Make no mistake! If you’re reading this I’m pretty sure you are having low quality signal problems or you want to know how to increase your WiFi’s range over your home, office or another place. Guess What? You’ve come to the right place.
Internet has become more and more popular over the last 10 years. And because we all want to surf the web, then we need a modem/router to have access to our ISP (Internet Service Provider). While most service providers give you already an alternative, this might not be enough for you, especially if you live in a big house, or if your office has 2 floors and a basement, or maybe you just want to use your Laptop in your garden while your sons are playing in the swimming pool.
In this article, I’ve gathered 12 of the most useful Tips to Boost your WiFi signal and improve your overall Network experience. From Hardware to Software Tips, this is the guide you want to read to enjoy the Internet wherever you are, whatever you’re doing with it. So, without anything else to say, here are my best recommendations for you:
How to Boost your WiFi Signal
1. Make Sure you Use 802.11n
There are different wireless network protocols all based on 802.11. We have a, b, g and n. Each one of those have different signal potency and also bandwidth capacity, so make sure you have the latest 802.11n protocol to have at least 150Mbps bandwidth in your network. In fact, you can have more. There are some routers offering 300, 450, 900 and even 1750Mbps, and while this isn’t really necessary, the fact is that most of these options will also offer bigger antennas and better signal strength.
2. Your Router is as important as your Network adapter
This is something most people forget. So you get your new Router with 450Mbps bandwidth, 5x 5dBis antennas and setup everything, but your PC has a very weak 802.11g network adapter and your Laptops are old too. Keep in mind you need powerful devices both for transmission AND for reception. You’ll be very mad at your local electronics store after you find out that your router sends the signal right to your swimming pool but your signal quality is still weak and you lose your connection several times.
3. Locate your Router on the Best Spot
Make sure it’s not located between your 2.4GHz wireless phone and your Microwave. Look for an open room with no interference, and try to place it at the center of your home/office so the signal arrives everywhere you need. Sometimes putting it on the highest place (e.g. you have a 2 floor house) works better.
4. Use a Dual Band Router
Sometimes we have so many wireless devices around us that they interfere each other. Dual Band devices work at a 5GHz frequency at the same time they work at 2.4GHz (most common frequency). So, if you see your WiFi signal is strong enough, but you’re still getting a low quality connection, you might want to give a try to a Dual Band Router. Keep in mind a dual band router also requires a dual band network adapter, but many new devices nowadays already support the 5GHz frequency, like the Play Station 3 or even some Smartphones and Tablets.
5. Get a Router with multiple detachable antennas
Signals are like waves. If your device receives them directly to the antenna, it can read them. But if the waves propagate in a different direction, then even if your device is near to your router, the signal could be weak. When you get a multiple (detachable) antenna router, you can put one of each in different positions and get better coverage due to polarization. So, if your router has 3 antennas, you might want to have one vertical, one horizontal and one pointing 45 degrees between them to have the best coverage.
6. Try different Channels
If you’re tech savvy like me, you probably want to go in and mess with the Router UI and test different settings and channels. Sometimes a very simple way to fix your problem is by changing the channel to avoid interference. Most Routers/Modems allow you to change this in a very easy way. Try as much as you can to get the best coverage.
7. Use the QoS settings
QoS means Quality of Service, or in other words, it works as a bandwidth control to give priority to different kind of applications. If you enjoy playing Xbox Live in the night, but you also want to see Youtube videos or do some HD streaming, then you should setup your QoS settings according to it. Some Routers have a very easy UI nowadays, and they allow you to change the QoS by clicking the profile you want and saving the configuration. In fact, sometimes you might be able to program different profiles within different hours, so your router gives more priority to email and web applications during the day and then changes to games and multimedia during the afternoon.
8. Improve your network’s security
Most Routers come with a default WEP key to access the WiFi signal. This key is very easy to hack, and sometimes your lovely neighbors will access to your network without your permission using all your bandwidth. You might think the ISP is slow, or check if your PC has a virus, but sometimes it can be as simple as creating a strong (numbers and letters) password and use WPA encryption. Try to do this as soon as you install your WiFi network for the first time.
9. Boost your Signal within your router control panel
Some routers allow you to boost your signal within the user interface. Do a quick search on Google and discover if your Router allows you to modify any settings to boost your signal a little bit more than default. Additionally, there might be un-official firmware releases that allow you to customize your network settings more than the default included on your device.
10. Use a Network repeater
This is one of the simplest methods available. Get a repeater or at least an Access Point. Connect it and set it up where your WiFi signal isn’t as good as you want and double your coverage within 5 minutes for all your network devices.
11. Try DIY Methods
If you do a quick search in Google, you’ll find lots of people trying to boost their WiFi signal without paying a cent. So, you might find different methods to change your antennas or even create one with something you don’t use anymore. You can use those tips to redirect your signal or even boost its potency. This is the reason it’s very important to get a router with detachable antennas.
12. Buy a new Router
Finally, if you’ve tried everything or just don’t have time to test all of the tips, simply change your Router (and network adapter if needed) for a new one. Go to your nearest electronic store and ask someone to give you guidance based on the problem you have. You might find that there’s an option right for you, and there are a lot of brands that might fit your wallet’s budget from $20 and up to $200 or more. If you’re buying a new one, don’t forget to cover some of the original points, like having 802.11n protocol and maybe consider a Dual Band device, and finally, don’t forget to set up a strong WPA password from the beginning.
After trying all these tweaks, you might find a better coverage and quality over your WiFi signal, which means a better online experience, less disconnections and more time to enjoy your life at the pool (yeah!!).
If you have any other tip, feel free to comment down and don’t forget to share this article if you find it useful.