Simple Cyber: Demystifying WiFi

In this third edition of Simple Cyber, Bundu NetworX customer relations manager Dee During brings you some interesting facts about WiFi and hopefully a few answers to some baffling questions about it.

WiFi uses radio waves. These waves transfer info from one electronic device to another. This is how we connect without cables.

WiFi is very susceptible to electro-magnetic interference. What is the most annoying thing about WiFi? You’re watching your fave Netflix series, trying to get those accounts done, cows need milking and, bam, it starts buffering or comes to a grinding halt!

Now read, “Cyber terminology: WiFi v Internet”

A drop in signal strength may be the result of interference. WiFi uses radio waves to send a signal, but they can “bump paths” with other radio waves at similar frequencies. With the humungous amount of WiFi devices in use at the same time, this is not surprising.

Some items that can cause this interference would be microwaves, cellphones, smart TVs, any Bluetooth-enabled devices, baby monitors and, would you believe it, even fish tanks.

Certain materials also create barriers. Metal is an issue, water and wood not quite as bad.

Rain and thunderstorms play havoc with connectivity. Picture: Luka Vovk/Unsplash

Weather and WiFi: It’s a disaster! The rainy, thunderstormy, lightening-packed weeks of spring and summer have been upon us for some time. This plays havoc with connectivity. Mother nature is a force beyond our control. Consequently, time is spent fixing things, waiting for clear days so we can install equipment or simply do a line-of-sight for a potential new client. Just remember, from a protection point of view, nothing works better than unplugging your equipment completely.

Trees, especially wet ones, are the absolute enemy of WiFi. We mentioned water before. Signal from towers battles to get through any obstructions. If your connection drops when it’s windy or raining, there’s a good chance that there’s a tree blocking the signal.

In Plain Site: Internet issues

Best way to reduce interference: Unplug other devices that are not in use. Your WiFi likes to be the centre of attention.

Believe it or not, the best WiFi blocker could even be you, your very self. Water blocks signal. If you remember school biology, we’re made up of around 70% water. So if you’re sitting in between your router and your computer, this can significantly lower the strength of your WiFi. – Source: https://airtame.com/blog/wifi-facts/

If you have any questions or queries, feel free to post them on the Bundu NetworX Facebook page or contact 087 222 9500. Alternatively, see our website www.bundunetworx.co.za

Main pic, top: Andre Hunter/Unsplash