Troubleshooting

Speed up your Wireless, Move away from that Fluorescent light

Have you ever had problems in your home with your wireless throughput on a mobile device such as your cell phone?  Maybe you need to look at your proximity to a fluorescent light.  Recently, I was lying in bed and checking a couple of web pages on my ATT Samsung Galaxy SII and noticed that my wireless connection would drop every so often.  This is very odd for me since I was relatively close to the wireless AP and was experiencing no other issues in my cable connection.

Cyanogenmod 9 is running on my phone currently and being it is in the pre-release form that it is currently, I thought that it could be a software issue with the wifi connection perhaps.  So, one of the first things I did was flash back to an earlier version of the ROM on which I didn’t experience any issues related to wifi.  However, I had the same result.  Even trying to run a Speedtest from the Speedtest app, wouldn’t even make it through the testing phase, as the connection would drop before the test would finish.  A couple of times, I did get the test to go through, and throughput was AWFUL!  In sitting there trying to figure out what might be going on, I started looking around the bedroom.  Right next to the bed, I have a lamp stand light that has a 40-watt equivalent fluorescent bulb.

Then a little light bulb went off (pardon the pun).  I turned off the lamp and reran the test – FULL SPEED!  I let the connection sit for several minutes.  No drop offs, etc.  Mystery solved.  Ironic as it may seem, some of the newer types of fluorescent light bulbs broadcast 2.4 GHz radio waves that can definitely interfere with standard 2.4 GHz wireless communications in close proximity.

The next time you might be experiencing issues with your wifi connection, keep in mind that these environmental factors do come in to play.  As tech geeks we read about them, study them, and have them on our troubleshooting lists, but oftentimes, they are one of the first things we might overlook.  It is never an easy solution right???  Or that is what we all tend to think.  However, a lot of times that simple answer just might be the solution you are looking for.

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