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January 21st, 2013

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Wireless range is too low

This document deals with the following issue:

  • The range of the wireless connection between a wireless device (e.g. notebook, smartphone, tablet) and the FRITZ!Box is too low.

Causes:

  • The wireless adapter being used, structural conditions (e.g. thickness and concrete reinforcement of the walls) as well as other electronic devices such as microwaves and baby monitors influence the quality and therefore the range of the wireless connection.

Simply proceed as described below. After each measure, check to see if the problem persists.

Note:Our documents generally refer to the latest version of the FRITZ!Box firmware.

1 Installing latest software for wireless device

  • Install the latest driver for the wireless network adapter installed on your computer or the latest software for the wireless device.Note:Consult the manufacturer of the wireless network adapter or wireless device or refer to its manual for instructions on how to update the driver or software.
    You can find the latest drivers for the FRITZ!WLAN USB Sticks in the download area of the AVM homepage.

2 Automatically setting radio channel settings

If you configure the FRITZ!Box to automatically set the radio channel settings, the FRITZ!Box checks the wireless environment and selects a channel with as few interferences as possible on its own.  If the FRITZ!Box is already configured to Automatically set a wireless channel and no improvements are found.  Go to Step 7 (below) on how to manually set a channel.

  1. Open the user interface of the FRITZ!Box.
  2. Click “WLAN” and then “Radio Channel”.
  3. Select the option “Set radio channel settings automatically (recommended)”.
  4. Save your settings with “Apply”.

3 Deactivating radio channels optimized for 300 Mbit/s

In some environments, the radio channels in the 2.4 GHz frequency band that are optimized for 300 Mbit/s cannot be used without interference. Try deactivating this option for test purposes:

  1. Open the user interface of the FRITZ!Box.
  2. Click “System” and then “Expert Mode”.
  3. Select “Advanced View” and click “Apply”.
  4. “WLAN” > “Radio Channel”
  5. Select the “Adjust radio channel settings” option.
  6. Disable the option “Use radio channels optimized for 300 Mbit/s”.
  7. Save your settings with “Apply”.

4 Setting transmitter power of the FRITZ!WLAN USB Stick

The following steps are only necessary if the wireless device are using is FRITZ!WLAN USB Stick and you are using the FRITZ!WLAN control software:

  1. Double-click the icon  FRITZ!WLAN: Keine WLAN-Verbindung for FRITZ!WLAN in the notification area of the Windows task bar (Systray).
  2. In the “Find and Select WLAN Devices” window click “Cancel”.
  3. Right-click the FRITZ!WLAN USB Stick icon.
  4. In the “WLAN Device Properties” window select the option “Expert Mode”.
  5. Change the “Transmitter Power” to the “100” and click “OK”.

5 Positioning FRITZ!Box and wireless device

  • Do not position the FRITZ!Box in the corner of a room.
  • Position the FRITZ!Box so that it is not obstructed, i.e. not directly in back of or under an obstacle (e.g. pieces of furniture, heater).
  • Position the FRITZ!Box so that there are as few obstacles as possible between it and the other wireless devices.
  • For testing, position the FRITZ!Box and the wireless device as close as possible.Note:Once you have ruled out the other error sources you can move the two devices closer together again.

6 Determining sources of interference

Other devices near the FRITZ!Box or the wireless device can interfere with the wireless network. Proceed as follows to determine such sources of interference:

  1. One after another, switch off all devices that could interfere with the wireless radio network.Note:All devices that emit radio waves are a possible source of interference. These include other wireless devices, Bluetooth devices, baby monitors, mobile telephones, DECT base stations and handsets (cordless telephones), as well as microwaves.
  2. After you have switched off a device, check whether the wireless connection to the FRITZ!Box continues to be impaired.

Once you have identified a device that causes interference, you can either leave it switched off or try to avoid the interference by manually setting the radio channel.

7 Adjusting radio channel settings

Sometimes, the router is unable to detect a  wireless channel free from congestion automatically.  This can be due to interference from other unknown sources, affecting all available frequencies. In this case, the option to change the channel manually is available.

Try setting a different radio channels in order to avoid interference caused by other devices:

  1. Open the user interface of the FRITZ!Box.
  2. Click “WLAN” and then “Radio Channel”.
  3. In the “WLAN Location” section, click on the link “Show WLAN Disturbances”.
  4. Use the graph to see which radio channel is affected the least by other wireless radio networks and sources of interference.
  5. In the “Radio Channel Settings” section, enable the option “Adjust radio channel settings”.
  6. From the drop-down menu “Radio Channel”, select a the radio channel that was affected the least.  (For example, if there is one or more device detected on channels 1, 5 and 11,  select channel 8).
  7. Save your settings with “Apply”.

8 Using a wireless repeater

In order to establish wireless connections even over large distances or in unfavorable environments you can use a wireless repeater to increase the wireless range of the FRITZ!Box. You can use the FRITZ!WLAN Repeater 300E, for example, or an additional FRITZ!Box with WDS functionality (Wireless Distribution System).

This Article was taken with permission from the AVM website Original Article.