Improving WiFi Signal

Can Trees Block My WIFI Signal? What You Should Know

With so many of our devices today depending on a strong WiFi signal, it can be incredibly frustrating when the signal is less than ideal. Not only can a weak WiFi signal disrupt your day but it can also cause you to lose income if you depend on WiFi to work from your home. Surprisingly, there are many things both inside and outside your home that could be blocking your WiFi signal. 

Can trees block my WiFi Signal? It is possible that trees are blocking your WiFi. However, it is likely not for the reason you think. Water found in the leaves of the tree is actually responsible for the decrease in your signal strength. Homes that are surrounded by large trees may find it beneficial to rearrange their WiFi router for a stronger signal. 

So, what are the other common household items that block your WiFi signal strength? How can you improve your signal? In this article, we will discuss a few of the ways you may be unintentionally blocking the strength of your signal. Keep reading for valuable tips from our network of home experts on how to acquire a strong WiFi signal.

Understanding How WiFi Works

Tips for Improving WiFiWe all know the basics of how WiFi works. Connecting the WiFi router in our homes to our wireless devices allows us to use the WiFi signal. But, how does WiFi actually work? What does WiFi stand for in the first place? 

WiFi, or Wireless Fidelity, works by sending signals between devices using radio frequencies. The WiFi router in your home receives data from an Internet cable that is installed in your home through an Internet company. Once it receives this data, the router emits a signal using radio frequencies. Any device which is equipped with WiFi capabilities such as your smartphone, computer, or tablet, to name a few, receives this data, providing you with access to the Internet. 

As you can see from this brief description, a strong WiFi signal depends greatly on the ability of your router to transmit data throughout your home. There are many things that can interfere with this signal. Luckily, you can usually achieve a stronger WiFi signal by making just a few simple changes throughout your home.

Why Is WiFi Signal Worse During a Thunderstorm?

As we mentioned previously, water can actually block the strength of your WiFi signal. If your home is surrounded by trees, water accumulates more quickly and can negatively impact your signal. In areas like Tulsa, snowstorms and thunderstorms may seem to decrease your signal strength. However, many experts believe that the increase in individuals trying to use the Internet on a stormy day actually impacts the strength of your signal more than the storm itself.

Common Household Items That Block WiFi Signal

There are many things throughout your home that could be blocking your WiFi signal. If you are experiencing a weak signal, take a walk around your home looking for potential culprits such as the ones listed below.

Bluetooth Devices

While it may seem like WiFi and Bluetooth should work together, they can actually work against each other in some situations. The radio frequency that is commonly used for WiFi throughout your home (2.4 GHz) is also used by Bluetooth devices on occasion

When your Bluetooth device jumps into the frequency that is being used by your WiFi router, you may experience delays or a weak signal. If you use Bluetooth for multiple devices throughout your home, you may want to consider eliminating the connections for items that are not currently in use.  

Baby Monitors & Other Radios

While many baby monitors, walkie-talkies, and other radios use radio frequencies that are different than those used by your WiFi router, they may create interference. This is becoming less common as many modern baby monitors and other devices rely solely on WiFi.

However, if you have older devices that rely on radio frequency for communication, this may be something to investigate in an attempt to strengthen your WiFi signal. 

Microwave Oven

Did you know microwave ovens use electromagnetic waves to heat your food? Many microwaves rely on waves of 2.4GHz, the same frequency many older WiFi routers rely on for transmission. If for some reason, your WiFi router and microwave oven are located near each other, you may consider moving one of the devices to improve your signal strength. 

Metal Objects (Mirrors, Home Decor, Blinds)

Metal objects also block your WiFi signal. A few of the common household items that may be causing a problem are metal shelving units, home decor items such as metal signs, or even the metal blinds throughout your home.

Another thing to consider is if you have any large mirrors throughout your home. Mirrors have a metal backing that weakens your WiFi signal. The larger the mirror and the closer it is to your router, the more likely it is that a mirror is causing problems with your WiFi signal.

Water (Hydronics, Fish Tanks)

Water is another common blocker. If you use Hydronics to heat your home or even something like a large fish tank, you may experience a weaker WiFi signal. Relocating your WiFi to be further away from the source of water may eliminate these issues.

Television

The most common location for a WiFi router is behind the television. While this may seem to make sense and provide a convenient, hidden location, it is actually creating problems with your WiFi signal! You should never place your router or another internet element near the television. 

Similar to the way the microwave oven operates, your television operates on similar radio frequencies, limiting the strength of your WiFi signal. 

Thick Walls (Concrete, Timber, Masonry)

The construction of your home may actually be limiting your WiFi signal. In some cases, you may simply need to invest in stronger equipment or wireless repeaters to place throughout your home. Concrete, timber, and masonry have all proven to be tough obstacles for the signal emitted from a WiFi router. 

If you rely on your WiFi strength to work from your home, you may want to consider other options. Depending on the scope of your project, you may consider working with a home construction & remodeling company to accommodate a better WiFi signal. 

Trees & Landscaping

In rare situations, the trees and landscaping around your home may be blocking your WiFi signal strength. An easy way to remedy this problem is to use a reciprocating saw to trim up the trees around your home, decreasing the potential for interference.

Other WiFi Networks

The signal strength from your WiFi router can be lessened by other surrounding WiFi networks. If you live in close quarters such as an apartment complex, your neighbor’s network may be interfering with your own. In fact, neighboring networks are the greatest source of network interference! 

How to Get a Better WiFi Signal in Your Home

Whatever the cause of your weakened WiFi signal, you likely came to this post to find a solution! Here are a few ways to improve the WiFi signal throughout your home.

Remove Items That Block WiFi Signal

First, work your way throughout your home, investigating the items that could be blocking your WiFi signal. The list above will provide you with a good starting place. If it is possible, remove or relocate any items that could be causing a problem as this would be the easiest way to improve your signal strength.

Update Your Equipment

Many Internet companies provide WiFi routers for their users. While these routers are compatible with their systems, they are often not of the best quality. If you are looking to improve upon your signal strength, it may be time to update your equipment.

Investing in a better quality router and a new modem can provide you with a stronger internet signal! Just be sure to check with the manufacturer specification so that you purchase items that are compatible with each other and with your Internet supplier.

Move Your Router

Maybe your router is located behind the television or in an out of the way corner. Depending on the floorplan of your home, it is important to try to place your WiFi router in a central location. While this may not be the most convenient option, it will provide you with a stronger signal. 

If you do not want your WiFi router to be visible, consider disguising it among your home decor while not blocking the signal. Luckily, many companies are designing more aesthetically pleasing routers that are easier to disguise amongst your home decor.

Invest in a Wireless Repeater

For larger homes or those with several WiFi-connected items, it may be necessary to invest in a few wireless repeaters to place throughout the home. A repeater picks up the signal that is sent from the WiFi router and repeats it throughout the home, often creating a stronger signal in the immediate location. 

Add Security to Your WiFi

One of the reasons a WiFi signal weakens is the number of users. If, for instance, your neighbors are piggybacking on your network, your signal will be lessened. For this reason, as well as many others, it is important to increase the security measures on your WiFi network. At a minimum, it is crucial to have a password for your network that you update periodically.

Whether due to the trees around your home or your home decor items, a weakened WiFi signal can be an incredible nuisance. By using the tips in this article, we hope you will be able to discover the culprit of your weak WiFi signal and make the necessary adjustments. 

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Matt McWilliams
matt@mcwilliamsmedia.com

Hi there! My name is Matt and I write for Expert Home Report. I enjoy writing about everything related to home improvement, home tips and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either spending time with my family, doing a DIY project or learning a new skill.