Troubleshooting high noise level

Note: This visualization is available only for the Pro and Enterprise versions of NetSpot on macOS.

High noise levels can interfere with your network signal strength and cause areas of poor connectivity — or “dead zones” where there is no connectivity. Noise can be caused by any electronic device, including microwave ovens, cordless phones, Bluetooth devices, wireless video cameras, wireless game controllers, and fluorescent lights. Note that other Wi-Fi networks are not included when measuring noise, but they are included in the Signal-to-Interference Ratio.

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If you are registering high levels in noise in some areas (or all areas) of your Noise Level visualization, then your first step should be to deselect all of your APs on the left sidebar and then re-select them one by one. Try to narrow down which APs are affected by high noise.

Strategies for decreasing noise level

  • Switch your network from the 2.4 GHz frequency band to 5 GHz. The 2.4 band tends to have a lot more noise. Both your APs and client devices will need to be capable of using the 5 GHz band. If you can’t ensure that, at least try to install double-frequency APs that cover both bands and inform users that connecting to the network at 5 GHz is preferable.
  • If switching to the 5 GHz band is not an option, try switching the affected APs to a different channel in the 2.4 GHz band.
  • Check the environment and attempt to identify sources of noise. Turn them off one at a time (if possible) and use Discover Mode to quickly register changes in noise level in particular areas.
  • Once you identify a source of noise, your choices are to move, replace or shield the source of noise, or to move the affected AP.

Note that identifying and removing the source of noise might not be an easy task. In practice, the easiest solution is usually increasing the signal level rather than decreasing the noise level.

updated: August 19, 2022 author: nsjill
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