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What’s Behind That Wall?

“My WiFi keeps dropping out!” It’s a common complaint that has many causes, and equally many possible fixes. We recently visited a customer who was having just this issue, with the fix being a $9 network cable.

It was a fairly typical installation, with an OptiComm Fibre Optic box and their WiFi router installed in the attached garage on an internal wall. At first glance, there was nothing out of the ordinary, but to determine what’s going on we started measuring the signal in various locations around the house. The baseline measurement directly in front of the router was fine, so I went to measure the signal level on the opposite side of the wall in case there was something inside the wall messing with the signal.

The other side of the wall was an ensuite bathroom from the master bedroom, and directly behind the WiFi router was a large wall mirror. Having such a large piece of metal directly behind the WiFi router was causing all kinds of signal reflections, not to mention the giant -25dBm signal attenuation across half the house.

Fixing the issue was easy: relocate the WiFi router to a shelf against another wall, using a longer network cable between the OptiComm Fibre Optic box and the WiFi router. No more WiFi drop-outs!

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