Home > News > How To Check For & Fix Your WiFi Black Spots

How To Check For & Fix Your WiFi Black Spots

In today’s digitally interconnected world, a strong and reliable WiFi signal is no longer just a luxury – it’s a necessity across various industries. However, the persistent challenge of WiFi black spots, those frustrating areas with weak or non-existent signals, can hamper efficiency, productivity, and customer satisfaction. Whether you operate in the hospitality, healthcare, retail, education, or corporate sector, addressing WiFi black spots is crucial for maintaining optimal operations and seamless connectivity.

What Is A Wi-Fi Signal Black Spot?

A ‘black spot’ is an area where the Wi-Fi signal is weak or non-existent which has the ability to disrupt online activities and connectivity. These zones, sometimes also referred to as WiFi ‘dead spots’, are often characterised by slow internet speeds, interrupted video streaming, and dropped connections.

With technology moving in such a fast-paced way, the internet is a common way for people to connect with others, work (either in the office or remotely) and even do the weekly grocery shop! By having a weak internet connection, via a wireless network as opposed to an ethernet connection, it can impact productivity, entertainment, and communication in the above scenarios and many more.

Fortunately, solutions like optimal router placement and channel adjustments can help alleviate these issues and provide more consistent WiFi coverage. Identifying and addressing your WiFi black spots is a crucial exercise for optimising your existing Wi-Fi signal.

Understanding The Causes Of Wi-Fi Black Spots

Wi-Fi black spots can emerge due to a range of factors that impact signal strength and coverage. Some common culprits include:

Interference from Other Devices

Wi-Fi signals operate on specific frequency bands, often overlapping with other household devices like cordless phones and lighting that may cover different parts of the building. 

Physicality Logistics

Simple, common physical obstructions such as thick walls, furniture and large appliances need to be considered when attempting to find the cause of a WiFi black spot, as signals struggle to penetrate solid objects. Therefore the farther you move from your main router, the weaker the signal becomes.

Router Placement

A router placed in an isolated corner or near metal objects can limit its signal propagation, resulting in uneven coverage. The location of the router plays a significant role in creating black spots, especially if there are many devices connected across multiple floors, as the signal needs to be able to reach these areas.

Identifying WiFi Black Spots

Before implementing solutions, it’s crucial to identify WiFi black spots in your environment. Here’s how to check for them:

WiFi Analysation Apps

Utilise WiFi analysis apps available for smartphones and laptops. These apps can scan your area, revealing signal strength and areas with weak coverage, as well as helping to detect interference from other devices. Popular apps include NetSpot, WiFi Analyzer, and Acrylic WiFi.

Heat Mapping Tools

Professional heat mapping tools create visual representations of your WiFi coverage. By analysing these maps, you can identify areas with poor coverage and strategically place access points. Some tools offer real-time monitoring, helping you track WiFi performance over time.

Signal Strength Testing

Walk around your space with a device connected to WiFi and monitor the signal strength, discover areas with weaker signals or complete dropouts. You can also use tools like inSSIDer or Wi-Fi SweetSpots to assess signal strength in different locations.

Speed Test

Conducting a speed test in different areas will help to identify locations with slow or unstable connectivity. These tests enable you to source zones around your property that have weak signals as well as spot any patterns of congestion that may appear, further helping you to optimise your network setup.

Device Connectivity

Consider which devices consistently struggle to maintain their signal or struggle to connect in specific areas, monitoring them to keep an eye on devices that consistently lose connectivity or struggle to connect in specific areas. Monitor devices struggling to connect or losing connectivity in specific spots. This aids in spotting interference, obstructions, or outdated devices, enabling timely adjustments such as repositioning, updates, or adding signal boosters for a seamless network experience.

Improving Your WiFi Signal

To effectively address WiFi black spots, tailored solutions are crucial:

  1. Optimal Router Placement – As mentioned above, checking your router placement is an important step in getting the most out of your Wi-Fi signal which is achieved by placing it in common areas that foster consistent coverage such as placing it at a higher vantage point, for example, a wall mounted shelf. By doing this, you are enabling the signals to travel further and penetrate through potential obstructions.
  1. Channel Adjustment – Routers operate on different channels to transmit their signals, therefore to optimise the channel settings you can opt to select a less congested channel to minimise interference from other devices. Optimising the channel by making minimal adjustments is a simple and effective way of improving your Wi-Fi signal.
  2. Mesh Network Systems – By interlinking access points via a wireless mesh router system, these systems ensure uninterrupted connectivity, eliminating coverage gaps and amplifying the overall collaboration between individual mesh devices. These interconnected mesh devices, referred to as “points,” collectively guarantee seamless movement across buildings, eradicating coverage limitations.
  3. Upgrade Your Router – One of the most notable things to consider when improving your Wi-Fi signal is how up-to-date your current router is. A newer and ultimately more powerful router can eliminate Wi-Fi black spots and provide more reliable coverage for the entire space, whether that be a house or office. When upgrading your router, aim to choose one with advanced features such as beamforming and multiple router antenna for improved coverage.

How Do Wi-Fi Black Spots Affect Specific Industries?

Whilst dead spots can be an issue within homes, they also pose significant problems for specific industry sectors including healthcare, hospitality, retail, education and commercial offices. Whether you are running a restaurant or storing health records, technology is so widely used that having a slow or weak internet connection can significantly hinder performance. To combat healthcare connectivity issues, consider using medical-grade Wi-Fi solutions designed to work around interference and maintain secure connections. Additionally, implementing intelligent room-based access points and load balancing can help ensure even coverage throughout the facility.

Not only is a strong Wi-Fi network important to maintain technology in professional environments but it is also needed to sustain high productivity and efficiency levels as most shops use point-of-sale and inventory management systems. It’s important to identify areas for improvement to ensure minimal difficulties are present and in order to fix Wi-Fi black spots, there are quick solutions for office-based work as well, such as the ‘bring your own device’ approach so that there aren’t multiple connected at any one given time whilst also integrating expanded access points across the office.

Enhancing Your Wi-Fi Network Performance In Industrial Settings

  • Firmware Updates – In certain industries, such as healthcare and finance, data security is critical which makes regularly updating router firmware an essential part of the data protection process. These updates vary but can often include bug fixes and security enhancements that can improve signal strength and network stability.
  • Obstruction Clearance – The healthcare industry in particular should ensure that medical equipment is strategically placed to avoid obstructing WiFi signal pathways. This simple adjustment can significantly enhance coverage and communication however an additional measure can be carried out to assist with this which is the process of ensuring that all medical equipment used that requires a Wi-Fi connection has been designed to operate harmoniously within the Wi-Fi environment it resides in.
  • Metal Object Avoidance – Industries with metal structures, such as manufacturing or fabrication facilities, should take special precautions to minimise the interference caused by metal objects reflecting WiFi signals. Positioning a router and access point in areas with minimal metal obstructions will help to maintain your Wi-Fi connectivity across one room or multiple.
  • Device Management – In educational settings, implementing strict device management policies can help to eliminate Wi-Fi interference at the source of the problem. This ensures that the network is optimised for multi-use purposes by establishing separate networks for administrative tasks as well as student use.

WiFi black spots are a challenge across industries, but with the right strategies, they can be effectively addressed. By customising solutions to meet the specific needs of each sector, businesses can ensure seamless connectivity, enhance customer experiences, and boost overall operational efficiency, while households can upload/ download and stream from wherever they are in the house.