One of the most beneficial things you can do to boost your Wi-Fi, of course, is consider upgrading your wireless standard to Wireless N, if you haven’t yet. But if for any reason it is not an option for you, or if you want to prolong your older Wi-Fi box’s life, these 9 tips can help you out.
- Place your Wi-Fi router near the center of the house on a high shelf, as far as possible from your neighbor’s Wi-Fi router, and make sure to use a channel different from your neighbor’s.
- Keep router away from cordless phones and microwaves, which operate on the same frequency, unless your cordless phones is specifically Wi-Fi friendly if it uses other then 2.4 Ghz frequency
- Keep items that interfere with radio reception as far as possible from your router antennas – items such as power cords, cable and computer wires. Actually, the computer case itself can be a significant barrier to the Wi-Fi signal. It would help if you position the case so it doesn’t come between the router antenna and a network card.
- To increase the effective range, you can install an aftermarket antenna on your Wi-Fi equipment. However, because radio antennas only help concentrate and direct signals, the range of a Wi-Fi device is ultimately limited by the power of its radio transmitter rather than its antenna. For these reasons, signal boosting of a Wi-Fi network is sometimes necessary, normally accomplished by adding repeater devices that amplify and relay signals at intermediate points between network connections.
- If you live or work on a single floor, consider adding an external antenna that uses higher dBi (decibels relative to an isotropic reference) called “high gain”. It may provide increased reception signal and performance. Since a higher dBi increases the signal horizontally, but decreases vertically; you may need to use a Wi-Fi amplifier to boost your signal, if you want to cover multiple floors.
- Omnidirectional antennas are designed to work with signals in any directions, but their gain measured in any given direction is lower than directional antennas that focus in one direction only. If your building has some tight, hard-to-reach corners and you do not need 360° coverage, consider a Directional antenna.
- Install a third-party firmware on your router. If your router supports it, third-party firmware, such as DD-WRT, can allow your to increase the power going to the antenna’s.
- A WiFi repeater can be used to boost the signal between the router and your device. Take it a step further: install the open-source DD-WRT firmware on your old router, and make it into a repeater for your new one.
- Reflectors can also be of benefit, with tuned placement of the reflector. Anything that looks like a parabolic reflector can be used, and should be placed behind the receiving device or antenna to achieve a significant increases in signal strength. This trick also works with cell phones!