Ways to Boost a Wi-Fi Signal

Linksys WRE54G Wireless Range Expander
Linksys WRE54G Wireless Range Expander. Linksys WRE54G Wireless Range Expander

One annoying limitation of Wi-Fi networks is their signal reach. The range of a typical Wi-Fi network sometimes doesn't even cover a house properly. Fortunately, Wi-Fi networks can be boosted, meaning that their signal strength and corresponding coverage area can be increased via various methods. Consider the below options to boost your Wi-Fi signal.

Relocating the Router (Gateway Device)

The placement of a Wi-Fi broadband router (or other network gateway device) directly affects its signal reach.

Experiment by repositioning your router in different locations that can best avoid physical obstructions and radio interference, two common range limiters for Wi-Fi equipment. Typical sources of these Wi-Fi signal impediments in residences include brick or plaster walls, and microwave ovens or cordless phones in use.

Change the Wi-Fi Channel Number

Range-limiting wireless interference may also be caused by neighboring Wi-Fi networks using the same Wi-Fi radio channels. Changing Wi-Fi channel numbers on your equipment can eliminate this interference and improve overall signal strength.

Upgrade the Router (Gateway) Radio Antennas

Stock Wi-Fi antennas on most home network equipment do not pick up radio signals as well as some aftermarket antennas. Fortunately, most modern routers feature removable antennas for this reason. Consider upgrading the antennas on your router (gateway) with more powerful ones.

 Some router manufacturers advertise "high-gain" antennas on their products but these tend to be offered only on more expensive models and even then may still benefit from upgrading.

Buy Antennas for Your Router on Amazon.com

Add a Signal Amplifier

A Wi-Fi signal amplifier (sometimes called signal booster) attaches to a router, access point or Wi-Fi client at the place where an antenna normally connects.

Bi-directional boosters amplify the wireless signal in both transmit and receive directions, important as Wi-Fi transmissions are two-way radio communications.

Buy an Amped Wireless High Power 1000mW Wi-Fi Signal Booster on Amazon.com

Add a Wireless Access Point

Businesses sometimes deploy dozens of wireless access points (APs) to cover larger office buildings. Many homes wouldn't benefit from having an AP, but a larger residence can. They especially help cover those hard-to-reach corner rooms or outdoor patios. Adding an AP to a home network requires connecting it to the primary router (gateway). A second broadband router can often be used instead of an ordinary AP as many home routers today offer an "access point mode" specifically for this purpose.

Buy a NETGEAR ProSAFE 802.11n Wireless-N Access Point on Amazon.com

Add a WiFi Extender

A wireless extender is a stand-alone unit positioned within range of a wireless router or access point. Buying a WiFi extender will serve as a two-way relay station for Wi-Fi signals. Clients too far away from the original router or an AP can instead associate with the same local wireless network through the extender.

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