Microwave oven interfering with network connection?

Here's a weird problem: anytime I run the microwave oven in my house, the internet connection becomes terrible. Sites get slow to load, online games lag horribly, etc. All devices connect over Wi-Fi which is connected to a cable modem. Haven't really tried anything to fix it yet.

Before I go too crazy with testing out various options, I was wondering if anyone had any experience with something similar and had any pointers on solving this nuisance. Thanks!
Brian MatisProduct ManagerAsked:
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Zephyr ICTCloud ArchitectCommented:
This can happen, I've dealt with the same issue, it's because microwave ovens emit a signal very close to the 2.4Ghz band when active... Some modes are worse than others.

The thing you could do is change the position of your routers so it doesn't need to pass by the microwave or change bands, if your lucky and your wifi router/ap can work in the 5Ghz band you could use that one instead of 2.4Ghz. You could play around with the channels but I think that will not do much good.

A third alternative, try shielding your microwave more thoroughly.
Brian MatisProduct ManagerAuthor Commented:
Heh, glad to hear I'm not the only one running into this! I can't mess with testing stuff out right now, but should be able to mess around this weekend to try changing the router position or see if it'll do 5Ghz.
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Brian MatisProduct ManagerAuthor Commented:
Oh, and any good advice on shielding the microwave if it comes down to that?
Zephyr ICTCloud ArchitectCommented:
Well, that's last resort shielding the microwave you'll need to open it up... Then it will be looking into what material you would be able to get... Extra thin metal plate, maybe aluminium tape, or try copper plating or something like that, copper is good for RF shielding. It comes down to experimenting really. Better first try the wifi approach ;-)
Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
Get a new microwave, they aren't that expensive.  It shouldn't be putting out that much interference.  Remember that when it is interfering with the network, it is also microwaving you.  There is something wrong with it.
Zephyr ICTCloud ArchitectCommented:
That's true ... It shouldn't, if it was me I'd just do without it but I have to deal with it for the misses :-)
Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
I actually have two of them and I have never noticed them interfering with my WiFi.  About a third of my meals go thru them, lots of leftovers.
Now if we get to the point where Author needs to think is it cheaper to buy new microwave oven or to buy 5 GHz wireless router.

More reliable is to buy 5GHz router - it will not be in the same frequency range with new microwave oven, with current bad luck there's a chance it could happen again.


For start move away wireless router from microwave oven (So oven is not on the path of wirelles signal)...
Fred MarshallPrincipalCommented:
Another source of interference is the video cable if you're using a monitor - such as on a laptop but I wouldn't think it would be limited to laptops.
Get a good shielded monitor cable with ferrites.  They are quite inexpensive.

Could there be interaction?  Well, perhaps.  The cable might act as an antenna for the microwave.
But, I admit this is a bit far-fetched.
I only mention it if you fail.

I like the idea of a new microwave!!
Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
A new microwave and a new router are in the same price range here.  I personally think it is a safety issue with the microwave and I would replace it for that reason alone.
Craig BeckCommented:
Microwaves put out emissions in the region of 2450MHz.  Unfortunately they will spill outside of the unit into the surrounding area.  This is not uncommon.  If the microwave is particularly old it may be poorly shielded so you may suffer from interference across the whole 2.4GHz band, instead of just the channels surrounding the microwave's centre-frequency.

I would advise you try to set the AP to use Channel 11 and see if that helps.  If not, buy a new microwave.

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David AndersTechnician Commented:
Kyle SantosQuality AssuranceCommented:
If you live in a place where you see a lot of wifi networks, most users will also be on 2.4ghz frequency as well.  It would behoove you to definitely try using a 5ghz frequency and new channel if your router can use a different channel.  Note that some devices are not capable of supporting 5ghz frequency so ensure your devices can use that before buying a new router. :)
Brian MatisProduct ManagerAuthor Commented:
Thanks again for all the suggestions, everyone! I'm looking forward to trying them out this weekend and finally fixing this thing :-)
Brian MatisProduct ManagerAuthor Commented:
With everyone's help and advice, looks like I've got it solved now!

The microwave is fairly new ~1 year old, so that was going to be a last resort. While I was very tempted to get a 5Ghz router as many recommended (the current one is kind of old), I decided to try fussing with the current one first, and changing the channel is what did the trick. It had been set to 10 already and changing it to 11 had some improvement (verified by using Speedtest.net). But since that clearly made a difference, we focused on messing with other channel options.

Moving it down to channel 1 had a really great impact, so it seems like that got it far enough out of the microwave's range to get it working optimally.  Thanks again, everyone!
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