How to extend the range of your wireless network

A few years ago when I bought a long range wireless router for my home use, I was initially disappointed with my selection of the wifi router just two days after using it. Reason being that the signal strength was so weak I could hardly connect and browse Internet from the next room. But before I returned the router, I checked on the net for any configuration or tuning that I should have made on the router which I may have not known and may have helped extending the signals. After a few hours of troubleshooting it turned out to be something so simple that I easily overlooked. Mentioned below are some of the tips and tricks to help you extend the range of your wireless router, both at home and office, with almost negligble cost.

Wireless range extender tips

Check the location of your router: The location of the router is very important. If you need wireless connectivity in almost every room of your house, then relocating your router to a central location of the house is going to help you a lot. The router should also not be placed near another radio transmission emitting device such as cordless phones, wireless speakers etc as those devices can interfere with the router’s transmission and eventually weaken the signals.

Boost the wireless signal using a tinfoil: You will be amazed to see the difference an ordinary tinfoil can make to your wireless signals. Simply put a tinfoil behind your router as if you are redirecting all the signals in a particular direction and you will notice an immediate boost in the signal strength. This is very simple to understand but little tough to make it work. You will have to spend some time with your tinfoil shapes before you get it right.

Tip: Keep your laptop somewhere close by but not too close so everytime you tweak with the parabolic tinfoil, you can watch the signal strength indicator in your laptop to see if it worked. If you need help with the shape of the tinfoil, check out parabolic tinfoil printout.

Install a different firmware: Using Linux based firmware called DD-WRT can provide you a lot of features that usually don’t show up in your router’s admin console. If you don’t understand what this means, just don’t attempt it. Upgrading the firmware need experience and you could also end up leaving your router useless. Be careful!

Install a different antenna: Yes, that’s right. You can change the default antenna with a better uni-directional antenna to extend the range of your router or you can build a wireless router antenna yourself. Remember that uni-directional antennas focus all the signals in a particular direction while omni-direction cover all the directions. If you are going to place the router in a central location of your house, ignore this tip.

Other ways of boosting wireless signals

  • Adding a wireless repeater can extend the range of your wireless network without the need of any wiring.
  • Try changing the channel on which your router is broadcasting. Depending on the model, your router could be capable of broadcasting on different chanhels. Try to change the channel to see if your signal strength improves.
  • Upgrading the firmware or drivers of the network adapter on your laptop and your router to the latest one can sometime help as the latest firmware could fix some issue which may in turn boost your signal. You may want to check the release notes of the firware or driver before upgrading.