/>
X

USB 3 and USB-C devices can cause problems with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections, but there's a solution

USB 3 and USB-C devices are everywhere, and they offer a great speed boost for peripherals and storage devices. But there's a possible downside that not many people are aware of -- they can have an adverse effect on Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections.
adrian-kingsley-hughes.jpg
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Contributor on

The other day a question from a reader reminded me that there are possible downsides to using USB 3 and USB-C devices.

Quick question – When I plug my USB 3 hub into my Mac I notice that my Wi-Fi connection slows down and sometimes even drops. Any idea what the problem is? Is it a problem with my USB port?

Must read: WWDC 2019: The new Mac Pro

The problem here is not with the USB port itself, but actually an issue that relates to some USB 3 and USB-C devices.

Some USB 3 devices generate radio interference in the 2.4GHz frequency, and this can have an adverse effect on both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth as they operate on this frequency.

If you are finding that a device is causing problems, here are some things you can do:

  • Use high-quality cables. Cheap cables may lack the shielding required to prevent radio interference from leaking.
  • Use high-quality USB 3/USB-C devices. Cheaper devices can cause more problems.
  • If you are not using a USB 3 device, unplug it and turn it off.
  • If your device has a long cable, move it further away from your computer.
  • Try connecting the device to a different port (which may be further away from the Wi-Fi/Bluetooth antenna in your computer, and improve the connection).
  • Shift your Wi-Fi installation to the 5GHz frequency instead of 2.4GHz (not all routers and device support this). This has no effect on Bluetooth, which always uses 2.4GHz.
  • Reduce other 2.4GHz interference by moving away from devices such as microwave ovens, cordless phones, and baby monitors.
  • If possible, move your router (or yourself) to a better spot to get a better signal.

Six steps to faster, better Wi-Fi


Related

Apple's iOS 16 will give you an alternative to irritating CAPTCHA tests
Scrolling through iPhone

Apple's iOS 16 will give you an alternative to irritating CAPTCHA tests

Security
Is the iPad ready to replace your laptop or desktop?
iPad Pro and desktop monitor

Is the iPad ready to replace your laptop or desktop?

iPad
How to transfer your WhatsApp account from Android to iPhone
whatsapp-android-iphone-transfer-setup

How to transfer your WhatsApp account from Android to iPhone

Mobility