Problems with wireless internet reception in the home can be due to a wide variety of factors. From using a router that does not have enough power or which is placed in a bad location, to the kind of insulation used in your home, there are many factors that cause poor WiFi reception. Here is a look at some of the ways in which you can boost WiFi reception in your home without spending a fortune.
In homes larger than 1300 square feet you may have a problem using a regular wireless router. Even wireless N, which is supposed to provide superior range, may not have enough power to make it to every part of your home where you use a laptop or gaming device. Devices which stream movies, such as the Roku player, suffer from poor WiFi reception due to the fact that they are often placed inside entertainment centers and lack a sufficient antenna system.
Some Common Ways To Boost WiFi In A Home
First off, do a survey of wireless internet signal strength in your home. Using your laptop, locate the icon for your wireless device in the lower right hand corner of the screen. Click on it to open up the tab showing the available networks and signal strength. Hit the refresh symbol in the upper corner to get a new reading. Now, take your laptop to each room of the home and repeat the process. In rooms where you have two bars or less you may have a problem. Now go to where your wireless router is located. If it has an external antenna, make sure it is in the vertical position and away from other objects. If you have some extra cord available, place the wireless router up as high in the room as possible. Some models have holes which allow you to mount them on the wall using screws.
Another way that some people boost WiFi signals in the home is to attach a high gain WiFi antenna to the router. You can often find these for sale on the web for a few dollars. Your router must have a detachable antenna to do this, not all models do.
One of the best solutions for increasing WiFi signals in the home is to use a repeater device. These can help poor WiFi signal strength in homes that have thick concrete walls, or larger homes with multiple floors or rooms. My own home has a wall made of cinder block separating the living and office area. I have found that WiFi repeaters allow me to get a good signal throughout the whole house. There are many models but essentially they all work the same way. You usually place them at a midpoint in the home, such as the living area, and they pick up the wireless internet signal from another part of the house and send it on to the rest of the home. Generally one WiFi repeater is enough to distribute a strong signal throughout a home of over 3000 square feet. You probably don’t want to use more than one wireless internet repeater since data collisions may occur, slowing the speed of connections. These devices typically cost from between $30 and $120. Make sure that whatever type of WiFi repeater booster you buy, it supports the type of router and wireless adapters you use, such as wireless G or N. You can see a number of WiFi repeaters here: Wireless Repeaters For Internet Reception
Other Options For Boosting Wireless Internet In The Home
You may also want to look at high power wireless adapters for your laptop. These feature higher output power and stronger antennas and allow you to pick up more distant wireless connections. This is a good feature for people who travel. USB based high power WiFi adapters for notebooks can be found for around $30. It does mean you have one extra accessory attached to your computer though. Some wireless routers will allow you to increase the output power in the utility settings. Check the owner’s manual for information on changing output power settings. Also, if you have an older router, consider upgrading to wireless G or N.