Do you want to increase your WiFi range or simply have a stronger WiFi signal so that there is no longer lag when streaming or gaming? Modern households are full of devices that need to be connected to the internet. Unfortunately, even if you already have one of the best WiFi routers in the house, that doesn’t mean that your WiFi signal won’t drop or that there are dead zones without signal.
How Far Does The WiFi Signal Go
A regular router is able to send the WiFi signal about 100 to 200 feet. The more obstructions there are in the way and the further you are from the router, the weaker the signal will be.
A manufacturer cannot specify the exact Router’s Wi-Fi range. Even if the technical specifications of the device indicate signal strength and range, there several other factors on which the Wi-Fi range depends.
How To Increase WiFi Range In Home
To get the maximum out of your network, try the following practical tips to help eliminate the physical causes of poor coverage and optimize the Wi-Fi range of your router. It’s easy to do it yourself.
Possible Signal Barriers
The most definite problem is the distance between the computer and the router. There is an optimal range within which a wireless signal can travel. If according to the user’s idea, the network must cover a larger area than the router can technically cover. Or Wi-Fi must bypass corners and walls, then the signal quality can be affected or it will not reach its goal at all.
Improving Signal Quality and Distance
You can increase the signal range by updating the software for your router. Router manufacturers usually try to improve their products and release useful updates to them. The firmware upgrade process may differ depending on the router model. Most routers (for example, the well-known TP-Link) have an update process built right into the administration interface. As a result, all user intervention is reduced to a banal clicking on the “Refresh” button. Some older models may require the user to independently find the firmware on the developer’s website and install it. This is rather inconvenient but necessary.
The Wi-Fi range will also depend on where the router is located. As you know, not all rooms and open spaces are the same in volume, structure, and presence of obstacles. Many users try to move the router away (for example, in a closet or on a window sill). But this approach is wrong because the router needs open spaces. It should be kept away from obstacles.
If your router is equipped with external antennas, make sure they are in an upright position. If possible, move the router higher, for example, hang it on a wall. If this cannot be done on your own, then it is recommended to put it on a high cabinet or at least on a table. There are special programs that can visualize the coverage area. Examples include Heatmapper or inSSIDer. These programs will show the user the strengths and weaknesses of the Wi-Fi network. There are also similar applications for mobile devices such as Wi-Fi Analytics.
Use signal repeaters
In rooms with complex layouts and multi-story buildings, it is effective to use repeaters. Repeaters are devices that repeat the signal of the main router. The repeaters expand the Wi-Fi network to cover the surrounding area and the upper floors of the country house. Repeaters help you deploy a wireless network in complex rooms. The simplest solution is to use an old router as a repeater. The disadvantage of this scheme is half the throughput of the child network since along with the client data, the WDS access point aggregates the upstream from the upstream router. A router in WDS mode helps to expand the coverage of the Wi-Fi network. Specialized repeaters are free from the problem of bandwidth cuts and are equipped with additional functionality. For example, some models of Asus repeaters support the roaming function.
Replace the original antenna with a more powerful one
Most routers are equipped with standard antennas with a gain of 2 – 3 dBi. The antenna is a passive element of the radio system and is not able to increase the flow power. But you can replace the antenna or in some routers, you have the possibility to attach an additional external antenna.
External antennas usually send a stronger signal, which allows you to further increase your WiFi range. With the antenna type, you have the choice between omnidirectional and directional antennas.
Select a good place for the router
It is known from physics that the intensity of radio emission is maximum near the source of waves and decreases parabolically with distance from it. You can increase the usable coverage area by placing the router closer to the center of the apartment, house or yard where users will be located.
The 2.4 GHz wavelength is just over 10 cm. Decimeter waves do not bend well around obstacles and are received with a line of sight of the receiver by the transmitter. Every obstacle (wall, furniture) disturbs the signal. The level of interference depends on the thickness and material of the medium in the path of the radio wave.
Naturally, it is impossible to achieve direct visibility of the router with all gadgets. You can increase the range of Wi-Fi by analyzing all obstacles between the receiver and transmitter and minimizing their number. Another condition for increasing the Wi-Fi range at home is to place the transmitter away from sources of interference: Bluetooth, microwave oven, another router (first of all), modem.
Reduce interference with other devices
Everything that emits radiation can influence the WiFi signal
- The neighbor’s WiFi router (use a different channel)
- Cordless phones that use the same 2.4 GHz frequency
- Power cables, computer wires, microwaves, baby monitors, and halogen lights
Use the 802.11n standard
There are three 802.11 specifications for the 2.4 GHz frequency band. 802.11n is progressive. It guarantees higher speed and transmission distance, b and g are outdated. Routers with support for 802.11n are compatible with the previous specifications, but when a b / g client appears in the n-network, it all switches to the lowest speed mode. This is reflected in a drop in bandwidth and signal range. If the network operates in 802.11n mode, gadgets that do not support it will not be able to connect to the Internet.
Build a reflector with aluminum foil
In addition to the technical hacks to increase the router’s WiFi range, there are also very simple tricks how to increase WiFi range in your home. So you can simply build a small reflector shield with some aluminum foil and a little cardboard that bundles and aligns your signal.
Position it behind your router so that the “focus” of the reflection points in the direction where you want the signal to be. With this simple trick and minimal effort, you can squeeze a little more range out of your WiFi network.