USB 3.0 device interferes with WLAN and DECT

The fact that a USB 3.0 device or a corresponding cable interferes with radio traffic in a WLAN network or reduces the voice quality of DECT devices (radio telephones) does not happen very often, but the problem is well known. It was not only noticeable in 2017; Intel published corresponding measurements back in 2012 (see below). The USB 3.0 device interferes with WLAN and DECT due to insufficient shielding. In most cases, the problem is with the cable for power and data transmission, because it acts as an antenna for the interfering radiation. In this little guide you can read about the symptoms of radio interference and what you can do about it.

A USB 3.0 device interferes with WLAN and DECT? Then try to shield its cable or to use a better shielded cable.

A USB 3.0 device interferes with WLAN and DECT? Then try to shield its cable or to use a better shielded cable.

USB 3.0 on the router or computer interferes with WLAN and DECT

A USB 3.0 device usually interferes with WLAN and DECT if the cable used for the connection is too close to the computer or router. So if you are using a long cable, it should not be wound up directly next to / on the device. The main problem that the FRITZ! Box manufacturer AVM in one Service contribution treated, but is often not in the length, but in the shielding of the cable. So if you have devices such as external hard drives, your smartphone or tablet or other USB 3.0 devices on a Mac, MacBook, PC, laptop or router, then switching from cheap cables to high-quality, well-shielded cables can be worthwhile (see below).

Current AVM routers: FRITZ! Box 6590 Cable / FRITZ! Box 7590 high-end

Only 2,4 GHz affected with Wifi

With DECT devices, i.e. radio telephones that work cordlessly, radio interference from USB 3.0 cables can lead to a reduced voice quality. If this is the case with you, then check the connected devices on the computer and router. Even if you use a hub or dongle, the problem can arise, as with the Satechi Hub for MacBook Pro 2016/2017. With WLAN connections, the speed of data transmission is disturbed or slowed down. However, only the frequencies around 2,4 GHz are affected, but not the bands around 5 GHz.

Source: Intel

Source: Intel

Solution / workaround: shielding or ferrite core

Solutions or improvised improvements bring, as already indicated, cables with good shielding, which do not serve as an antenna for the radiation from USB devices. You can also upgrade existing cables by using a ferrite core. You probably know ferrite cores as the cylindrical things on USB, VGA, HDMI and power supply cables. They serve as a consumer or attenuator for the radiation emanating from the cable and thus reduce interference.

The USB 3.0 device interferes with WLAN and DECT - so try these products to bring about an improvement:

UGREEN cable with triple shielding
According to the manufacturer UGREEN, this USB 3.0 cable is triple shielded to prevent data loss and undesired emissions. Aluminum foil, metal braiding and grounding in connection with the insulation ensure good quality. Lengths from 0,5m to 2m.
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The page contains affiliate links / images: Amazon.de

4 comments

  1. Mike says:

    Hi,

    and what about USB-C cables that you can recommend? Those that are well shielded. Unfortunately, price = good is not necessarily an indicator.

    • Johannes Domke says:

      Hi Mike,
      For cables with USB-C connectors, I cannot make any recommendations ad hoc with regard to shielding. If you observe problems with USB-C cables similar to those described here, then if in doubt you can try ferrite cores. Of course, the price is not an indicator, which is why only cable examples were mentioned in this article that, in addition to good customer ratings, also had indications of good shielding on the product side.
      Best regards
      John

  2. Bodo says:

    USB 3.0 memory sticks do the same. Without any cables. Should you then connect them with a cable?

    • Jen Kleinholz says:

      Hello Bodo, if the stick is actually the problem, you could lay it at least a meter away from the computer with a longer cable and thus reduce the interference somewhat.

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