A Bad Signal Is Freezing & Crashing My Wi-Fi Antenna

Your computer’s wireless antenna allows it to receive and transmit signals to a Wi-Fi network. You may see erratic wireless performance if this antenna is unable to find a strong signal. Dropped connections and long access times are both common symptoms of signal problems. Learning how to troubleshoot the source of a bad wireless signal will help you to improve the reliability of your wireless network as well as maximize your Internet speeds.

Wireless computer router with cables (focus on cables)
Wireless antennae work in a similar way to radio broadcast towers.
credit: Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images

Update Firmware

Your wireless antenna's firmware is the in-built software that allows it to do its job. Hardware manufacturers often release new firmware for existing products with the aim of improving performance and fixing bugs that have only become apparent since that product's release. Check your wireless antenna manufacturer's website to see if there are any available firmware updates, as new firmware may better equip your antenna to deal with poor quality signals and prevent crashing.

Eliminate Interference

Interference occurs when a signal, such as a radio wave from a Wi-Fi router or access point, is disrupted in transit. This can result in parts of the signal becoming unreadable once they reach the receiving device, causing reduced speeds and temporary freezing. Interference can be generated by other wireless devices, such as cordless phones, or by a wireless signal passing through materials such as toughened glass. By avoiding these devices and materials, you can improve the quality of Wi-Fi signal your antenna receives.

Alter Wireless Channel

You may be able to improve the strength of signal received by your antenna through modifying your router settings. Many routers allow you to modify the wireless frequency – sometimes known as a wireless channel - that they broadcast on, as certain frequencies may experience less interference than others. Finding the best wireless channel for a given network can be a matter of trial and error, as different environments have varying levels of interference on each available frequency.

Use Repeaters

A repeater is a device designed to pick up a wireless signal and re-broadcast it. This can help to extend the usable range of wireless networks, allowing wireless clients at the edge of a network to receive a stronger signal than they would otherwise be able to. However, using multiple repeaters can have a negative effect on speed, as each repeater is effectively sharing one wireless signal. Alternatively, you could use additional wireless access points, which generate their own wireless signals instead of relaying existing ones.