Why is my wifi not working on my phone?
That’s the other question we hear a lot!.

Another is why is my virgin wifi not working? and even why is wifi calling not working?

Wi-Fi technology, despite its ubiquity and everyday usage, is more complex than it appears. This wireless networking technology, which relies on radio waves, operates within a strictly regulated field. International and industry standards shape the operation of Wi-Fi equipment, dictating the speed and range constraints. The control of these standards is beyond us and the manufacturers, but awareness of their existence is critical. Yet, there are factors within our grasp, such as ensuring our Wi-Fi speed is consistently high when needed. For businesses located in London, consulting with top network installers is crucial to establish a reliable wireless network.

Wi-Fi Standard in Use
Out of the numerous Wi-Fi standards available, five are commonly used outside of museums, military bases, or telecom installations: 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n, and 802.11ac. Each standard has its specifications, including frequency bands, encoding technologies, RF parameters, and maximum speeds. The compatibility of these standards varies across devices. Consequently, the blend of client devices and Wi-Fi standards in use can set a theoretical limit on the maximum speed and range achievable.

Why is my wifi not working? Signal Power
Signal power is another important aspect of Wi-Fi connectivity. Wi-Fi standards are industry-specific and mainly concerned with networking. However, manufacturers have to abide by other regulations as well, particularly related to emission power due to potential health concerns and interference issues. These regulations can limit the range of Wi-Fi devices to around 90-100 ft for 802.11 ac and 802.11g or 200-225 ft for 802.11n.
Equipment Quality and Build
While industrial and government standards dictate the radio parameters of networking equipment, the performance of a Wi-Fi network also hinges on the quality of the equipment itself. Manufacturers make numerous design choices that impact the performance and quality of a network. The quality of your Wi-Fi signal can also be influenced by factors such as antenna count and quality, which can be challenging to assess.

Firmware Quality
The firmware running on your Wi-Fi equipment has a significant impact on the RF operation of the device. Firmware is responsible for tasks like monitoring signal quality, handling channel allocation, and adjusting signal power. Bugs in the firmware can negatively affect your Wi-Fi signal and connection quality, making it important to regularly update your devices’ firmware to fix any potential connection or security issues.

The RF Chain
The RF chain, a part of a device responsible for encoding, transmitting, receiving, and decoding radio signals, is crucial to the quality and strength of wireless signals. A high-quality smartphone, for example, may experience poor network performance if paired with a low-quality Wi-Fi access point. It’s important to consider the quality of the RF chain when evaluating the client equipment you intend to deploy.

Error Mitigation Capabilities
Various factors can degrade the quality of RF signals between a smartphone and a wireless access point, from RF interference to sheer distance. Some devices support error mitigation algorithms, such as LDPC (Low-Density Parity-Check), which can enhance signal quality and network performance under certain conditions.

Environmental Factors
Hardware is not the only determinant of Wi-Fi network performance. Real-world experience demonstrates that the same equipment deployed in different environments can result in distinct performance characteristics. Some factors, like the location of a wireless access point, are within your control, while others, like RF noise and interference, are not. These factors need to be considered when designing a Wi-Fi network.

RF Noise and Interference
The wireless spectrum is a busy place. Your Wi-Fi devices, along with those belonging to your neighbors, all operate within certain frequency bands, namely the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz spectrum. This coexistence often results in devices interfering with each other, leading to a drop in the quality of Wi-Fi signals. Interference isn’t always due to Wi-Fi devices; other wireless protocols like Bluetooth and ZigBee, which operate within the same frequency band, can also cause disruptions. Accidental interference, such as that caused by poorly screened USB 3.0 cables producing RF noise, can also affect Wi-Fi performance.

Office Construction
The architectural aspects of your office space can significantly influence Wi-Fi signal quality. The size of the rooms, the materials used in walls and ceilings, and even the structure and height of nearby buildings can affect how signals propagate from your equipment and how much external interference seeps in. The science behind RF signal propagation is complex, and achieving optimal Wi-Fi performance often requires a mix of simulations and real-world measurements to determine the best locations for Wi-Fi access points.

Access Point Location
The positioning of a wireless access point can have a profound impact on Wi-Fi signal quality and strength. Factors like distance from client devices, proximity to walls, structural elements such as reinforced concrete pillars, or large metallic objects like cabinets all need to be considered when setting up Wi-Fi access points.

Device Installation
The physical placement of an access point is just one aspect that affects performance. Other factors related to an access point’s position can also have significant implications. For example, an antenna does not radiate RF signals uniformly; there are areas, especially directly above the antenna, where signal strength can be very low. Therefore, the orientation of the antenna, in relation to client devices and the surrounding environment (walls, structural elements), can influence the quality of the Wi-Fi signal. Other crucial factors include ventilation, RF screening (whether intentional or not), and height.

Network Factors
There are several aspects influencing the performance of your wireless connectivity, which are not tied to a single device but rather the entire network. Many of these influencing factors can be regulated by you, and thus, it is paramount to consider them while designing a Wi-Fi network to ensure its effectiveness and reliability.

Quantity of Connected Devices
Have you ever found it challenging to hear a single voice when you’re in a room full of chatter? This is a somewhat similar scenario to what happens in RF devices. Each access point can only support a limited number of client devices simultaneously.

At first glance, the solution seems simple. If an office has 400 devices and an access point can support up to 100, then four access points should suffice, correct? However, it’s not that straightforward. Given the high mobility of Wi-Fi devices today, a large number of them may congregate in one place during certain events, such as an all-staff meeting. Therefore, the crucial aspect isn’t solely the number of devices but also the usage patterns. High-traffic areas, like cafeterias or large conference halls, may require more resources than initially planned.

Uplink Speed and Load
Your Wi-Fi access points are also connected to the broader network and the internet. Traffic between different departments or to the internet involves more devices than just a Wi-Fi access point.

The efficiency of your Wi-Fi connection heavily depends on the speed and load of the network beyond the wireless access point. This is not a factor you can control on the wireless end, but it certainly requires consideration. Wi-Fi traffic is diverse, with smartphones downloading large firmware updates, and BYOD trends mean company networks must handle some personal traffic in the background.

Equipment Configuration
Much like a car, networking equipment can be adjusted and installed for improved speed or connection reliability. Sometimes, it’s about optimisation, like enabling an error mitigation algorithm. Other times, it’s about choosing the correct option.

The frequency bands a device can utilise, and the maximum signal strength, can vary based on location (even between the UK and Australia, for example). While some devices are pre-set for specific markets, others require configuration for operation in a particular region. Operating with incorrect parameters can lead to poor signal quality and performance.

Network Configuration
Your network’s configuration may not directly impact Wi-Fi signal strength and quality, but it will affect the performance you can extract from it. Proper or improper core network configuration can influence the bandwidth and latency from your wireless access points, often in unexpected ways.
Moreover, Wi-Fi networks differ significantly from wired networks in structure and behaviour. They aren’t designed in the same way, and effectively integrating the wired and wireless sections of your network is a crucial aspect of network design.

If you seek a fast and reliable Wi-Fi network and solution to the problem of why is my wifi not working? – we’re only a call or email away. We’ve been setting up various network types in Brighton, Hove and all towns within Sussex for over two decades – so feel free contact TelKev for your free and no obligation survey. 07707629440

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *