Your Slow WiFi May Be Your Neighbor's Fault
by Madeleine Aggeler
Young woman sitting on floor of her apartment with laptop and notes working
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There is an unspoken etiquette among neighbors — you are friendly, but not too friendly, you share a polite nod in the mornings, occasionally feed each other’s cats while the other is out of town, and always pretend you didn’t see the other person rush naked from the bathroom to the bedroom. But there is a line, a point beyond which it’s every person for themselves, no matter your emotional or physical closeness. That line is WiFi.

This week, Business Insider shared a video that explains how your neighbor may be ruining your WiFi signal, and how you can fix it. According to the video, though your WiFi network (Khaleesi’s Kastle) may not be the same as your neighbor’s (Abraham Linksys) you may be sharing the same WiFi channel, and their devices could be interfering with yours. Fortunately, this is easy to fix, and the video walks you through how to do so on a Mac, iPhone, and PC.

On a Mac, you can scan for WiFi channels in your area, and your computer will recommend which ones are best to use. Once you have that, you can adjust your wireless setup through your IP address to change which WiFi channel you use. When you’re done, you’ll get less interference from the devices around you.

With that fixed, you can go back to having a pleasant, mutually-beneficial relationship with your neighbors, instead of cursing their existence every time your episode of Frasier won't load. Shared channels may not be the only reason your signal is weak, though. Here are some other reasons your WiFi may be slow.

The position of your router.

Routers work best when they're elevated in a central location, far from appliances that can interfere with their signal, such as microwaves, baby monitors, lamps, and cordless phones.

So basically, get your router out of the kitchen.


If your WiFi password is Password123, there's a decent chance your network is being used by half of the people within its range. To see what devices have been using your WiFi, use a program like WifiHistoryView. Then, change your password to something harder to crack.

You're sitting in the wrong place.

No matter your router, WiFi signals only travel so far. Tools like HeatMapper or NetSpot show you where the signal is strongest in your house.


Streaming services like Netflix, as well as online games, and cloud services like DropBox use a huge amount of bandwidth, which slows down your internet connection. By using a Quality of Service feature, or QoS, you can prioritize which applications get the most bandwidth.

Check out how to set up a QoS here.