Killing 2.4GHz Wifi

Wifi is a fantastic technology. For most people, it is easy to turn on an AP and forget about it. It may work at home but it can have negative affects in the workplace. I was called in to assist my colleagues at an environment where users were having terrible wireless experiences. The end users rely on wifi quite a bit and more often during meetings.

The coverage for the office was great but end users were having issues on the 2.4GHz spectrum. My colleague had done some testing and verified that anyone on channels 1 and 6 were getting good connectivity. Once you were on channel 11 you could barely connect to a local server and you were lucky if you could successfully associate to the SSID.

Once that news was passed to me I knew it had to be interference. So time to launch my spectrum analyzer, Chanalyzer, and the Wi-Spy DBx from Metageek. Right away, channel 11 began to visualize in red on the Overview pane. I walked around the office looking for the signal to get stronger. This is where I wish I had the Device Finder.

Interference colored in red

Interference colored in red

Chanalyzer colors activity above 50% at an amplitude point red. The problem was easy to to find. I came across a consumer level Netgear AP with blinky lights. As soon as it was unplugged Chanalyzer changed density colors from red to yellow to green and it soon faded away.

Turns out, someone in R&D was using the AP to perform wireless multicast testing with mobile devices. The IT staff onsite is now transitioning mostly to 5GHz and I support them 100%!

Post-spectrum once interference was removed.

Post-spectrum once interference was removed.

One thought on “Killing 2.4GHz Wifi”

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