Wireless interference can cause Wi-Fi and Bluetooth devices to disconnect or perform poorly, but you can take steps to reduce or overcome it!
The symptoms of wireless interference:
Any of these symptoms could be caused by interference affecting the Wi-Fi or Bluetooth signal:
- Device doesn't connect or stay connected
- Connection is slow and signal strength is low
- Bluetooth audio skips, stutters, cuts off, or has static or buzzing
- Pointer movement is erratic or jumpy
So how can you reduce wireless interference?
These general steps can help achieve a cleaner, stronger wireless signal:
- Bring your Wi-Fi device closer to your Wi-Fi router. Bring the Bluetooth devices that are connecting to each other closer together.
- Avoid using your wireless devices near common sources of interference, such as power cables, microwave ovens, fluorescent lights, wireless video cameras, and cordless phones.
- Reduce the number of active devices that use the same wireless frequency band. Both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi devices use the 2.4 GHz band, but many Wi-Fi devices can use the 5 GHz band instead. If your Wi-Fi router supports both bands, it might help to connect more of your Wi-Fi devices to the 5GHz band. Some dual-band routers manage this for you automatically.
- Configure your Wi-Fi router to use a different Wi-Fi channel, or have it scan for the channel with the least interference. Most routers perform this scan automatically on startup or when reset.
If you're using USB 3 or Thunderbolt 3 devices with your computer, you can limit their potential to interfere with nearby wireless devices:
- Use a high-quality, shielded USB or Thunderbolt 3 cable with each device.
- Move your USB 3 or Thunderbolt 3 devices—including any USB hubs—farther away from your wireless devices.
- Avoid placing USB 3 or Thunderbolt 3 devices on top of your Mac Pro, Mac notebook, or Mac mini.
- Turn off any USB 3 devices that aren't in use.
Avoid physical obstructions in the path of your wireless signal. For example, a metal surface between your Bluetooth mouse and computer could cause the mouse to perform poorly, and a metal-reinforced concrete floor between your Wi-Fi router and Wi-Fi device could cause poor Wi-Fi performance.
- Low interference potential: wood, glass, and many synthetic materials
- Medium interference potential: water, bricks, marble
- High interference potential: plaster, concrete, bulletproof glass
- Very high interference potential: metal