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Issues with older router, 802.11g and lower router and ISP routers

Why are older routers, 802.11g and lower routers, and routers from ISPs problematic?

Many routers and wireless gateways provided by ISPs are older and lower quality than more modern networking gear. Polk Omni products are not especially demanding in terms of bandwidth, but they do require reliable transmit speed and a quality signal. Older routers often lack newer media streaming optimization features and the speed and range enhancements that current routers have. Routers five years old or older are also known to become slower and less reliable as they age. 

Polk Omni will work on most 802.11g routers, but performance may not be the best. 802.11g does not support many optimizing features that were introduced in 802.11n. 802.11n routers also offer greatly improved speeds and this can dramatically help not only Polk Omni but also your daily network performance. Due to its limited range and speed, streaming over 802.11b is limited to a single Polk Omni speaker.

Interference issues: Areas with many wireless networks nearby, or with many other wireless devices in use.

Using Polk Omni products in environments with many wireless networks operating at once, like an apartment building or crowded neighborhood, can be a challenge because it is likely that these networks are causing interference with each other.  

To check for this, if you are using Android, you can download and run an app like Wi-Fi Analyzer. The app will show which broadcast channels are busy and can help you choose a less cluttered one.  If the area is very crowded, switching to a router with 5GHz capabilities will make a big difference.   

Interference can also come from devices that don’t connect to your network but are still emitting wireless signals. Microwaves are one example, but wireless home phone systems and Bluetooth headphones and handsets also may cause trouble. If your home has a lot of these devices, moving to a dual band router and using Polk Omni with the 5GHz band will be a major improvement.  

You can find instructions for changing the channel in your router owner’s manual.


Click here for a list of our recommended router specifications and models.

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