires with ethernet cables.

A wired connection is always going to provide you with more reliability. It’s usually faster than wireless too!

We’re not suggesting installing wires all over your house – The situation we find ourselves in currently is only temporary. But if you’re happy to run cables along your skirting boards for a couple of months then great!

QUICK TIPS
  • If you can work close to your router then you can keep costs down by using a simple and relatively short ethernet cable from router to laptop.
  • If there’s no improvement when wired in, consider checking if your router is working how it should be.

For more ways to troubleshoot Wi-Fi problems at home, check out our previous blogs. You might find these ones particularly helpful!

Troubleshooting Your Home Wi-Fi

When Should I Use an Ethernet Cable?

Common Wi-Fi Problems and How to Fix Them

 

Staying Connected for Remote Learning

 

Staying Connected for Remote Learning

The importance of being well-connected in 2020 is continuing into 2021 – No surprises there!

This week has seen the nation face another complete lockdown, with the majority of primary and secondary school pupils back to remote learning from home.

But what about all the families that can’t afford internet at home, or don’t have enough data for their children’s home-learning needs?

If you are home-schooling but can’t afford broadband or the additional mobile data needed to meet remote learning requirements, you may be able to get government assistance.

Under a new temporary scheme, schools, trusts and local authorities are able to request an increase in mobile data for those children and young people who meet the criteria.

Disadvantaged children can get help to get online via free mobile data increases or 4G wireless routers. These will be provided by the Department for Education and can be applied for by schools, trusts and local authorities.

What is the criteria for getting help with internet for remote learning?

Schools, trusts and local authorities can ask for support if each of the following applies:

  • Your school is experiencing disruption to face to face education
  • You are responsible for disadvantaged children who do not have access to the internet at home
  • Your school has been invited to order laptops and tablets
How can I increase my data allowance on my mobile phone to use for remote learning?

On certain networks, this temporary scheme allows mobile data to be increased. The mobile ohone can then be used as a hotspot so that other devices can also connect to the internet, helping to aid young people to access remote education, if their face-to-face learning has been disrupted like so many have.

This support is available to all schools with children in years 3 to 11 and is currently available on the following networks

  • Tesco Mobile
  • EE
  • Three
  • Smarty
  • Virgin Mobile
  • Sky Mobile

You can find out more information on how to ask for a mobile data increase by clicking here.

What if increasing mobile data isn’t an option?

In some cases, increasing mobile data may not be a viable option. In these situations schools can request 4G wireless routers.

Schools, trusts and authorities in England can ask for 4G wireless routers for:

  • Disadvantaged children in years 3 to 11
  • Who are experiencing disruption to face-to-face education
  • Who do not have internet access at home

More information on how to go about ordering a 4G wireless router through this government scheme can be found here.

 

The government website has plenty of information regarding internet access for remote learning and how to go about requesting support for these needing access: https://get-help-with-tech.education.gov.uk/internet-access

 

If you already have internet in place, but are finding that it’s not quite working well enough for the online lessons, maybe one of our previous blogs can help.

Troubleshooting Your Home Wi-Fi

Access to the internet has never been more important than now – For social interaction with friends and family, team meetings on Zoom and virtual lessons on Microsoft Teams and Google classrooms.

Here at Geekabit we know it’s so imperative that we stay connected. You might not need the government help, but could do with getting your home Wi-Fi up to scratch. Or perhaps you’re intrigued about 4G mobile broadband and want to know if it’s right for you – Please get in touch and our Wi-Fi experts will be happy to help.

Top 10 Wi-Fi Blogs of 2020

We thought we’d round up the year with our top 10 Wi-Fi blogs of 2020 – As chosen by you, our readers!

There was the obvious popular reads, (cough, Covid, cough) which we’ve opted to leave out – We don’t need to be reading any more of that right now!

Instead we’ve focused on the most popular reads from our Wi-Fi blog – There are definitely some that were a hit due to the nature of this years acute Wi-Fi needs, as well as some great general Wi-Fi reads as well. Enjoy!

 

#10. In at number 10 was ‘What’s New In The World of Wi-Fi’ including the much-talked-about Wi-Fi 6, as well as smart Wi-Fi and cloud management.

What’s new in the world of Wi-Fi: Smart Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi 6 and Cloud Management

#9. We don’t need 9 guesses as to why this reached our Top 10. How Do I get Wi-Fi in my Garden?

What’s new in the world of Wi-Fi: Smart Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi 6 and Cloud Management

#8. Another unsurprising one – The majority of the nation suddenly had an overwhelming need to sort out their home Wi-Fi with very little notice. Here is ‘Troubleshooting Your Home Wi-Fi’.

Troubleshooting Your Home Wi-Fi

 

#7. Two from earlier in the year, these blogs were joint in at number 7. From ‘The Weird and Wonderful Ways People Believe their Wi-Fi is Being Affected’ to ‘When should I Use an Ethernet Cable?’

Troubleshooting Your Home Wi-Fi

When Should I Use an Ethernet Cable?

 

#6. This one is never not useful – Simple and Secure Management of Your Wi-Fi Network Access.

Simple and Secure Management of your Wi-Fi Network Access

#5. Clearly this one was popular before most of London ground to a halt. At least those using the Underground might have had phone reception! At number 5 it’s ‘All aboard! 4G, calling at London Underground.’

All Aboard! 4G, Calling At: London Underground

 

#4. Let’s face it, we never want people stealing our Wi-Fi at any time. It’s easy to see why this made the top 5. ‘Who is stealing my Wi-Fi and how can I block them?’

Who is Stealing my Wi-Fi and How Can I Block Them?

 

#3. Joint 3rd place was ‘What Does 2020 Have in Store for the Wi-fi world?’ (We might have predicted what would happen with Wi-Fi, but we certainly didn’t predict the est of 2020 that’s for sure! Sharing third place was a way to use 5G to replace your Wi-Fi home hardware – ‘This Tiny 5G Router Could Replace All of Your Homes Wi-Fi Hardware.’

What Does 2020 Have in Store for the Wi-Fi World?

Tiny 5G Router could replace all of your home’s Wi-Fi hardware

 

#2. Clearly you like a bit of news – This headline almost made the top spot! ‘Threatening Wi-Fi Name Gets Couple Kicked Off Flight.’

Threatening Wi-Fi Name Gets Couple Kicked Off Flight

 

#1. It’s not hard to see why this was the most popular Wi-Fi blog of the year. No one is immune to the frustration caused by Wi-Fi issues (least of all in 2020 when you’re trying to host a Zoom meeting) so here it is – Your favourite blog of 2020. ‘Common Wi-Fi Problems and How to Fix Them.’

Common Wi-Fi Problems and How to Fix Them

Happy New Year! Here’s to 2021 – Let’s hope we can be better connected in the real world as well as the Wi-Fi world.

Fun Things to Ask Alexa or Hey Google This Christmas

Wi-Fi has done a lot for us this year. It’s brought family and friends together whilst they’ve had to stay apart. It’s kept teams working alongside each other whilst sitting at their kitchen tables. It’s launched Zoom quizzes, parties, meetings and catch-ups into the living rooms of so many people. It’s kept us connected when we’ve needed it most.

And now it can provide us with a bit of festive fun to lift our spirits too. So many homes around the country now have an Alexa or Google Assistant. Maybe they help you with your shopping lists, tell you when a parcel is arriving or play your favourite tunes. Whatever you use yours for, here are a few fun things you can ask yours this Christmas time.

Our Top 10 ‘Ask Alexa’ favourites this Christmas

From singing songs and telling stories, to settling arguments over festive films, here is a selection box full of our favourite Christmassy things to ask Alexa in 2020.

“Alexa, what’s today’s Christmas treat?” 

Everyday throughout December, up until Christmas Eve, you can ask Alexa for a different Christmas surprise!

“Alexa who’s on the naughty list?”

We don’t think anyone deserves to be on the naughty list this year…

“Alexa how many sleeps until Christmas?” 

If you have children in the house, this might save you from being asked multiple times a day!

“Alexa how ugly is your Christmas jumper?”

Surely it can’t be uglier than mine.

“Alexa sing your new Christmas song”

We all need a sing-song now and again, and Christmas songs are in full swing.

“Alexa do yoga with Santa”

Inhale through your nose, and exhale slowly through your mouth. Enjoy this short, light-hearted yoga routine with Santa himself leading you.

“Alexa tell me a Christmas story”

Sometimes we all need a bit of a distraction. Whether it’s a particularly fraught moment with the kids, or much-needed moment of escape, let Alexa tell you a festive tale.

“Alexa Is Die Hard a Christmas movie?”

I think we all know the answer to this one, but let Alexa settle the arguments once and for all.

“Alexa read ‘Twas the night before Christmas’”

A little something a bit of Christmas Eve magic.

“Alexa where’s Santa?”

Maybe he’s left the North Pole and is en-route to deliver presents… I wonder if his sleigh is enabled with 4G mobile broadband?

“Alexa, play music for a Christmas party”

We might not be allowed the party this year, but there couldn’t be any easier way to help get your bubble in the festive spirit.

 

Our Top 10 ‘Hey Google’ Favourites to ask your Google Home smart speaker

We couldn’t Ask Alexa without also saying Hey Google – So here are a few of our festive favourites if you want to have a Christmassy conversation with your Google assistant over the coming week.

Hey Google, tell me a Christmas joke

This is bound to be a cracker. (Get it?)

Hey Google, do you want to build a snowman?

You’ve got the song in your head now, haven’t you?

Hey Google, interview a reindeer

We never hear from the reindeer, do we? It’s always all about Santa.

Hey Google, What’s the best Christmas song?

It probably won’t be vlogger LadBaby, although he is currently out in front of Jess Glynne for Christmas number one 2020, so who knows…

Hey Google, what do elves eat for Christmas?

They probably don’t get many turkeys in the North Pole.

Hey Google, talk to Santa’s hotline.

No Santa’s hotline is going to save the husbands in tier 4 that saved their Christmas shopping for the days before Christmas.

Hey Google, sing me a Christmas Carol

There won’t be many carollers on the doorstep this year, so why not bring them inside with Google.

Hey Google, give me a Christmas sound

What could this be? Bells? A cork popping? Paper being scrunched? What sounds like Christmas to you?

Hey Google, tell me a Christmas story

Are you sitting comfortably? Then Google will begin…

Hey Google, Merry Christmas ya filthy animal

I think we’ll leave it there.

 

Which one is your favourite? Magic really is in the air, with a little bit of help from your Wi-Fi.

Merry Christmas!

What is RF Design and Why Is It Important for my Wi-Fi Network?

Let’s face it – Our Wi-Fi expectations these days are pretty high. We want a strong, fast, reliable connection – And we want it all of the time. When we have good Wi-Fi, we barely notice it. But when it’s bad, it’s frustratingly apparent.

Unfortunately, what people don’t tend to realise is that a significant part of your wireless network is the RF environment. If you want your Wi-Fi network to perform to those high expectations, then you need to ensure you get this RF environment right.

Designing Your RF  Environment

It starts with the design. To create an effective RF design, you need to consider the environment that this Wi-Fi network is going to be functioning in. Are their neighbouring networks? What potential factors could cause interference?

You also need to consider how you need your Wi-Fi network to work. How many users are there? Will there be areas of higher density than others? These sorts of things define the requirements of the RF design. If you want good wireless network performance to meet those high expectations we mentioned above, then your RF environment needs to be correctly designed and managed.

The best way to identify what design would work well for your environment is to carry out a Wi-Fi survey. If you’re not confident in carrying this our yourself, then consider calling in the experts! We make it our business to provide comprehensive Wi-Fi surveys for any business or home environment. Our expert engineers can then design a Wi-Fi network tailored precisely to your needs, and then install it for you.

Analysing Your Wi-Fi Network

If your Wi-Fi network is already up and running, but you suspect there may be issues somewhere then network monitoring tools can be a useful way of providing visibility of any problems.

If you’re in the Wi-Fi field, then this will be a fairly straightforward exercise for you if you know the tools and how to use them. More often than not though, Wi-Fi network problems need a more in-depth analysis to really get to the bottom of what’s causing issues.

This again is where it might be best to call in the experts. Our Wi-Fi engineers have the specialist tools and knowledge to look at your Wi-Fi network, analyse traffic flow and examine exactly how data is passing through.

Are you experiencing poor wireless network performance?

It’s important to remember that you have very little to no control over what type of devices enter your network. Your Wi-Fi network may be open to guests or maybe even the general public depending on your business. Even non-Wi-Fi devices can have a significant impact on your wireless network.

Are you experiencing poor performance on your Wi-Fi network? To identify the problem you need to analyse 3 main components of your wireless network.

  • The configuration
  • The RF environment
  • The devices / users in your network

Luckily for you you’ve landed in the right place! Here at Geekabit, our engineers are Wi-Fi experts and can carry out Wi-Fi surveys, Wi-Fi Design and Wi-Fi Installation all from our bases in Hampshire, London and Cardiff. For more information get in touch with us today.

 

How Does Capacity and Coverage affect Wi-Fi Interference?

This week’s blog is the last in our series on Wi-Fi interference and what you can do about it. So far we’ve covered physical causes of Wi-Fi interference, how electrical devices can affect Wi-Fi through frequency interference and today we’re talking about capacity and coverage.

How does capacity affect Wi-Fi interference?

Capacity problems are most commonplace in corporate environments like offices. A potential issue that these environments might face is having too many users per broadcast device. This causes a capacity overload and that’s when you start to run into Wi-Fi problems.

Each Wi-Fi broadcast device, e.g. a router or access point, has a finite amount of bandwidth. This bandwidth is divided by the number of wireless devices connecting to it. So if only 10 devices are connected, then the bandwidth for that router will be divided by 10. It’s almost irrelevant how fast the internet connection is – If 50 people try to connect then the bandwidth is going to split 50 ways.

Ways to avoid issues with capacity and bandwidth, is to make sure that you don’t have just one router or access point serving an area of high density. If you have a lot of users or users with multiple devices in a certain area, then make sure you have the necessary number of broadcast devices. You might find our blog on ‘How Many Access Points do I need?’ helpful for this.

How does coverage affect Wi-Fi interference?

It’s not just about the capacity in an area, you also need to consider the distance that people are needing to connect across. Getting Wi-Fi coverage right is just as important as capacity.

We all know that that closer we are to a broadcasting device, the stronger and more reliable the signal is going to be. If you know that there will be users in a particular area of your office or business that will need to connect, then make sure that there is a device close-by enough to transmit a strong signal.

Coverage isn’t all about distance, it’s also about whether your devices are installed effectively. For example, it’s pointless installing an access point in close range to users if it’s pointing in the wrong direction, or hidden behind something. Wireless broadcast devices like routers or access points emit their signal in certain directions. Obviously you can’t see what way the radio signals are going so make sure that devices are installed properly. Access points that are hidden behind shelves, or wedged in ceiling tiles are not going to work the way they were intended to. Always check the instructions and manufacturers guide when installing any hardware so that they work effectively and reach the maximum coverage possible. If you’re not sure, then ask the experts!

What can we conclude on the types of Wi-Fi interference and their resolutions?

Wi-Fi has come a long way since it first arrived in our lives, and while the gap between wireless internet and wired is certainly closing, there’s always going to be some inferiority for Wi-Fi when comparing the two.

Some of the resolutions we’ve covered in this series of blogs on Wi-Fi Interference are:

  • Check for physical obstruction risks such as metal and concrete, and place your broadcast devices strateigically to mitigate risks.
  • Check your kit and upgrade where necessary. Devices that can use the 802.11ac frequency with dual band functionality are really useful for scenarious where you need to swap from 2.5Ghz to 5Ghz.
  • Always check for firmware upgrades. A bit like how you update the apps on your smartphones, manufacturers are constantly trying to better their performance by enhancing the software that runs them so do keep a watch for updates which are often free.

It’s so important to take careful consideration when designing your Wi-Fi network. If you don’t feel confident assessing your environment for the potential issues in this series of Wi-Fi interference blogs, then consider calling in the experts. Our Wi-Fi engineers can carry out a Wi-Fi survey followed by planning and design and finished with expert installation for effective and reliable Wi-Fi.

What Causes Wi-Fi Interference?

Who put up their Christmas decorations at the weekend? It’s a little bit on the early side, but we think it can be forgiven this year! You might be wondering, what have Christmas decorations got to do with the causes of Wi-Fi interference? Read on and all will be illuminated (hint hint).

In last week’s blog we talked about how to diagnose Wi-Fi interference – What signs to look for that point to this being the cause of your Wi-Fi issues. As promised, this week we’re looking at the possible causes of Wi-Fi interference, and what you can do about them.

What causes Wi-Fi Interference?

2 of the main problems associated with Wi-Fi interference are Physical Barriers and Frequency Interference. Capacity can also cause Wi-Fi interference, but we’ll get to that next week.

Physical Barriers that can Cause Wi-Fi Interference

Does your home or office have that one particular spot where no matter how hard you try or where you place your device, you just can’t seem to get reliable Wi-Fi?

In this scenario the reason for Wi-Fi interference is probably the material that the building is made from. Certain materials can cause more of a barrier than others when it comes to Wi-Fi reaching your device.

Check out the chart below to see what materials act as the biggest barriers, and thus cause the most Wi-Fi interference.


Image 1. Chart to show the interference levels of certain building materials.

How can I combat a physical barrier causing Wi-Fi interference?

  • The first thing to try is moving your router or access point. Try a location that means the Wi-Fi signal doesn’t have to go through the barrier.
  • An alternative would be to try broadcasting your signal on a different frequency. If your device has this option available, then try changing it to use 5GHz. (This may only be an option on higher end devices).
  • Remember that humans make excellent barriers! If you’re experiencing Wi-Fi interference problems on a mobile device, consider holding it in a different way.

 

Wi-Fi Interference through Frequency

Imagine a narrow road with a car and lorry coming towards each other from opposite directions. They can’t both fit through at the same time – One of them is going to get through and one of them will have to stop. Frequency interference is a bit like this – If another signal crosses the path of your signal on a similar bandwidth and overpowers it, your signal will be interfered with.

What devices cause Wi-Fi interference with their frequency? The list is rather long unfortunately, and always being added to. Here is a list of devices that commonly cause bandwidth interference.

Christmas Tree Lights – Here’s why we were asking if you’d put your Christmas decorations up at the weekend! Christmas lights are commonly written about at this time of year because they known to be a common cause of Wi-Fi interference due to oscillating on the same frequency. Avoid placing your Christmas tree anywhere near internet equipment.

Other Wireless Devices – Any device that transmits or receives a wireless signal can also cause interference to another signal. There are many things in a home that could potentially cause Wi-Fi problems, such as wireless speakers, baby monitors and garage door openers.

Microwaves – Trying to scroll Instagram while your lunch is whirring around the microwave? If you’re struggling to do so then it might be because most microwaves operate on the 2.4GHz spectrum. This is the same as a lot of wireless devices (especially so on older, less expensive models). So that Instagram scroll might be a bit on the slow side.

Fridges – There are two things with fridges that can cause Wi-Fi interference. The first is the motors on the inside of a fridge, and the other is the fact that they are packed with ice which can act as a physical barrier. Keeping your router away from the fridge, and probably the kitchen in general, is a good idea.

Cordless Wi-Fi Phones – Remember when you couldn’t be online at the same time as someone talking on the phone? You might think those days are over but they’re not as distant as you may think. Cordless phones commonly operate on the 2.4GHz spectrum, so you may well experience Wi-Fi interference while you are talking on the phone or even just when the phone is ringing.

External Monitors & Displays – Commonly on the 2.4 GHz band (channels 11 to 14), certain displays can emit harmonic interference.
Satellite Dishes – Satellite dishes can leak signal interference into the local vicinity if they have been wired up wrong or if they are old and the wiring is deteriorating.

Hearing Aids – You may experience Wi-Fi interference if someone with a hearing aid in in close proximity to a wireless broadcasting device like a router.

Neighbours – You can struggle with Wi-Fi signal and performance if your network is in close proximity to another one, especially if it is a powerful Wi-Fi network like the ones you tend to see in corporate environments. If you need help detecting this issue, you can install a WLAN controller with a rogue detection function.

Fish Tanks – These are known to be an issue to internet connectivity in general. They commonly cause interference to Wi-Fi signal as they oscillate on the same frequency. Always place fish tanks away from internet equipment, especially broadcasting devices.

Poorly Shielded Cabling – If you use external hard drives or other devices that you need to be physically cabled to in order to connect, then this can lead an interference with wireless signal. To test if any Wi-Fi issues are due to poorly shielded cables, simply remove the offending device temporarily and see if the problem improves. If the issue goes away then you can replace the troublesome cable to resolve the issue permanently for that device.

How do I solve a Wi-Fi interference issue if it’s due to frequency?

  • Most instances of frequency-based Wi-Fi interference can be solved by changing the broadcast channel on your Wi-Fi device.
  • Channels can largely be set between 1 and 13 – Try out a few different ones to see which one works the best.
  • In the UK, the best channels to use are 1, 7 and 13.
  • You can have a look and see which channel is most commonly used in your area by using a Wi-Fi scanning tool such as WiFi Analyzer. You can then choose the least used channel, confident that you will encounter less Wi-Fi interference.
  • If you have a high-end router, you will have the option to use 5GHz. This is the most effective way to solve Wi-Fi interference issues.

If you’ve checked these and tried the solutions but are still having Wi-Fi problems, then don’t be afraid to call in the experts! Our Wi-Fi engineers are still working, mainly out of Hampshire and London, and can help with a variety of Wi-Fi problems.

Check back next week when we’ll be talking more about Wi-Fi interference, in regards to capacity and coverage.

Are My Wi-Fi Issues Caused by Wi-Fi Interference?

Since 1997, when Wi-Fi emerged into the consumer world, it’s become integral to everyday life. For many it’s a vital way of staying connected with friends, family and colleagues – At home, at work and even out and about.

We tend to take it a bit for granted, when in actual fact we probably feel like we couldn’t live without it – Especially during 2020! And like so many things – We really only notice how much we depend on it when it’s not there. Much like when there is a power cut and all the lights go out – When Wi-Fi isn’t working properly, we really feel it’s absence.

Is there anything quite as frustrating as dodgy Wi-Fi?

Technology wouldn’t be technology without its issues, and Wi-Fi is no exception. So what can cause Wi-Fi problems? One of the biggest issues to affect how successful and reliable a Wi-Fi connection is, is Wi-Fi interference. In this blog we’re going to be looking at how you might go about detecting whether your Wi-Fi woe is an interference issue

How do I know if my Wi-Fi issue is due to Wi-Fi interference?

Here are a couple of problems you may experience if you are having trouble with Wi-Fi interference.

 

  • Trouble with signal strength, and having low signal despite being in close proximity to a Wi-Fi broadcast device like a router
  • You have no connectivity issues when using a wired connection, but have a considerably slower connection when connecting using Wi-Fi
  • Trying to transfer files between computers using Wi-Fi, and finding it very slow
  • Being unable to pair devices using Wi-Fi or Bluetooth despite being in close proximity to the receiver
  • Your Wi-Fi connection Intermittently dropping out

 

If you are experiencing one or more of these annoying Wi-Fi issues, then it’s quite possible that something is causing interference with your Wi-Fi.

There are two main types of Wi-Fi Interference – Physical and Frequency. We’ll be covering some examples of each of these in next weeks blog. Check back then to see how you can identify what may be causing your Wi-Fi interference issue, and how you can go about fixing it.

If you require any Wi-Fi help in the meantime, then please don’t hesitate to give our Wi-Fi experts a call. We’re still working under the current government guidelines, and mainly operating out of Hampshire and London. Don’t let dodgy Wi-Fi be the reason you can’t find a connection.

Geekabit in the Community – 4G Mobile Broadband for Events
Events? Now? Covid and events don’t exactly go hand in hand, so what could we have been providing 4G mobile broadband for?

Over the past few weeks, Geekabit have been busy in our local community of Winchester, working with the guys at the city’s Round Table on one of their biggest projects of the year.

Winchester Round Table put on an annual Bonfire and Fireworks event to raise money for charities and worthy causes in the local area. It is a spectacular evening with a fireworks display of epic proportions. Like so many events this year, their traditional fundraising event had to be cancelled due to Covid-19. Social distancing regulations meant that the biggest one-day charity event in the city would have to adapt.

With so many charities struggling to survive the pandemic, this group of volunteers were determined not to lose their annual opportunity to fundraise. This brings us to the first requirement for 4G mobile broadband.

The Santa Sleigh

Every year in December, Winchester Round Table’s Santa Sleigh visits the estates around the city centre to collect donations and let the children see Santa. And even Father Christmas needs 4G sometimes!

Geekabit fitted a 4G antenna to the top of the sleigh so that it’s location could be tracked live online. Locals can monitor the sleigh’s location live as it moves around the roads, and then come out of their houses when the big man in red is approaching.

This November his sleigh came out a bit early to deliver light up merchandise to locals ready for fireworks night and create another opportunity to fundraise. Our 4G mobile broadband kit meant that people could use the online tracker and pop out their front door to donate just at the right time.

The Fireworks Sites

Bonfire night just would not be the same without a firework spectacular. They couldn’t hold the event in its original format – Crowds of thousands of people just wasn’t an option. But cancelling it altogether wasn’t an option either.

The Winchester Round Table fireworks committee decided to ‘Light Up Winchester.’ With 3 secret locations across the city to be the sites of the firework launches, locals across the city centre would be able to view the fireworks from their doorstep.

So where does the 4G mobile broadband come in? With 3 location across the city centre, the lighting of the fireworks in each location needed to be coordinated with the countdown live on Facebook and the drone footage of the fireworks themselves.

This transpired to a need for reliable internet in the middle of a field. Our Geekabit Wi-Fi engineer installed a 4G Wi-Fi router externally to help with this live streaming of drone footage on Facebook.

The success of this fireworks event just proves that with a tenacious attitude and a little bit of 4G mobile broadband, events can be successful even amid the pandemic and social distancing regulations.

You can read more on our website about both 4G mobile broadband as well as our expertise in Wi-Fi for events.

Get in touch with one of our Wi-Fi experts today to see how we can help with your Wi-Fi and 4G broadband needs.

It’s Business As Usual for Geekabit

We’re still here, and we’re not going anywhere.

We are lucky that much of our work is done remotely. And for situations where this isn’t possible, we are fortunately able to continue working within the government guidelines.

As the nation once again faces a period of lockdown, we thought we would link some previous blogs that might prove useful in the coming weeks.

Whether you’re in work or find yourself working from home again, you might well encounter some Wi-Fi problems. Thankfully, many of them are pretty common and are relatively easy to fix. The below blog will give you some top tips to keep you connected.

Common Wi-Fi Problems and How to Fix Them

Got yourself such good Wi-Fi that your neighbour’s sneaking on? You need to make your connection more secure. Here’s how.

Who is Stealing my Wi-Fi and How Can I Block Them?

Desperate for a bit of time out of the house? Bet you never thought you’d be longing for the office! The weather might be turning a bit too chilly to be enjoying the sunshine mentioned in this next blog, but it could help get your Wi-Fi set up in the garden shed. Don’t forget your hot water bottle and flask of coffee!

How do I get Wi-Fi in my garden?

A reliable, fast connection is once again going to be the thing to keep us connected – To colleagues, friends and family. Don’t let rubbish Wi-Fi be the thing that isolates you.

As we said, we’re still here for all your Wi-Fi needs. Perhaps you’re thinking that a business empty of employees and customers is the best time to finally get your patchy Wi-Fi sorted. In which case, do give our Wi-Fi experts a call. Operating out of London, Cardiff and Hampshire, our engineers can provide a Wi-Fi site survey, plan and design your new Wi-Fi network and then install it for you.

Maybe your home Wi-Fi network isn’t cutting it for all your zoom calls? Over the past couple of months we’ve installed a number of 4G broadband kits in place of intermittent Wi-Fi, especially in more rural areas.

To discuss any of the above, please get in touch with us today.