UCB Wireless - Interference Sources

Last Updated: 04/04/2014

Overview

Wi-Fi communication is extremely susceptible to interference caused by competing radio transmissions that operate in the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. Wi-Fi interference can result in low to no wireless signal, extremely slow download speeds, dropped Wi-Fi connections, and increased delay for Internet browsing.

Interference Sources

UCB Wireless utilizes state-of-the-art technology; however, there are still ways that the service can be degraded by interference sources. Some interference sources are more impactful than others (such as personal Wi-Fi access points), but all of the following can cause degraded service.

Interference Source Impact Course of Action
wireless router Personal Wi-Fi access points HIGH Personal Wi-Fi access points degrade the overall speed of the network for all users and does not increase personal connection speed. Removal of these access points is the best way to improve the wireless experience for all users.
game controller Wireless game station remotes HIGH Wireless gaming console controllers may interfere with the network speed. The degradation is minor, but can be eliminated completely by using wired controllers.
printer Wireless printers HIGH Wireless printers can degrade the wireless connection for users in the vicinity of the printer. The interference can be easily addressed connecting the printer into an ethernet port.
camera Wireless video cameras MEDIUM Wireless computer webcams can cause a small amount of network degradation. Replacing the camera with a wired model will remove the interference.
microwave  Older microwave ovens MEDIUM Older microwaves sometimes operate on the same frequency as the network, causing interference. Newer microwaves will likely not cause degradation.
cordless phone Cordless home telephones LOW Using cordless home phones may cause interference with the wireless network speed. Cordless phones without 2.4GHz or 5.8GHz frequency will not interfere with the campus network.