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Do Fridges Affect WiFi? Yes, Why & How

In today’s fast-paced world, there is little time to stop and think about the things that surround us.

Among these are fridges, which we use for storing our food and beverages.

But do fridges affect wireless internet? The answer is yes!

Fridges can affect wifi and I think most people know that already.

The internet itself in the most basic terms just requires 2 things to work: a router and a device that connects to it.  These can be in any form of combination  such as a computer, laptop, smartphone or fridge.

This article will be about how fridges affect wireless connection to these devices and a few possible solutions.

Do fridges affect wifi?

We live in a world dominated by wifi and other radio frequency signals. 

We use them to do almost everything from listening to music, watching TV, socializing with friends, surfing the web and managing our lives. 

People also have more choice than ever before when it comes to choosing an internet provider. This can be a blessing or a curse depending on who you are and where your home is located.

The good news for those that live in big cities is that there are many internet service providers to choose from, the bad news is that it doesn’t always translate into better service. 

One of the main pain points with wifi signals nowadays is the unfortunate fact that we live in an electric appliances world. 

Everything around us conducts electricity, from our wrist watches to our refrigerators.

The main question is: Does having a fridge near your wifi modem harm the signal strength?

It is possible for your fridge to affect the wifi signal if it is close enough to the modem. 

It does not matter how new or old they are, fridges can affect radio frequency signals in general.

As long as there is no interference between devices and everything works seamlessly, one would not be able to tell even if their own home was interfering with a wifi signal. 

However, if you notice your wifi signal is much weaker than usual but you still get constant internet connection, then there is a good chance that some sort of interference might be at fault.

It depends on how close the refrigerator actually is to your modem or router. 

If they were very close then it would probably affect it.

How do WiFi devices work?

The WiFi system delivers data by radio waves that are similar to sound waves. 

A WiFi router turns data into radio waves and sends them at a maximum of 11Mb per second over the air into specially designed laptop computers, home networks and wireless access points called hotspots.

For each type of message or request transmitted through a networked computer, a specific numerical target sequence is produced. 

These are used to match incoming radio waves with specific data sequences, which are then translated into readable messages or requests.

To ensure that all computers accessing a network receive information quickly and without interruption, the transmission of each message in airwaves is divided into small pieces called packets. 

Each packet travels individually through the network, but never by itself. They travel in a series of hops, which are then dispersed throughout the airwaves by a high-speed signal that is constantly changing to avoid interference with other networks or signals. 

When any one of these smaller pieces travels across the airwaves, it is continually examined for any damage or interruption. Any damaged packet is immediately discarded, and the next packet in the group is sent on its way.

As the packets reach their destination, they are examined individually again for damage or interruption in the transmission. 

The system then works to reassemble all of the original messages back into a single string of data that is understandable by your computer. 

That’s how WiFi devices work.

However, how does this flow of information get affected by your fridge?

How does the cooling system in my fridge affect my WiFi signal?

I have been living in my apartment for about a year now, and I was just told by the building manager that I need to turn off my fridge when I’m on vacation.  

The reason he gave is because it takes up too much electricity and the electromagnetism generated from it will impact the wifi signal.  

So, as you can see, even the building manager understands why there’s a problem with fridges and wifi signals.  

This will make it easier to address the actual problems rather than fix what people falsely believe are issues.

It does make sense to me that switching off my fridge will affect the wifi signal.  

Heating/cooling appliances use a lot of electricity and it is well known that some electronics don’t work as expected when around very strong electromagnetic fields (such as high voltage powers lines).  

So it makes sense that the electromagnetic fields from the fridge will impact the wifi signal.

So why is the fridge generating electromagnetic fields that mess with wifi signals?  

There are a few potential reasons very strongly supported by facts.

The first is that any appliance that uses electricity will have some sort of electromagnetic field generated because it is live and will move around electrons to make power.  We can confirm this by analyzing the electromagnetic emissions from a microwave (in the 2.45GHz range).  From https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/radiation-electromagnetic-fields/.

So microwaves and fridges both generate electromagnetic fields because they use electricity.  

They are however definitely not equivalent in terms of how much electromagnetic field they generate.  

As far as I can tell, these electromagnetic emissions are not a safety issue.  

As long as you aren’t trying to cook something with metal in it and holding your head directly above the microwave when it is turned on (don’t do that, microwaves are bad for you), then there shouldn’t be any problem with electromagnetic fields generated by a microwave oven.

However, if you really want to know what could be causing the issue with your wireless network, keep reading!

How to prevent a weaker WiFi connection

We all know that one person in your circle of friends or family who has a top notch internet connection, and the rest of us are left with subpar WiFi connections. 

The question is, what can you do to affect this? Does it really come down to money spent on an expensive router for the best possible signal strength? Or does the power of your refrigerator make all the difference?

That’s right. 

That one friend you always talk about who just has the best internet connection and you wonder what they do to have such a strong signal, could it be caused by some groceries in their fridge? 

Let’s find out!

What can really affect a WiFi connection?

The answer to this question lies in the fact that there are many things that could potentially cause your WiFi signal strength to be weaker than expected. 

One of the biggest factors is distance from the source

The best way to prevent a weak signal from being caused by distance is with a repeater.

A repeater will amplify the WiFi signal and increase the range over which it can travel.

The second factor is interference from other electronic devices, such as microwaves or cordless phones. 

It isn’t just your fridge that could cause a weak connection, so be sure to keep all appliances away from the router as much as possible. 

Takeaway

Now you know what can cause weak signals on your WiFi connection. 

If you are having a problem with a WiFi signal that won’t reach to the edges of your abode, try moving devices such as microwaves or refrigerators away from the router. 

If they aren’t causing the interference in the first place, this should help you deal with the issue and have an excellent connection throughout your home. 

Going forward, be sure to keep an eye out for other devices that can affect your signal strength and keep appliances as far away from the router as possible!

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