in Misc

USB 3.0 causing WiFi interference on a Macbook Air

I have spent enough time troubleshooting my family’s WiFi to pickup a decent understanding of wireless networking. At least decent enough to get to the bottom of any issue eventually using a structured troubleshooting approach.

So it’s been a while since I’ve been as dumbfounded as I was last week trying to figure out whether my connection quality dropped when I plugged in my keyboard, or if I was just going crazy.

Turns out it is a known issue that USB 3.0 can cause interference on the 2.4ghz spectrum when not properly shielded. It’s especially noticeable on the left-side USB port, which leads me to believe the wireless card is located near the port.

I picked up and it totally fixed the issue. The hub itself sits a foot away from my laptop, which reduces the impact of interference from USB 3 devices plugged into the hub. The cable connecting to my laptop’s USB port is quite thick and seems to be well shielded. Lesson learned about not trusting cheapo USB hubs from Alibaba. Anker is now my go-to brand for USB connectivity equipment.

Anker USB Hub

Anker 10-Port 60W USB 3.0 Hub ($40)