Is this you? You sit down at the computer to work or pull out your phone or tablet to kill some time on social media. You type in a web address or select your desired app and you wait. And wait. And wait…..and WAIT. You mentally complain, degrading your “high speed internet” to worse than dial-up. You might even question your sense about how much money you dish out every month to pay for you mediocre Wifi, wishing you had the budget to upgrade. We’ve all been there. Sadly though, complain about your circumstance doesn’t change them. But what if I told you there are a few proactive steps you can take to boost you Wifi speed and range? That’s right, there are things you can do with everyday objects around your home to make the most of that “mediocre” connection and relieve some of the frustration and stress, removing the need for mental pity parties.
How To Improve Wifi Range
Try these tips on boosting your wifi range and experience faster Internet.
Placing Your Wifi Router
Pictured are several contraptions you can make to “send” your wifi signal more directly to the devices that need it the most, but often just thinking about router placement helps.
The most useful way to get the most out of your router is to find the best spot in your home to place it. Wireless routers can not be hidden if you want it to be most effective. Make sure to place it in a central location away from other electronics that may interrupt the signal. Make sure the antenna is kept straight up and down and find a high spot if at all possible.
Do not have your router near a bunch of magnets or a microwave, or beside your electric fuse box, all of these things can interrupt and interfere with wifi range.
Concentrate the signal
While the middle of the room/house is best, it is not always practical. So directing the antenna to concentrate the signal helps boost your wifi range!
Using a pot, a can or a metal bowl you can concentrate your signal. This means if you don’t want the back wall of your house your house to get the signal, bounce what was broadcasting that direction back into the main living areas of your home. You can also use these with wireless access points. If your house is large enough that you need multiple devices, using a pan can help capture the signal as it repeats between devices too.
What a great DIY Wifi Directional Antenna Here they took bear cans and put the “mouth” of the can over the antenna and cut the cans in such a way to direct the signal to where they needed it the most.
Other wifi range boosts incclude these DIY variations:
- Using a soda bottle and some tin foil.
- Transforming a Coffee Can into a Wifi Boost
- Capture broadcasted wireless signal with a pot or pan
Extend your wifi range.
Get a Wireless Range Extender. Some of these are expensive – BUT there are also software programs that can use your computer as a hotspot to help extend your signal. The biggest thing you need to watch out for when choosing one, though, is to make sure it runs on the same signal type as your router.
Optimize the Frequency Band: Depending on the frequency band your router is operating off of, you may get interference from other sources that are operating on the same frequency. Dual-band routers should be set to the 5GHz since most routers are operating off of a single band and fewer sources will be set to this. Fewer people operating on a band means less interference and greater wifi range.
Change your WiFi Channel
How to improve wifi range when your signal is strong, but you live in a populated area so you are still not getting good speeds?? Try checking for a less-Congested Channel.
Just like radios and t.v.s, wireless routers can run on different channels. To check the channels available if you are using a Windows-based operating system, use your PC’s command prompt to search: “netsh wlan show all”. If you do not know how to access your computer’s command prompt window, simply go to your Start button, type “command prompt” in the search box. Or you can navigate to it by going to “All Programs”, then “Accessories” and selecting the “Command Prompt”. Once you’ve checked it, you can go to your wireless router’s interface and change to a less used channel.
Wifi Products for When the DIY Stuff Isn’t Enough
Reboot Regularly: Just like with any other electronics you use, you may tend to leave the router running constantly without ever rebooting. Don’t do this. Make sure to reboot it regularly to make sure you’re getting the most out of your wireless provider and help it to refresh itself.
If all else fails…
Get new hardware (routers and stuff)
My IT Project Manager hubs has used these devices in many of his projects and says they are the least complicated to set up – and affordable:
How to Hack Wifi
Wifi is here to stay and is going to be more and more an integral part of our lives. Keep yours working efficiently for you by tinkering a little with it and optimizing it for your location. Of course, one of the best things you could do is make sure all other electronics are turned off while not in use. Save electricity and boost your wifi range, too!
Are there any tricks you use to boost your signal?