What can I do if my 2.4GHz WiFi gets into trouble with a hard disk drive plugged into the USB 3.0 port of a TP-Link wireless router?
Note: This FAQ is only applicable for wireless routers with USB 3.0 ports.
In rare occurrences, customer will see that the stability of the 2.4GHz wireless band is affected while a USB 3.0 device is connected to the USB 3.0 port of the router. The 5GHz wireless band works as expected.
If unplug the USB device, the 2.4GHz wireless band will start to work normally.
This is caused by the USB 3.0 creating RF interference affecting the 2.4GHz band.
Devices that connected to the 2.4GHz wireless band will:
- Get a very low or unstable internet speed
- Show connected but have high ping times
- Intermittent connection drops
- 2.4GHz wireless band will not show available. The signal will restore momentarily after a reboot, then disappear again.
According to the USB 3.0 specification, USB 3.0 data transmission requires a broadband spectrum in the 2.4-2.5GHz range. As a result, a lot of noise or interference will generated on the 2.4GHz band, which affects the router’s wireless network.
If this USB 3.0 device is placed close to the router’s antennas the router a customer may see a serious impact on the 2.4GHz band.
If you would like to learn more, please follow the link below for more details about USB 3.0 radio frequency interference impact on 2.4GHz devices.
- Shield the USB 3.0 device if possible
Placing the USB 3.0 device into a shielded box can effectively reduce the impact.
- Use a USB 3.0 shielded extension cable
If the USB 3.0 device is plugged directly into the router you may want to use a shielded extension cable. This will help eliminate the interference caused by the USB 3.0 device
- Use the USB 2.0 port if acceptable
If you don’t require the high performance capabilities of USB 3.0, you can try and plug the USB 3.0 device into the USB 2.0 port of the router. In this case, you will achieve lower data rates but eliminate the interference being caused.
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