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How to strengthen or improve a Wi-Fi signal

The Internet has become an irreplaceable part of the life of almost every person. Low speeds are more difficult to bear with than even a complete absence of a connection.

In any restaurant, store, or club, you can easily connect to the Internet from your phone or tablet. Wi-Fi technology is rapidly developing and becoming more and more popular. Yet, when you're dealing with an inadequate Wi-Fi signal, you need methods that will provide you with an immediate solution.

The article will help you understand how to amplify a Wi-Fi signal.

Why is the Wi-Fi signal very weak?

First, let us be definite about what we are talking about – we're not talking about low speed on a good connection. We are talking about a weak signal, and one of the most common reasons for this is a transmitter installation error.

For some reason, it has become a tradition to place a router at the entrance to a dwelling so that there is no need to pull wires through the rooms. Most try to make things even tidier by placing the router in a locker or electrical panel. Though the router antenna allows waves to propagate in all directions, you really get the best connection close to the router. Obviously, in the distant corners of the house, the signal fades.

Wall material.

Concrete walls are a strong barrier to Wi-Fi. Users in private domains are less likely to be troubled by this issue than those in apartments with solid walls blocking the signal.

Invalid parameter settings.

In most modern receivers, the settings provide you with a Tx power / Transmit power option, which reports the signal strength, set in%.

Having focused upon the main possible issues, we can proceed to solutions.

Minimizing exposure to other devices

The fact is that Wi-Fi devices are susceptible to even minor interference from other devices operating in the same frequency range. Typically, interference comes from household appliances: cordless phones, microwave ovens, security systems, and TV remote controls. To check which device is interfering with network traffic, you need to turn off the devices one by one, while observing the signal strength. It will then become clear what exactly is interfering with the router.

The used frequency range and operating restrictions may differ in some countries.

In the 2.4 GHz frequency band, 11 or 13 channels of 20.0 MHz (802.11b / g / n) or 40.0 MHz (IEE 802.11n) are available for wireless networks with 5.0 MHz spacing in between. A device using one of the frequency channels is a source of significant interference to adjacent channels. For example, if an access point is on channel 6, then it strongly affects channels 5 and 7, and also, to a lesser extent, channels 4 and 8. To eliminate mutual interference between channels, the carrier frequencies should be separated from each other by 25 , 0 MHz (5 channel slots).

Strengthening the signal in the router settings

Increase transmitter power

After reading the manual regarding the xmit option, you can increase the power of the modem (the amount of power it uses when transmitting a signal) to 45 mW. However, this can lead to overheating and even damage to the router. A much better option is, having found the Transmit power setting, to stop at the High item, specifying a maximum of 20.

Channel change

The modem operates on channels 1-11. Changing to a different channel allows the receiver to create a clear communication pathway between other wireless modules.

REFERENCE. To determine on which channel the Wi-Fi network is located in a house / apartment, it is worth resorting to the program Acrylic. Here is how to use it…

1. Go to “Our network”.

2. Check on which channel is the 802.11-n broadcasting order opened.

3. A pink color indicates coverage on channel # 10.

4. If two networks (pink and blue) are located on the same channel # 1, then they interfere with each other.

5. Check the status of the settings rating.

What could be the cause of such interference? It could be that the Wi-Fi networks of neighbors are located on the same channel, and interfere with each other. We select a channel on which there are no connected Wi-Fi networks, and if there are none such, then we will choose the channel with the least number of networks.

Transition to 5 GHz band

On the 5.0 GHz band, it is possible the obtain much higher speeds than on the 2.4 GHz band. This is because most electrical appliances operate at a frequency of 2.4 GHz. This means that, quite naturally, the radio bandwidth is clogged at this frequency. On the other hand, the 5.0 GHz frequency is rarely used, so there is little interference, and the available bandwidth is high.

ATTENTION. The indispensable advantage of the 2.4 GHz frequency is that the amplified Wi-Fi signal is more powerful and passes through almost all obstacles. Only the user can choose what range to apply.

Changing the wireless network mode

Changing the wireless network mode is best for routers operating in the typical bgn (11b / g / n mixed) mode. It can be received by almost all devices using Wi-Fi Internet.

If all receivers with wireless transmission are of the latest model, it is possible to replace the obsolete mode with the new standard 802.11N. The most immediate consequence of such a change is a significant increase in signal reception. In the main menu "Wi-Fi" and "basic settings" you need to stop at "Wireless mode", and activate "802.11 N".

Installing DD-WRT Alternative Firmware

Not all manufacturers provide high-quality hardware. The functionality of the main part of the routers has been reduced, in such devices, so you won't be able to experiment with the settings. Only alternative flashing, for example, DD-WRT, can help. It expands the range of functions and stabilizes the functionality of the router. Checking whether flashing is suitable for your receiver is quite simple: you need to go to the official website and see if the model is in the database.

Amplification with additional devices

Replacing the standard antenna with a more powerful one

When opportunity and finances permit it, you can easily replace the antenna on the receiver with a more powerful one. The gain of a conventional antenna is 4-5 dBi. It is easy to find an antenna on the market to increase the signal with a significant gain in dBi. When the user's funds are limited, or there is a need to save money, a beer can will help! This is not a joke, just a beer can. This is the easiest and most reliable method at home to slightly raise the signal.

IMPORTANT. Finding another antenna from the old receiver if it is stronger and replacing it to provide more power is another option, but not all models allow you to unscrew the antenna.

Installing a repeater

A repeater helps to amplify the signal. This can either be purchased online or in an ordinary equipment supermarket, depending on the user's preferences. There is a wide range of devices available, so you need to pay attention to the capabilities of each, and choose the right one. After purchasing it, you should connect it to your wireless network to increase the range of the router.

Installing a Wi-Fi booster amplifier

Connect the amplifier (booster) directly to the modem. A booster is much better than a repeater. The repeater sharpens the power of the transmitted signal, and not the width of the frequency range. The latter, however, is what a booster magnifies. It is worth using a bi-directional booster to increase speed.

Increasing the signal using settings in windows

This paragraph is mainly applicable to users who have Wi-Fi on their laptop. Often, the manufacturer sets the “Energy saving” mode in the power consumption column by default. As a consequence, the Wi-Fi adapter loses performance. To correct this, it is necessary to change the mode to "Balanced" or "High", which will allow the device to catch the signal at a greater distance.

Useful Tips

Choosing the location of the router

It is necessary, where possible, to locate the router as close to the center of the building as possible. This allows the radio waves to cover the rooms evenly.

It is better to place the router next to windows or doors. This will reduce the attenuation of the wireless signal.

There is also really no need to put the router in the kitchen near the microwave. Wi-Fi operates on the same 2.4 GHz frequency as the oven, which is why they tend to interfere with each other. When you turn on the microwave, the receiver may freeze.

Do not put the router in boxes or cabinets. The signal loses strength when it has to pass through iron barriers.

Do not put the router in a child's room or bedroom. It has not been proven whether radiation from a router is harmless to the human body. Therefore, it is best to play it safe and install it in a non-residential room, for example, a hallway.

ATTENTION. Do not install multiple routers in the same room. If there is no other option, you need to distribute them on different channels. For example, put the first channel on one, and the twelfth on the second.

Setting up the receiver on a laptop or computer

In the modern world, there are built-in modules for Wi-Fi on both stationary and portable devices. If the adapter does not work properly or with low speeds, then trying to change things in the router interface, or changing the antennas will not help.

In this scenario, it is necessary to configure the signal through the control panel. Alternatively, you will need to install another antenna for the adapter

Reboot your router

If a laptop or computer has a bad signal or no signal at all, this is most likely a temporary interruption in the signal transmission. To restore work, you will need to reboot the router using a specific button, but this is not always enough.

If these things did not help, then you need to disconnect the device from the network for 15 minutes, and then turn it on again.

Setting a good password to protect your Wi-Fi from neighbors

For good protection, you need to set a strong password for Wi-Fi. It must be a complex sequence of numbers and letters. It is not recommended to use names and, for example, place names.

Since passwords are typed manually, and to avoid confusion, it is not recommended to use the letters L, I, O and the numbers 0.1. Next, you need to check the password for strength. Usually the difficulty with strong passwords is that they are difficult to remember and type on the gadget. But after all, one does not enter a Wi-Fi password very often, so just write it down in your notebook or in any place where you are certain not to lose it.

IMPORTANT. If, nevertheless, someone has hacked your password, you must immediately change it. You also need to make sure that your network is secure and configured correctly. To do this, open the router settings screen on the gadget and see what type of encryption is used. Ideally, it should be WPA2 or WPA-Personal. If not, it is recommended that you purchase another router.

Replacing an outdated router with a modern one

It should be noted that not all devices can be improved to amplify the signal. In some cases, you can't do without a new router. Accordingly, if a decision is made to purchase one, it is worth paying attention to equipping the model with two antennas and the possibility of broadcasting in the 5dB range. It makes no sense to use more than two antennas at home. Cheap devices can create a third antenna interference for themselves, and expensive ones rarely pay off.

Based on materials from the site

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