Dealing with Poor Wi-Fi Signal Strength

 

Question: I've received a prompt telling me I have poor signal strength. Why is my Wi-Fi signal weak and is there anything I can do about it? 

Answer: Yes! This article will give you all the information you'll need to understand Wi-Fi signals, what interferes with them and what you can do to improve your Wi-Fi strength.

Causes of Wi-Fi Interference

 

There are three major sources for interference with Wi-Fi signals. In the typical home, you'll usually have (to some extent) an issue with all three:
  • Interference from walls and floors: Depending on the materials your home is made from, you may find that communication speed and range may be greatly affected by the interior architecture of your home. While wood and glass don't have much of an effect, other materials such as concrete, brick, or metal may bounce your signal around in unusual ways or even block them entirely.

    One of the easiest ways to measure this kind of interference is to use "Test Your Wi-Fi," a tool you can find in the Device Health page in your Ring App. Try measuring your upload and download speeds in different areas of your house. Sometimes a few feet can make a huge difference.
  • Interference from competing Wi-Fi networks: The amount that this affects you often depends on where you live. Densely crowded areas such as big cities or apartment buildings often have dozens of Wi-Fi networks in a very small area. The easiest way to tell if you might be having an issue with this is to open the wireless options on your mobile device or computer. If you see a lot of networks to choose from, you may be experiencing this type of interference.
  • Interference from other electronics: This can be one of the most difficult kinds of interference to detect, as it can come from almost anything, even from appliances such as microwave ovens that aren't connected to your Wi-Fi network. The biggest source of electronic interference though, are those appliances that use the same Wi-Fi network as your Ring device to perform their basic functions. These include cellular phones, iPads, other smart home devices, TVs, and video game consoles.
Symptoms of poor Wi-Fi signal strength

 

While it's possible for your home to experience all three kinds of Wi-Fi interference, all of them tend to generate similar symptoms in your Ring devices:

  • Devices with a Camera
    • Unexplained disconnections from the Wi-Fi network
    • Green video
    • Poor video quality.
    • Delays in getting motion alerts or ring alerts.
    • Poor audio quality
    • Ring or motion alerts that fail to connect to video.
  • Chime Pro
    • Devices connected to a Chime Pro with poor signal strength may experience any of the above symptoms despite the device showing a good connection to the Chime Pro in the Device Health panel.
Wi-Fi troubleshooting tips

 

Here are some quick tips that may help you get a stronger Wi-Fi signal for your Ring device:

  • Most routers are automatically set to switch channels to the least crowded. If your router doesn't have this enabled, log in and turn it on.
  • If you can, move your wireless router closer to your Ring device.
  • Otherwise, if possible, try and move your Ring device closer to your router.
  • Unplug other electronics that may be interfering with your connection.
  • Install a Wi-Fi range extender or repeater.
  • Call your ISP to ask about getting faster service.
  • If you're getting interference from walls and floor:
    • If your router or access point has an adjustable antenna, try pointing it at your Ring device.
    • Try measuring by eye the path your Wi-Fi signal takes from your router to the device. If you have any large household decorations made of metal, move them out of the way.
    • If you can move your Ring device to a new location, do so. Even a few feet can make a big difference.
    • Powerline adapters may be an option for larger homes with thick walls and floors.
    • Add a Wi-Fi extender such the Chime Pro to your network. Extenders rebroadcast your Wi-Fi signal from a new location.
  • If you're getting interference from competing Wi-Fi networks:
    • Many modern routers have utilities that allow them to scan for the least crowded channel to broadcast on. Check your router's documentation to find out how to enable this feature on your router.
    • If you've tried channel switching and are still getting slow Internet speeds, try setting the channel manually and use the "Test Your Wi-Fi" tool on the device health page of the Ring App to test your Wi-Fi speed and find the fastest one.
    • Consider upgrading to a new router, especially if yours is more than a few years old.
  • If you're getting interference from other electronics:
    • Try turning off or unplugging some of your electronics.
    • Some electronic devices such as PCs, TVs and video game consoles can be wired directly into your router. Attaching these devices to a wired connection will free up bandwidth on the Wi-Fi.
    • Try moving other electronic devices. Even a few feet can make a big difference.
    • Ring devices can only function with a 2.4GHz signal. Other devices however, can operate using a 5GHz signal. Try switching any devices that can manage it over to the 5GHz signal.
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