A lot of the time passively avoiding interference is all that is needed to make your WLAN run better. Just move to a channel that is less affected by RF from Wi-Fi, cordless phones, etc., and your interference-caused throughput and connectivity problems go away. But sometimes — as is becoming more and more apparent in the 2.4 GHz band — there are not enough open channels to go around and no amount of avoidance will be sufficient to make your network interference free. There are just too many devices sharing the same swath of unlicensed spectrum to allow everything it’s own space for a good, solid wireless connection.
So, what to do?
If you could just find these transmitters then you could eliminate them, or move them, or at least figure out how they fit into sharing the available spectrum resources. But that’s just the problem, right? Any number of things could be the culprit as just about *everything*, both consumer and commercial devices, uses the 2.4 GHz band these days. Plus, a lot of the time these devices are hidden from plain sight making the job even harder.
Here’s where Device Finder Directional Antenna comes in. With a 60 degree horizontal beamwidth, and a 7 dBi gain this new accessory blocks out “ambient” RF noise from most of the area surrounding you, while giving gain to the area where you are pointing. When used in conjunction with Device Finder mode in Chanalyzer Pro, all it takes is to click-drag the over the spectrum graph to highlight the target signal. Then, it’s just a matter of watching the red line increase or decrease in amplitude as you walk and point.
Once you find the device, you decide what to do with it. A lot of the time this means trading-out that cheap-o 2.4 GHz cordless phone for a 1.9 GHz DECT model, or replacing the obsolete wireless camera you discovered with a more modern, non-interfering one. Sometimes, it takes more creative actions and a measure of compromise must be taken. But, at a minimum, you will have all the information you need to manage your wireless environment and you will know with certainty which devices are sharing the band.
It’s all about knowing. Chanalyzer Pro and Device Finder Directional Antenna clue you in on what’s happening in your wireless landscape and lets you actively control what’s using your spectrum resources.
By Trent Cutler (Metageek “Utility Player”), reproduced with permission