Why No Fi? Troubleshooting Wi-Fi Problems

Wi-Fi is one of the greatest resources available to organisations of all sizes. It’s an absolute marvel when it works, but when the office Wi-Fi goes down and internet speeds become sluggish, the complaints soon start rolling in.

Here are some of the most common factors that can lead to Wi-Fi downtime and some troubleshooting tips to help get things running smoothly again.

1. The Problem: The Office is Too Big

Cartoon of a very busy office using wi-fi

Quick Fix 1: Move the Router

If your company’s workplace is spread across a number of floors and the signal from the router has to pass through concrete walls and fire doors, it’s unlikely that every corner of the building will have full signal. The most diplomatic thing to do is to move the router into a centre point in the office, so no workstation is worse off than any other.

Quick Fix 2: Get a Wi-Fi Repeater

Another option is to purchase a Wi-Fi repeater. This is essentially a second wireless router that picks up the signal form the existing router in the workplace and amplifies the signal to maximise Wi-Fi coverage in the office.


2. The Problem: Chronic Slow Speeds

Quick Fix 1: Tighten Security

If you work in a small office with less than 10 people, chances are you can guess exactly how many devices might be connected to the office Wi-Fi on a day of full attendance. If you are an administrator, you can access your router’s web portal to see what devices are connected to your system at anytime. If everyone has their phone and laptop connected, you might expect 20 devices to be tethered to the office connection.

Cartoon of a man changing his Wi-Fi password

If you are the only person in the office working on a Sunday and you see on your router’s dashboard that there are a number of phones and laptops connected to the company Wi-Fi, you could have a breach. Simply change your password to remedy this problem. It mightn’t be a malicious breach, it could be a one-time guest from a neighbouring office might have forgotten to disconnect from your network. No matter who the culprit is, get into the habit of changing your Wi-Fi password once a month.

Quick Fix 2: Setup Guest Wi-Fi

If your organisation is consumer facing and offers Wi-Fi access to guests waiting in reception, it’s possible that these Wi-Fi tourists are eating into your company’s bandwidth. You can install a second internet connection just for guests and avoid any interference with your company’s on-going work practices. You can also talk to your service provider about setting up a system that logs guests out after a set amount of time and restricts access to certain sites if necessary.


3. The Problem: No Scale of Services

Quick Fix 1: Reassess your Needs

It’s important that, as your business grows that you scale your services with it. Talk to your staff and gauge their satisfaction with the office broadband and if necessary, contact your provider and see if the next tier of the available business broadband bundles is more suitable for your current circumstances.

Quick Fix 2: Prioritise

Even if you go with the provider with the fastest broadband speeds in the country, there will always be one or two processes that will use up a lot of bandwidth. An example could be the uploading of high-resolution video content onto the company website. To avoid congestion, introduce a protocol of informing staff that there could be some speed issues on these occasions, or schedule these high consumption tasks for out of office hours.

Quick Fix 3: Optimise

During these unavoidable slow speed times, there are a number of tweaks you can make to your everyday web activities to stop an impeded connection from slowing you down. First thing to do is use a web browser that doesn’t rely on constantly pulling resources from the web. There are a number of plugins for the Firefox browser that stops your computer running background scripts and playing flash ads.

Another option is Opera, a minimalist browser that offers a ‘no frills’ version of web browsing and uses compression technology to cut out the ‘busyness’ of the web. It goes without saying that you should avoid activating heavy duty streaming sites during times of bandwidth scarcity, but if it’s unavoidable, learn how to modify your data settings on services like Netflix.


4. The Problem: Unknown

Quick Fix 1: Acknowledge That You Might Be the Problem

Sometimes, the reason a web page doesn’t load is because of a mistyped URL, or the numeric keypad doesn’t work because you have accidently pressed NUMLOCK. Similarly, human error can also hinder internet activity.

Cartoon of a computer switched on and loading over night

An office desktop might have so many applications or tabs open that the user can’t see the prompt from the application manager warning of a problem. Also employees who leave their computers on overnight can wear down the device more quickly and lead to connection problems on the PC’s side of things over time.

Incorrect installation of hardware and software could also be a problem, especially if integration with legacy systems is involved. When in doubt, always read the manual or call your service provider and if it looks like a complicated hardware problem, bring in some IT support. Avoid getting tangled in the wires yourself if you don’t know what you’re doing!

Quick Fix 2: Turn The Router On Then Off Again

“Turn it off then on again” is the ultimate ‘Plan B’ solution to any technology issue that has an unknown cause at its source. If your office router is left running without a reboot for months on end, that means it has managed your office like a traffic cop granting permission to countless new devices that are connecting and disconnecting without a break. Over time, a sequence of events that the software on the device isn’t equipped to handle can occur and clog up the traffic. The system needs to be reset so it can clear the channels and start again.

Everyone is always happy when normal Wi-Fi service resumes, but when this turns out to be the solution it can be frustrating. It’s like searching the house high and low for your house keys only for the mystery to be solved when someone asks you: “Did you try your pockets?”

Cartoon of 2 men trying to fix their wi-fi by turning it off and on again

Still Stumped? Contact Virgin Media Business

If your Wi-Fi issue still has you stumped, contact us at Virgin Media Business on 1800 940 062 or through the Help & Support section of the website and one of our business team will help you identify and solve your Wi-Fi problem.