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WiFi tips: These are the mistakes users make frequently

Bad reception up to loss of connection - problems in the home network are often homemade.We name the most common mistakes when using the WLAN and point out solutions.

Using a WLAN is child's play? Not at all! Anyone who has already set up a wireless network should have noticed that. Sometimes the PC cannot find the WLAN or the connection keeps breaking off. Windows only reports a weak connection, even though the router is only a few meters away. Sometimes even the neighbour's WLAN seems to be more present than your own wireless network. Can this be? Yes it can.

Wifi reception bad

The signal quality also depends on the router, but if there are problems with a distance of just a few meters, the first thing to do is to check the position of the router. Admittedly: WLAN routers are seldom jewels that you would like to place in a conspicuous way in your living room. In addition, not everyone can endure the constant sight of blinking indicator lights.

But hiding the gray box under the sofa is not a solution, rather it is often the cause of all trouble. Anyone who expects such massive obstacles to the radio waves need not be surprised by weak reception and disconnections. Because for a reliable WLAN, the router should be as free as possible and ideally hang something under the ceiling. But the DSL connection socket is rarely found up there. But that's not a problem: there are suitable cables available in stores that are several meters long. Complicated fixings under the ceiling are usually not necessary. Often it is enough to put the router on a shelf or a cupboard.

Accidentally pressed WLAN switch

It just worked and now the browser reports "No Internet connection": This error message can also have a very trivial cause. In the past, many notebooks had an inconspicuous WLAN button that can be located on the front edge of the computer. If the notebook is carried from one room to another, users often accidentally flip the switch. Today, the WLAN in notebooks is usually switched on and off using one of the function keys (for example "F7" or "F8"). Often you also have to press the "FN" key to operate the function. The "FN" key can usually be found in the bottom row of keys next to the "Ctrl" or "Alt" keys.

When the neighbor interferes

If the reception is actually good, but the connection keeps breaking off, it could be your neighbor's fault. In apartment buildings in particular, it is easy for several radio networks to crowd the same channel because their owners do not change the radio channel set by default. This can easily be remedied in the settings of each router. Just try another channel. The largest distances are between channels 1, 6 and 11. You can use software such as the WifiChannelMonitor to check whether the surrounding networks are already transmitting on the selected channel.

Ironically, in the more powerful 5 GHz frequency band, the neighbor can easily spoil the game. Because data can be transferred faster through this. However, in Germany at 5 GHz, only radio channels that are not used by radar systems may be used. Therefore, only channels 36 to 48 are available as standard.

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An exception are routers that can handle DFS (Dynamic Frequency Selection). Equipped with dynamic channel selection, the devices can transmit on channels 36 to 48 as well as on channels 52 to 64 and 100 to 140. Of course, this only has an advantage if the WLAN modules in the PC, smartphone or tablet also support DFS. This is not the case with many smart home devices.

The Fritz boxes check these channels for about 10 minutes after every restart or changes to the WLAN settings. During this time only the lower channels are available.

Encrypt WLAN with WPA2 or better WPA3

Leaving the WLAN unencrypted can have really fatal consequences. Hackers can thus join a network unhindered. By default, newer routers operate with the currently most secure encryption standard WPA2. However, if you have been using the same router for your WLAN for many years, you may only "protect" your home network with WPA or even WEP. Both encryptions are cracked within a few seconds.

Modern routers and smartphones already support the even more secure successor standard WPA3. However, this only works if comparatively new devices are used in the network. Windows PCs must use at least Windows 10 version 1903 or newer.

Basically, a WLAN should always be encrypted with WPA2. If the existing router does not support this, the purchase of a current model is strongly recommended.

more on the subject

  • Subjects:
  • WIRELESS INTERNET ACCESS,
  • Router,
  • Internet,
  • IP address,
  • Digital tips,
  • Smartphone,
  • Networks,
  • Windows,
  • Hacker,
  • Tablet,
  • Laptop,
  • computer