If you have low WiFi signal strength, these WiFi booster tips will help you get the most out of your wireless. Having a low Wifi signal strength in your home or business is frustrating. This is especially true if your router or access point is in the same room with you. If you have a sprawling location, running wires may be impossible. The good news is there are ways to increase the range of your wireless network, as well as improve signal strength. If it were possible to see the signal bouncing around, many people could easily detect problems with their network. So we must rely on simple trial and error to find the perfect location for your router and Access Points.
WiFi Booster Tip For Low WiFi Signal Strength
Our first low WiFi signal strength booster tip is placement. Location location location. Place your router in the center of your home or office, in an area away from cordless phone stations and microwave ovens. Some types of wall construction, like concrete or metal, will also cause signal loss. Be sure your router is approximately centered and away from any of those things that can degrade the signal. Some people think their router needs to be right beside a computer, but this isn’t true. It can go anywhere in the house. If it needs to connect to a broadband modem, the modem will need to go with it.
Purchase a high gain antenna. If your router has a detachable antenna, you should be able to add a high gain antenna. These types of antennas are more directional than your standard antenna and allow you to focus your WiFi signal toward an access point or your computer. You can also make these, which are often referred to as “cantennas,” but you’ll probably have better results if you purchase one. High gain antennas are a great way to shoot the WiFi signal across a house or even a yard. But in order to achieve maximum range, you should have line of site to the target.
Change the wireless frequency in the router. If you do not get the results you want by moving the router, you can try changing the frequency the router uses to broadcast the signal. You only need to do this in the router itself, as the wireless devices should recognize the new signal automatically. All makes and models of routers have different menus, but all you need to do is login to your router through your web browser and look in the wireless settings. Experiment and see if changing the frequency helps.
Buy a new 802.11n router. One of the newer wireless standards is 802.11n. It uses Multiple-Input Multiple-Output channels and has nearly double the range of a wireless-g. Here is an example of a Wireless N router you can buy to boost the range of your WiFi signal: Cisco-Linksys WRT160N Wireless-N Broadband Router
Use A WiFi Signal Extender
WiFi signal strength can degrade rapidly. You can use a portable device such as an iPhone or a laptop to walk around your location and see where the signal begins to fade. This is where you want to put a WiFi signal extender (WiFi repeater). The goal is to extend the range of the wireless to all areas of your home or office, but if your WiFi fails right before the bathroom door, that is fine. Place WiFi signal extenders in areas where you see approximately forty percent signal strength. You do not want to place it too far away, as the repeater might not get a clean enough signal to pass along. WiFi signal extenders plug directly into the wall and are easy to configure.
Power Cycle Your Router And Computers
Power cycling is the process of “rebooting” the router and modem. When we power cycle a network, we generally will do all computers behind the router, as well. This gives those devices the opportunity to clear memory and refresh IP addresses. This is typically done when a noticeable slow-down has occurred or if you are having connectivity issues and cannot connect to the Internet.
Your modem gets an IP address from your ISP, the router gets this IP from the modem and then the router gives out fake internal, IP addresses to computers behind it. This is called NAT translation. Renewing these IP addresses occasionally will help your network run faster, and this process only takes a few minutes.
To begin the process of power cycling your router, modem and computers, begin by shutting down all of the computers in your house. Next, shut down the router by unplugging the AC power cord. You can leave all other cables attached.
Note: Many networks will have either a modem and router or a combined modem and router in one box. If you have a separate modem and router, you will want to shut them both down.
After that, shut off the modem and unplug it. Some newer systems, like Verizon FIOS, have a battery backup system that will begin to complain when you unplug it. Just take the battery out so we’re sure everything is completely shutdown. For most Internet Service Providers, you will only have to unplug the modem.
Once the modem is off for a few minutes, plug it back in and wait. The modem will usually have all green lights when it is up and running. Plug the router back in and wait for it to cycle up completely. You will see all green lights again. Some of the lights will be flashing, which is normal.
You can now boot up the computers. If the router is setup as a DHCP server, it will now provide the computer with a fresh IP address. You can confirm this happened by going back to the command prompt and typing ipconfig /all. You should now see that your computer has an address similar to 192.168.1.2.
Other Reasons For Low WiFi Signal
There are other reasons for low WiFi signal strength that repeaters and new routers just cant fix. The problem could be with your device. Every wireless device you have has hardware and software that controls it. Make sure you always have the most up to date firmware and drivers. For example, if all of your devices receive a strong signal, but one particular laptop does not, then there is an issue with that device. Seek out a BIOS update from the manufacturer, as well as obtain the very latest drivers for the WiFi card. Usually, major brand name manufacturers will have a place to search for your make and model, and will also list all of the drivers available for that model. Download and run the installers for the new BIOS and WiFi card in your computer just to rule these out.