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Wireless Internet Signal in your Office:

This article discusses the wireless internet signal in your office. The things one can do to ensure a consistent, properly ranged and high quality wireless network connection, regardless of office size or dimensions. It also discusses some of the pitfalls to avoid.

Common Wireless Internet Signal Situation:

You are having a coffee at the office in the morning when you arrive and sit down to check emails. At the top of your inbox is an email with a video presentation you have been working with a colleague. You click on the link and YouTube opens up. Expecting the presentation to play immediately, all you get is the dreaded “circle of death”. You figure you can wait this out as you want to see the presentation. However, after finishing your coffee the video has not yet loaded. You then try a news site and you get the same result. Hmmm you think, this isn’t right, maybe I should check the wireless internet signal.

You check the wireless internet signal on your computer and only one bar is showing. Then you go to look at the wireless internet signal in your office by checking the wireless router. The wireless router is located behind a solid metal door at the back of the office just after the brick corridor to ensure it is plugged in and it is. Some lights are blinking on the router but you are not familiar with what they mean. You ask a colleague if they too are experiencing a decreased internet signal. Your colleague replies that their wireless internet signal is usually less than perfect. Finally, you go your primary solution which is rebooting the system by unplugging the router for 5 minutes and then plugging it back in. Hoping the signal will be better this time around.

Location of Wireless Internet Signal in your Office:

Like the real estate market, location is important. The location of the wireless router or access point may greatly enhance or limit the performance and reliability of your wireless signal. Many commercial offices have a telephone room where telephone, cable and internet connections enter the office. This is usually the worst place to put a wireless router or access point. Many buildings were erected before the advent of the wireless internet signal. Thus, containing building materials which limit or block a wireless internet signal such as brick, metal and plaster. Additionally, there is other equipment located in the telephone room which may be emitting EMF noise. EMF noise can easily degrade the signal of a wireless device. Irrespective of whether one uses a telephone room or not, the same idea applies.

Locate “Dead Zones”:

You may have a 2 story office and when upstairs you get a solid wireless internet signal in your office but in the offices downstairs you do not. First thing to do is find out where the “dead zones” are. The easiest way to do this is to grab either a laptop or a cell phone that is connected to your wireless network and have a quick walk around the office. Does the internet slow down or have less bars in the back office? What about the break room? Does the upstairs office have any signal? Usually within a few minutes one can identify parts of the office where the signal is diminished or is spotty. In fact, you may already know of certain areas within your office which have a poor or no wireless signal. Once the “dead zones” are identified, we can address them.

Extending Wireless Internet Signal in your Office:

One way to extend the signal is to purchase a repeater or range extender. Try a wireless repeater. A repeater will connect to your existing wireless network, wirelessly, and eliminate the need to run extra cables. The repeater should have enough antenna power to grab your existing signal and clone it. Thereby extending the signal to locations which have a poor signal. If this does not work, the routers wireless signal may be too weak for the repeater to pick up, or if there is a lot of EMF interference between the access points you may have poor performance or cutouts in the signal. In this event, you will need to connect the wireless access point using a cable. Many offices have LAN ports where the wireless access point can plug into using an Ethernet cable. If there are none, a cable will need to be run to your wireless router.

Powerline Ethernet Adaptors:

In Toronto, there are many heritage houses and converted warehouses where drilling and/or running cable can be prohibitive in terms of cost. Especially if your office is in a heritage building where drilling might be prohibited. The solution may be Ethernet adaptors which can solve many issues. Essentially, there two adaptors plugged into to electrical outlets. One connected to your primary router and the other in the location where you want to plug an Ethernet cable in so you can access the internet. For this to work, each of the adaptors must be plugged into electrical outlets which are on the same circuit. Ethernet adaptors use existing electrical wiring to create an Ethernet connection between them. Pretty cool stuff.

Quality of Internet Equipment:

It is my experience that using equipment of poor quality can cause a poor or non-existent wireless internet signal in your office, especially in an office setting with a network printer. Just recently a client of mine had trouble with their network printing which ultimately related to a lower end access point, which was being used to extend the signal. My client thought they were extending their wireless internet signal, and they were, but the quality of the signal was worse, as the signal worked intermittently. If a wireless internet signal is to travel more than 25 to 30 feet, you should consider purchasing a router with a minimum price range between $150 and $200 CAD.

Summary of Wireless Internet Signal in your Office:

As you can see, having no or a poor wireless internet signal in your office is not the end of the world. What might seem to be insurmountable problems such as (1) location of wireless router, (2) dead zones and limited wireless internet signal range (3) location of Ethernet access, (4) quality of equipment are treatable. Each of these common issues can be addressed through (1) adjusting the location of your wireless router, (2) installing access points, (3) installing Ethernet adaptors, (4) using good quality equipment. There may be other solutions available depending on the circumstance but the above is a good start.

If you need help with the wireless internet signal in your office, I would be delighted to assist you. Please call me at 647.956.6081 or email me at


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