If you’re thinking about boosting your Wi-Fi signal quality, you have to be aware that it’s not so difficult to do. After all, there are many reasons why your Wi-Fi might be slow.
What do you need to boost Wi-Fi signal quality
Wi-Fi is now the most popular way to connect to the Internet. This is made possible by the good characteristics of this protocol, the ease of connection, and the availability of a wide range of inexpensive equipment. However, there are some disadvantages to this interface.
Many people use devices that use Wi-Fi for online work. The quality of such a Wi-Fi connection is one of the fundamental factors, which directly affects the signal strength, connection stability, speed of your connection, and its ability to withstand external influences.
In this case, the purchase of an expensive router and a high level of service from your Internet service provider doesn’t always guarantee the quality of your home (office) Wi-Fi, which is sometimes at a rather low level.
Many users encounter incomprehensible connection interruptions, errors, or low data rates. In this case, don’t rush to call the support service or call the repair team. You can solve many problems with your home Wi-Fi network by yourself.
So, here’s how to boost your Wi-Fi signal quality in 8 different ways.
How to boost Wi-Fi signal quality by properly aligning the antennas
If you’ve ever wondered how the Wi-Fi signal from an omnidirectional antenna spreads through space, you might have assumed that the access point is the center, and the signal from it goes out in all directions like a beam. Based on these representations, you get that around this point is formed a sphere, which covers all the rooms of the room, and at the same time – the floor where the room is located, as well as the upper and lower floors.
In fact, it’s not like that at all. The Wi-Fi coverage area is a toroidal field. It’s shaped like a donut, with an omnidirectional antenna as its axis. Which way the antenna is pointed determines the angle of the Wi-Fi signal.
To find the optimal position of the antenna within the floor it should be placed at right angles so that it’s strictly perpendicular to the floor. As a result, the radio waves will travel parallel to the floor. This ensures that the waves will be able to cover the entire area that the user is looking for.
How to boost Wi-Fi signal quality by placing the router correctly
One of the main reasons for poor coverage is the wrong location of the router. Since the antenna propagates radio waves in all directions away from itself, the strongest signal is near the router. However, the farther away from the network device, the weaker the Wi-Fi signal. At the edge of the coverage area the signal becomes “no signal” at all, it breaks.
If you place the router by the wall, some of the radiation will go outside the building, but the corners of the room remote from the router will remain almost without coverage.
Placing a Wi-Fi router in an apartment, in the very center of the room is ideal. This solution allows the electric wave to propagate in all directions parallel to the floor. As a result, dead spots are practically eliminated.
Unfortunately, in practice, it’s almost impossible to put a router in the middle of the apartment, house, or office. The reasons are the lack of outlets, problems with cabling, complicated layout.
How to boost Wi-Fi signal quality by eliminating sources of interference
Not only objects can interfere with the wi-fi signal, but also other wireless signals. For example, the commonly available frequency that is used for all Wi-Fi and Bluetooth devices is 2.4 GHz. Although Bluetooth bandwidth is small, it’s still capable of causing interference that keeps the access point from working steadily.
Microwave ovens can also interfere with signal propagation. This applies to ovens that use a magnetron for operation. It, too, functions in the 2.4 gigahertz frequency range. However, the radiation from the magnetron is so strong that it completely knocks out the microwave’s shielding. As a result, the signal from the wireless network is completely obscured.
There’s only one conclusion: either don’t put the router next to the microwave or accept the fact that when the microwave is on, the devices won’t be able to catch the Wi-Fi signal.
How to boost Wi-Fi signal quality by using 5 GHz frequency
Routers have the ability to work on both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz.
A higher value guarantees a higher data rate, but the option has a smaller range and any obstacle to the signal will be almost insurmountable. It will be damped by solid walls, room dividers, doors, and other large objects or structures. This option can be considered if the main receiver of the signal (PC, laptop) is in close proximity to the router.
The advantage of choosing 5 GHz is the possibility to intensify the signal because the neighbor routers mostly work on 2.4 GHz frequency, which means that you will be able to find free channels faster, and they will be cleaner and more stable. The disadvantage is the inability to change the frequency: not all routers (especially older models) can operate on this frequency, and not all client devices can “see” the router “working” in this range.
How to boost Wi-Fi signal quality by disabling unnecessary communication protocols
In the admin panel of the router, in the settings, you can select the modes with which the created access point will work. Standards Wi-Fi “b” and “g” give a low speed of reception/transmission, and their range is less. Slightly more modern mode routers – “n” – can provide data rates up to 150 Mbit/s, and in the “ac” mode router can transmit up to several gigabits per second. Of course, they also have longer distances.
It’s possible to switch the router to a faster mode, but on the condition that the router and other devices connected to the wireless network support high-speed standards.
Typically, network equipment uses a mixed-mode: b/g/n/ac. This ensures that the router is compatible with devices that support older Wi-Fi standards.
How to boost Wi-Fi signal quality by installing alternative firmware
Alternate firmware is written by enthusiasts to address the shortcomings of proprietary software. The most famous project of this kind is DD-WRT. This firmware supports a wide range of equipment and is distributed completely free of charge.
Installing third-party firmware not only allows you to improve network performance but also, in some cases, to activate previously inaccessible functions of the device. However, it’s worth noting that the process of reflashing and the subsequent configuration of the equipment will require you to have some time and special knowledge.
How to boost Wi-Fi signal quality by using a Wi-Fi repeater
If devices in any part of your home are constantly losing their Internet connection, it means that the router’s signal here is too weak. You can solve the problem by using a special repeater, also called a repeater or a repeater.
The main task of the repeater is to amplify the signal of the existing Wi-Fi network. These compact and inexpensive devices are produced by almost all popular manufacturers of network equipment, as well as dozens of obscure Chinese firms.
How to build a signal amplifier
Using a Wi-Fi repeater may not help in all cases. Sometimes you have to resort to other, more artisanal methods to boost the router’s signal. For example, you can construct a special reflector from a beer can or CD packaging.
However, if you need something really powerful, try building an antenna from hand-made materials to expand your “home zone” of wireless Internet.