How to boost a WiFi signal

A consumer-grade WiFi router is capable of providing a stable wireless signal to approximately 150 - 200 m2 of living space. But this is only true if the router is properly installed and there are minimal obstacles in the path of the signal. And how to boost the WiFi signal? What do experts suggest?

Selecting the right location to install the router

The choice of the optimal location for the router. The basic recommendations:
  • place as high as possible with an indent of only 30 centimeters from the ceiling
  • place the router in the relative center of the house or apartment
  • do not fix the router on the wall and not place it close to it.

The best option - on a cabinet or mezzanine. If the router antennas have a swivel mechanism, they should be placed "point" upwards (perpendicular to the floor).

Right router setup

The signal strength can be adjusted through the web interface of many routers. The default setting is 60% or 80%. Such a setting is available in routers from TP-Link, Netis, Keenetic, Xiaomi. To enhance the WiFi signal it is necessary to set the value to 100%. It is recommended to update the router software to the current version.

Sometimes a third-party firmware adds such functionality. For routers from Asus and Xiaomi there is custom software Padavan. It has the specified functions. Moreover, in the Asus routers the option to enable high power to the wireless signal transmitter is locked by default on the software level.

Another parameter that should be adjusted is the WiFi network channel. This is relevant if your home WiFi is on 2.4 GHz (802.11n). To find out which channel is the least busy, you can use the smartphone application WiFi Analyzer.

Installing a stronger antenna

The option is relevant for those routers whose antenna is removable. If the 5dB antenna covers up to 300m2, then at 8 - 9 dB - up to 550m2. And this is enough to provide a stable signal in a private home and even in the surrounding area. There are also so-called "active" antennas that can extend the coverage up to 3 km2, but they are expensive and are mostly used in hotels and industrial facilities.

Repeater installation

Repeater clones the signal from the router, it is recommended to use when all the above tips have failed. The most difficult thing is to choose the optimal location for its installation. The program inSSIDer for Windows, which displays the signal strength of the connected WiFi network in real time, will help.

You simply install it on your laptop and monitor the WiFi network while moving around your apartment or private house. The repeater should be installed where the value of 80-90 dBi is observed. But this method has a disadvantage - the total wireless bandwidth decreases (because the repeater operates on the same frequency as the main WiFi) and also when you connect to the repeater the ping value (response) increases.

Buying a new router

The last option is to buy a new router. In more modern routers, transmitters with a higher power factor are installed. And the choice of device should be guided by the gain of the installed antennas (indicated in dB, the higher the value - the better), but not their number.

Буздалов Максим Викторович
Author of the site

- PhD in Technology, Associate Professor of "Computer Technologies" department, expert in the field of computer networks, more than 12 years of experience.
Author of all our information articles, happy to answer your questions in comments.

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