How to Improve Your Wireless Signal

| July 17, 2012

If you run a wireless network, you’re bound to run into situations where your signal is weak or in worse case scenarios, non-existent.

What I have come up with below are 7 different ways to boost or improve your wireless signal. Some will cost money and need some configuration, and others won’t. There is something for everyone.

7 Ways to Boost Your Wi-Fi Reception

Here are 7 different methods that you can try to boost your wi-fi reception.

1. Lock Your Wireless Router

Locking your wireless router will improve your reception because other people won’t be able to access your wireless network and hog your bandwidth. This will improve your wireless signal tenfold if you happen to live in an apartment complex or trailer park, as an open router can be accessed by many people.

Locking your router is pretty simple to do. Just visit the IP of your router, find the wireless security settings and then create a password. When you’re done you should see an icon of a lock over the listing of your network.

2. Change or Rotate the Position of Your Router

Another method is change the position or location of your router. You want to reposition the router so there are less walls, doorways and items standing in the way of your router and your computer or tablet. You’ll want to move your router away from metallic items and things that will interfere with the signal including microwaves, baby monitors and garage openers.

3. Change the Channel

If you have a cordless phone, baby monitor or walkie talkies, another option is to change the channel or frequency of your router so that there isn’t any interference. To do this, use a program such as inSSIDer. There are instructions and videos on the site that will take you through the process.

4. Setup a Second Router

By setting up a second router, you can establish an access point. An access point will extend your wireless network. For example, you can have your internet connection upstairs, but have your access point at the end of the hall and your other wireless router downstairs. That way your signal travels farther.

To do this, you’ll want to connect your 2nd router to your primary router’s LAN port, and then give your 2nd router all the same address info. You’ll want to assign the same SSID and security info as well.

5. Add or Upgrade Antennae

For $100 or less, you can upgrade or add a “booster” antenna to your existing antenna. Another option is to replace your (omnidirectional) antenna with a high gain antenna. Omnidirectional antennae have a circular signal so that it can reach every corner of a room. However, if this isn’t a need, then you could be wasting your signal. So instead, you use a high gain antenna which can then have the signal focused to one direction or area.

6. Update Router & Other Equipment

One option is to upgrade your router and adapter. PC Mag suggests going with a 802.11n and 5 Ghz band network.

7. Use a Wi-Fi Extender

An extender will work similarly to setting up a 2nd router as an access point. It will simply extend your network further (hence the name). Because the signal is traveling through the extender, it’ll be weaker than if you weren’t to use the extender.

Extenders will range from about $40 to $100.