Abstract Signal to interference plus noise ratio, SINR, is one of the main factors that affects the quality of wireless communication. While the impact of white Gaussian noise on a wireless channel is well understood, impact of interference remains one of the less explored areas. With the deployment of dense mesh networks, the interference will be a dominant factor that affects the transmission errors. This paper explores the performance of 802.11 b/g when subject to interference. The findings are based on various controlled experiments in the laboratory setting. One finding of this work is that in contrast to communication over links where the noise is Gaussian, in 802.11 b/g, the probability of successfully transmitting a packet is dominated by the ability of the receiver to synchronize with the carrier. As a result, changing to a lower bit-rate with same synchronization scheme will not make the transmission more resilient to interference. Moreover, we found that the impact of interference is significant even if the interference is 10 dB below the strength of the noise. The significance of this result on bit-rate selection is briefly explored.