Types of RF Interference

RF interference occurs when the signal emitted by one device gets unintentionally picked up by another­, which can greatly compromise your connection and create security vulnerabilities. There are multiple types of interference that may prevent you from getting the best possible wireless signal. Wifi signals are broadcast over various RF frequencies conforming to the 802.11 protocols. However, many other sorts of waves, radiation or physical obstacles can dilute and scramble these radio signals, which can create dead zones in your coverage.

What Causes RF Interference?

Some common causes of RF interference include:

Physical Obstacles

Objects, particularly dense ones, in the path of the RF signal can create shadows of low coverage. Trees, buildings and other masonry objects can make it difficult for a signal to pass through.

Narrowband Interference

Intentional transmissions can interfere with your wifi signal. The source of this interference can come from televisions, radio stations and cell phones.

Wideband/Broadband Interference

Unintentional transmissions can interfere with your wireless signal. Power lines are the most common source of this type of interference.

Intersymbol Interference

Also known as ISI, this is a signal distortion where one symbol blurs into the next, resulting in a broadcast that looks like nothing but static noise.

Delay Spread

When the multipath component of the wireless signal is not as rich as it should be, the signal can become compromised or scrambled.

Avoiding RF Interference

You can combat RF interference by simply turning off items that may cause it. However, this is not always practical. If you own a business, it may not be possible to turn off your cordless phones or other devices that may be an integral part of your operations.

Providing adequate wireless LAN coverage can help reduce RF interference. If signals are weak, then interfering signals can become a problem. Doing a thorough wireless site survey can help to determine the appropriate number and placement of access points necessary to reduce RF interference.

You can analyze the potential for RF interference before installing your wireless system by conducting a wireless site survey. A trained and experienced wireless engineer from BCI can take the special actions needed to save your office from interference. Email us with the form below or call us at (847) 615-­2933 to find out how we can help you today.

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