If you’ve been keeping up to date with our blogs on wi-fi interference, you could be forgiven for thinking we are making a bit of a fuss and racket about not a lot, and that simply banishing the office microwave and ditching Bluetooth headsets would solve the problem. You would be wrong – there are many wireless products that operate within the unlicensed band and are likely to be within your network. These include watches, shoes, MP3 payers and countless other minute consumer devices and products. Your security solution, whilst working very well at keeping out burglers, could well be causing network jamming levels of interference.
The level of interference caused by some of these devices can be estimated by assessing the following:
1. The output power – the greater this is, the larger zone of interference the device will create.
2. The time signals are emitted for – some devices constantly output a signal (older cordless telephones), others send intermittent signals (new digital cordless telephones). Unsurprisingly, the more time a device emits a signal, the greater the interference.
3. The signal frequency – some devices operate on one frequency and will affect specific channels, others hop frequency and will impact all channels a little bit, and finally some sweep across the frequency spectrum and will cause serious interruptions on many frequencies.
In a recent study, and analogue telephone and a video camera, placed 25 feet away from the AP caused the network to collapse completely… definitely a problem!