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Wi-Fi not working? Blame the new parents

Submitted by on Monday, 11 May 2009 No Comment

One paranoid parent could screw it up for an entire neighborhood.

That’s according to the latest out of Britain, where a report by wireless experts Mass Consulting says that interference from a single baby monitor or wireless television transmitter can slow down everyone’s wireless Internet access.

The assumption always had been that slowdowns were caused by too much traffic or when various Wi-Fi networks crossed each other up. That’s not the case, according to an article at PC Pro.

The interference instead is caused by anything operating on the 2.4 GHz band – that includes many cordless phones and microwave ovens as well.

“It only requires a single device, such as an analogue video sender, to severely affect Wi-Fi services within a short range, such that a single large building or cluster of houses can experience difficulties with using a single Wi-Fi channel,” PC Pro quoted the report as saying.

Experts think the problem isn’t as severe in the United States, but they say it can happen.

Sheesh, I hope the neighbor who likes to grump about my grass doesn’t have Wi-Fi. If so, I unknowingly frustrated him for almost four years.

Yes, I used my baby monitors for that long. Big Guy’s asthma was the excuse. Couldn’t let him suffer at night because I didn’t hear an attack.

The real reason, though, was that I just loved to crank them up and listen to them breathe as I fell asleep. It’s the most relaxing white noise in the world. At least, it is until it turns to red noise at 3 a.m.

By the time he was 3, Big Guy had caught on that I was listening to him cavort instead of sleep and started unplugging it. I taped it to the wall. He never did defeat that trick.

This also was about the time I had a wireless network installed in the house, and I never could figure out why it wouldn’t work. When I kept getting a better signal from a building four blocks away than the one I was getting from my own bedroom, I disconnected.

If only someone had suggested disconnecting the monitors. And not reheating my coffee 3.6 million times a night. And keeping Dad off the phone.

Maybe I’ll try it again some day, now that we’ve ditched the monitors and no longer have a land line. I still can’t come up with a workaround for the coffee, though.

Copyright 2009 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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