WiFi Loses Range and Coverage Suddenly: Causes and How to Fix It

That our Wi-Fi network performs according to our demands is of great importance. Today, except for a desktop PC, a smart TV or an Android TV that is connected by Ethernet network cable, the rest of the devices are connected by Wi-Fi. Therefore, that our wireless network performs well is very important for the good performance of our smartphones, tablets and other IoT or home automation devices that we may have. The first time a router falls into our hands, we fine-tune its configuration to make the most of our Wi-Fi. However, with the passage of time we notice that the Wi-Fi suddenly loses its range, today we will see what its causes are and the possible solutions that we can apply.

WiFi Loses Range and Coverage Suddenly

The first thing we will see is the equipment that may be causing this poor Wi-Fi performance. We will also see individually those causes why those computers do not perform as they should and the Wi-Fi loses range. Then we will offer a series of solutions to solve this problem.

What elements should we check when Wi-Fi loses range

A wireless connection can lose coverage over time. We should not focus on a single element because two elements participate in communication. One is the sender and the other is the receiver, the moment one of the two fails, we are going to have problems.

Therefore, the following equipment should be checked to find out if the Wi-Fi loses range:

  • The router.
  • Access points, Wi-Fi mesh system or PLC with Wi-Fi if we have them.
  • That desktop or laptop computer, smartphones and home automation devices.

Router problems

We have already seen the equipment that may be causing a failure. Generally, when a failure occurs in which we notice that the Wi-Fi network loses range it has to do with:

  • The location of the equipment.
  • The state of the hardware.
  • Intruders on the WiFi network and WiFi settings.
  • Software related problems.

Next, we will see how these causes affect the different elements that we talked about at the beginning.

Router location

A bad location of the router or small changes that we make can affect the Wi-Fi losing range. Therefore, the ideal thing would be to place our router in a central place in our house so that the Wi-Fi signal can be distributed equally and can reach everywhere.

Another thing to take into account is its placement, it should be placed at medium height and preferably on a wooden cabinet. A very important aspect is that it should not be placed in a drawer and always free of obstacles around it , because otherwise, the Wi-Fi loses its range.

The other big problem we can face is electromagnetic interference. Thus, we must avoid having devices such as:

  • Bases of cordless telephones.
  • Microwaves and refrigerators.
  • Computers and other electronic devices that generate electrical noise.

It is very important to correctly locate the router, so as not to have problems in the short or long term, so before installing it in the final location, make sure that it is the correct place.

Router hardware problems

Another problem that causes a Wi-Fi network to lose range is related to the hardware of the router. On some occasions, we see that little by little we are losing coverage, to such an extent that we are only able to connect to Wi-Fi when we are close to the router. On many occasions it usually tells us that we have a fault in the router . If so, in most cases we will have to replace the router with a new one.

Also related to this, another situation that may arise is that the hardware of our router is insufficient for our needs. This is because more and more computers are connected to the Internet and the router cannot handle the workload. Thus, problems of this type arise when we use P2P programs, download large files, online games and watch streaming videos. We are forcing the Wi-Fi part of the router to offer a bandwidth and number of connections that it cannot offer us. At first, this situation may cost a little more to detect since it will only occur on specific occasions with several devices connected at the same time. What will happen as in the previous case is that it will be his replacement.

At other times the problem will be derived from problems with interference with neighboring networks . In these cases, the solution may come from a Wi-Fi channel change . Here we would have to see if it supports automatic channel selection and if we see that it does not work well at all, proceed to change the channel manually. One of the programs that we could use in Windows to carry out this task would be Acrylic WiFi . Then we would have to choose the channel furthest possible from the two or three Wi-Fi networks that we have closest to.

Intruders on the router’s Wi-Fi network and Wi-Fi settings

Another thing that we should also check is that we do not have intruders in our Wi-Fi network. Entering the router through the web we usually have a section in which you can see the devices that are connected at that time. In case of detecting that an intruder is using our connection we must:

  1. Change the password to a strong 13 character password. It must contain uppercase, lowercase, numbers, and symbols such as $.
  2. Check that at least we have established a WPA2 encryption and if it supports a better WPA3.

Also another very important aspect is to have the firmware updated . In this way we avoid security gaps and obtain the improvements that the manufacturer has implemented in our router.

Band choice may be the reason why Wi-Fi loses range. If we are far from the router, generally, what we should use is 2.4GHz because we gain range, but in return we lose speed and stability due to interference from neighboring networks. On the other hand, with the 5GHz band we gain more speed, but it supports the distance worse. If we notice that being close to the router we do not have the speed that it should, perhaps it is because we are in the 2.4GHz band.

Problems with Wi-Fi repeaters

The causes in which the Wi-Fi loses range or speed are very similar to those that we face with the router. In that sense, the state of that access point in relation to its hardware, and the interferences with neighboring wireless networks that we already explained before, also affect them a lot.

Another very important factor is the location of that access point or WiFi repeater. It must be placed at a medium distance between the router and the area where we have low or no Wi-Fi coverage. The reason is that, if we leave it near the area where we have poor coverage, the signal it will receive will not be very good, and we will have almost no improvement. Also, as in the case of the router, it must be placed in an open space and as far as possible from other electronic devices that may cause interference.

It should also be checked that both router and access point support the same standard and speed. For example, that both are AC1200 Wi-Fi, if not, although they would not lose range, it would not take advantage of all the available bandwidth. Finally, it is always advisable to buy a simultaneous dual-band WiFi repeater, in order to provide the best possible coverage and speed.

Check PCs, smartphones and other devices

In a computer we must find that it has the operating system updated with the latest updates . Also the cause that the Wi-Fi loses range may be due to the fact that the drivers of the Wi-Fi adapter of our computer are outdated, so we would proceed to update them. Nor should we rule out that we had some type of malware or harmful software that was slowing down our computer. For this reason, our computer must have an antivirus, and if possible, antimalware software such as Malwarebytes.

In addition to checking that the router and the WiFi repeater work correctly, are properly configured and we have them in a good location, it is also essential to perform speed tests on the end devices, that is, on the computers and smartphones that we have.

The WiFi coverage can be found directly in the WiFi coverage icon of our smartphone, the greater the coverage we have, the higher the speed we will obtain in the local network and on the Internet. One way to find out if the Wi-Fi loses range or speed is by running a speed test in different parts of the house. This is an example of the results we have obtained with our wireless connection:

In this case, seeing the speed achieved, it could guide us if we have problems and also help us choose the best location for a WiFi access point. Another cause could also be our Internet provider , which is not offering us all the bandwidth contracted due to a failure or poor installation. The best thing in these cases is to check it with a computer by network cable, since they are the ones that best reach the full potential of the connection.

On Android we could do it with this app from the Play Store, although you could also perform a speed test directly from your smartphone’s browser:

As for smartphones, tablets must also have the latest security patches and updates on. Finally, we must not forget to update the firmware of our network equipment such as PLCs, smart plugs and other home automation devices.