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Old 10-07-09, 02:47 AM   #1
RubenX 
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Does Microwave ovens affect WiFi Routers?

I've noticed that a lot of times, when I'm watching a movie on one of the WiFied PCs, and somebody uses the microwave oven, the movie stops for a while.
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Old 10-07-09, 03:36 AM   #2
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Don't know about routers, but I noticed the microwave at my buddies house would
screw up his satellite signal. The dish was on the side of the house right outside
the kitchen countertop where the microwave was. Probably leakage. Might not
want to press your face against the door when makin popcorn.
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Old 10-07-09, 04:09 AM   #3
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Yes it does if it's on the same frequency. Try turning on the micro when someone is conducting business interactively online.
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Old 10-07-09, 05:05 AM   #4
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Yes it does if it's on the same frequency. Try turning on the micro when someone is conducting business interactively online.
Now that's just evil
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Old 10-07-09, 06:21 AM   #5
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Yes, Microwaves DO operate on the same frequencies as wireless routers (well, B and G routers (2.4 Ghz)... A band is a different frequency range(5 Ghz)). That said, they're shielded so they shouldn't really affect the routers that much... In general, better microwaves may be shielded better.

Some routers have configuration settings for interference, and you can try changing the wireless channel.

In the US b/g routers can use channels 1-11, but there are only 3 truly usable channels that don't overlap (1, 6, 11) I think almost every home router defaults to channel 6, so there are a LOT of routers out there using that channel. Try using 1 or 11... this will most likely put you onto a frequency range that is less used by other routers, as well as moving you out of the center range of the 2.4 Ghz frequency range used by a lot of devices (microwaves, cordless phones, baby monitors, etc)

Of course, you can also go with an A band router... this puts you into a totally separate frequency range, as well as gives you 24 unique, non-overlapping channels.... but if your computer doesn't have a compatible wireless adapter already, you'll have to get one.

N routers bring a whole 'nother level to things.... N routers use either the b/g band or the a band... and they get their increased speed by using multiple channels to transmit/receive at one time... I'd recommend one that can use the A band here, as well, as there are more usable channels available in that band, as well as fewer people using it... you're a lot less likely to have interference.
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Old 10-07-09, 06:26 AM   #6
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There are two potential interference modes from a MWO. One is radiated interference, and the other is conducted interference.

It's not inconceivable for EM fields to radiate from a MWO, but there are standards that require it be a very weak field. A MWO may not emit an EM field stronger than 5mW/cm^2 measured 2-inches from the surface (holy incongruent units batman). If the MWO is in compliance, this level of radiation would not appreciably affect other wireless devices in the house, even if they were on the same frequency.

Conducted emissions are those that are spit out of the MWO back onto the AC feeder. These emissions are also not likely to affect other devices in the house unless the MWO is broken or non-compliant with the rules regarding conducted emissions.

So, either you're out of your mind, or you manage to break MWOs wherever you go...
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Old 10-07-09, 08:04 AM   #7
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The wireless network installer at work said he had seen microwave ovens interfere with the wifi on other installations. He had signal strength software on his laptop, and checked out the lunchroom before he started the install. The microwaves there were ok.
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Old 10-07-09, 08:04 AM   #8
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I would think putting a router in a microwave oven would be detrimental to it.
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Old 10-07-09, 12:59 PM   #9
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There are two potential interference modes from a MWO. One is radiated interference, and the other is conducted interference.

It's not inconceivable for EM fields to radiate from a MWO, but there are standards that require it be a very weak field. A MWO may not emit an EM field stronger than 5mW/cm^2 measured 2-inches from the surface (holy incongruent units batman). If the MWO is in compliance, this level of radiation would not appreciably affect other wireless devices in the house, even if they were on the same frequency.

Conducted emissions are those that are spit out of the MWO back onto the AC feeder. These emissions are also not likely to affect other devices in the house unless the MWO is broken or non-compliant with the rules regarding conducted emissions.

So, either you're out of your mind, or you manage to break MWOs wherever you go...
I've seen many cases of microwaves interfering with wireless routers.... I'd go so far as to say it's pretty common. *shrug* Lived in a condo for a while that everyday about the same time (dinner time) my wireless would act up. Got an A band router and issues went away.
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Old 10-07-09, 01:27 PM   #10
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I've seen many cases of microwaves interfering with wireless routers.... I'd go so far as to say it's pretty common. *shrug* Lived in a condo for a while that everyday about the same time (dinner time) my wireless would act up. Got an A band router and issues went away.
Depends on location, really... if your router is far from the microwave, and the wireless device is somewhere in between, there is a point close to the microwave at which the leakage from the microwave (assuming maximum allowable emissions of 5mW/cm^2) will be stronger than the router signal, but you'd have to be close.

Most routers are on the order of +17dBm... the microwave has to overcome the signal strength of that output plus the added margin of the modulation method, which for FM variants (like OFDM, COFDM, etc) is very high.

It'd be an interesting propagation study to run... maybe some time when I am bored..
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