Oinam Notes

Tit-bit, wiki-ish, data, learnings, and observations.

Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi makes you feel like living in the future, where Internet just works in the air. But if you happen to peel and look just underneath, it is one of the worst offender for your bad Internet. It gives no warning, and there is no easy way to know what the prolem is until it totally stops working. Time and again, a wired connection has always triumph over a wireless connection.

Wi-Fi suffers from problems that are not trivial to solve;

Interference. If multiple wireless networks are operating on the same “channel” (radio frequency band), their transmissions can interfere with each other. When that happens your device needs to re-send the same information, which makes your wifi slow.

That means in dense areas, such as apartment buildings, routers will often pick a bad channel and end up interfering with each other. There’s no way for your router or device to notify you if it’s experiencing interference, so you’ll only learn about it if you know how fast your router “should” be and notice that it’s slower

Dead zones. If you’re too far from your router, your computer may not be able to reliably receive the signal that the router is sending, or vice-versa. How far is “too far” can also be affected, sometimes in weird ways, by whatever walls or ceilings are in the way. Unless you know a lot about how radio waves interact with building materials, it’s hard to predict where your dead zones are.

Polling. Any program on your computer can ask your wireless card to enumerate the nearby networks. This causes it to go into “polling mode,” where it spends less time transmitting data and more time listening for routers advertising their network info (it can’t transmit and receive at the same time). Thus, it will cause a sudden burst of network delays that can e.g. cause your video call to stutter or freeze for a few seconds.

For more detailed reading, here are the references;