DECT wifi interference

Wifi interference is still a common problem, so sometimes people ask me about DECT wifi interference. I have good news. DECT doesn’t interfere with wifi. This is by design.

DECT background

DECT 6.0 is a marketing term. For decades, cordless phone boxes advertised megahertz, then gigahertz. Bigger is better, right? In the days of 66 MHz computers, 900 MHz phones sounded really good. Not so much in the age of gigahertz computers, but 2.4 GHz phones solved that problem. Then in the age of multi-gigahertz computers 5 GHz phones came to the rescue again.

But that led to a technical problem: stepping on wifi.

Moving to 1.9 GHz solved the technical problem, but created a marketing problem. 1.9 GHz sounds about as impressive as a 1.9L 4-cylinder engine in a sports car. The solution? Call it DECT 6.0.

Sources of interference

So, if you have a DECT cordless phone, it’s not your phone that’s interfering with wifi. If you have a non-DECT cordless phone, and it’s less than 15 years old, your phone may be interfering with wifi.

But it’s more likely that your neighbors’ wifi is interfering with yours. I remember a time when I had the only wifi on my street, but that’s not the case today.

The best thing to do is to move your wireless router to a different channel. Channels 1, 6, and 11 are the best to use, so start on one of those and see if your connection rates improve. I used to use an app on my cell phone, Meraki Wifi Stumbler, to see what channels are the least crowded.

Then I decided to quit fighting smart and just fight hard. I set up two access points with the same SSID and password as my router. My router was on channel 6, so I put one access point on channel 1 and the other on channel 11. I put them in different parts of my basement, connected via Ethernet cables. Guess what? My wifi doesn’t drop anymore. If a channel gets too noisy, my devices jump to the clearest one. One of them is always good enough.

Theoretically, your microwave can interfere with wifi. So if you want, the next time you’re microwaving something, see if your cell phone drops. But replacing your microwave seems a bit extreme.

But if there’s one thing I want you to walk away with, it’s this: Don’t worry about DECT wifi interference. DECT is designed to solve that problem.

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