WiFi Performance and Coverage Considerations

WiFi Performance and Coverage Considerations

Please be aware that some devices do not support 5GHz. Most new devices will as 5GHz devices deal with WiFi interference much better.

If you’re suffering from coverage or performance problems, where your WiFi connection only works in some parts of your flat, this can be due to a number of possible problems:


There are other devices, WiFi networks or objects which are interrupting your own WiFi connection. Look for anything nearby which could be causing this interference, such as:

  1. Wireless printers
  2. Bluetooth speakers or headphones
  3. Personal access points or routers
  4. Games console controllers
  5. High powered lights 
  6. Microwaves

If you’re able to find any of the above, try temporarily disconnecting them whilst you’re having problems to see if there is a noticeable difference. You may need to move the location of the objects or your device to get a better connection.


Sharing the WiFi

WiFi interference can also be caused by other users. Unlike a cable connection, the air is used to transmit and receive WiFi data. As a shared transmission medium, this means the more people using the WiFi, the lower your performance. Imagine you were in a busy restaurant, but only one person was allowed to talk at any time. If two people were to talk at the same time, they would not be understood. Conversations would take hours! WiFi networks function in this way, but at incredibly fast speeds. The busier the restaurant is, the longer you would have to wait to speak. We expect you to have a usable connection all of the time, but it is normal to expect some reduction in performance in peak times.



WiFi uses electromagnetic waves to send and receive signals, which in theory can pass through objects easily. The reality of this is that much like sound, it will be absorbed by objects and materials in between the Wireless Access Point and your device. Materials such as thin walls and doors can be penetrated quite easily, however thicker and heavier materials may cause more issues. Modern buildings are designed to produce the best possible sound insulation between rooms, however this can come at a cost to your WiFi signal. Although we plan our WiFi networks around the building design, the objects in between you and the Wireless Access Point will always be a factor. Check your surroundings in your room, considering the path any WiFi signal may take. Knock on walls and doors to gauge the thickness and material.

Understanding your surroundings can help us better determine the cause of your problem, resulting in faster fix times.

Some examples of surroundings that can impact your wireless performance:


  1. Supporting/foundation walls
  2. Brick/concrete walls
  3. Elevators or stairs


  1. Mirrors
  2. Bathrooms
  3. Kitchen appliances (fridges, etc.)

Not So Bad

  1. Clear glass
  2. Plaster walls
  3. Wooden doors


We design our WiFi networks to provide coverage throughout the building, meaning accessing the network shouldn’t be a problem from most areas. As data is sent and received by both our Wireless Access Points and your devices, the wireless abilities of your device must be considered. A laptop will usually contain a powerful and high performing WiFi card and antenna, compared to what you might find inside a smartphone, which has requirements to be energy efficient and fit into a small form. For this reason, we cannot expect the same level of performance across all devices. Another consideration is the age, quality and standard of the device you are using. Look for “802.11n” and “5GHz” in your device technical specifications to ensure it is capable of these industry standards. If your device only supports 802.11a/b/g and 2.4GHz, you may find it does not perform as well.

Other Issues

  1. Unable to reach a particular website

The first thing to do is confirm that the website you are attempting to access is currently accessible from your network connection. This can be done by using a website such as www.downforeveryoneorjustme.com . Using this website, you can enter the URL of the website you are attempting to visit to see if it can be accessed from a location other than your accommodation. Secondly, if you have a mobile device with a 3G/4G connection, please attempt to visit the intended site using this connection rather than your network connection. This will make it easier to see if the problem is with the website, or with your accommodation Internet connection. If you have confirmed the website works from outside the network, we can investigate this further. Please contact our Support Team to let us know.

  1.  Can’t get onto the University website

The site itself may be down. These sites can become vulnerable when a high volume of students visit at the same time. Alternatively, it could be an issue with the IP address our network has supplied to your device. If you’re not sure, please contact our Support Team once you know the website is accessible from outside the local network.

  1. I’m unable to use Skype 

Make sure you’re connected and ensure your device is up to date. Is the problem when calling one particular person or everyone? If it is one person, the problem may be at their side.

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