Having a good wireless connection is important today, as we have more and more connected devices. However there are different factors that can affect the speed and quality. In this article we are going to talk about one that can go unnoticed, but that can affect the connection. Do you have some old device connected to Wi-Fi? That can make the wireless network slow. We will explain to you why this happens.
Old Devices Affecting Wi-Fi
We connect devices of all kinds to the Wi-Fi network. For example, computers, mobile phones, televisions, IoT devices… Far from it all are the same and we can even have equipment that is many years apart. And just the latter can become a problem. Specifically it is when they use the 802.11b protocol.
The Wifi It hasn’t always been the same, far from it. Over time, new protocols have been appearing that allow greater speed, better coverage and performance. But not all devices are compatible with the latest ones. Therefore, if you have old devices they will connect to protocols from years ago. This makes older devices that use the 802.11b protocol potentially disrupt the network.
The 802.11b protocol appeared in the early 2000s. Although it was an improvement over previous protocols, the truth is that it is far from what we have today. allow a 11Mbps transfer ratea far cry from the much more current 802.11ax protocol, which allows up to 2.4 Gbps.
But why would an older device using 802.11b slow down the network? The reason is that different protocols use different modulation techniques to transmit data. This means that a device using the 802.11b protocol cannot understand the data transmitted by the 802.11n protocol. If an older device connects to a router that uses 802.11n, that router will use the 802.11b protocol to communicate with that device. This is what causes Wi-Fi to slow down. For example, we can name an old PDA or a computer that has a Wi-Fi card from many years ago.
But another important point is that a Wi-Fi router will only be able to transmit data to several devices at the same time if they have MIMO technology. What does this mean? In case you connect an old device that does not support this technology, the router will transmit data to one device at a time. This will make it take longer to connect to the other devices, thus slowing down the network.
Therefore, if you use old devices connected to Wi-Fi with the 802.11b protocol, the network speed will decrease since it will take a little longer to transmit the data. Now, the truth is that today it is difficult for you to have devices of this type connected to the network. They would be very old and you probably don’t have any.
But if you do have older devices, is there anything you can do to avoid network problems? A very interesting option would be to connect modern devices to the 5 GHz band. In this way they would not be affected by old devices that use the 802.11b protocol, since they will connect to the 2.4 GHz band.
Another option to avoid this problem, although this would be more dramatic, is disable 802.11b protocol of the router. However, older devices that only support this protocol would not be able to connect to the network. You always can prevent a device from connecting to Wi-Fi.