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7 ways to boost your Wi-Fi signal
By Kausthubh on 1 September 2020
Are you worried about the buffering and the time your web pages are taking to load?
Is the quality of your internet dropping? Are you losing signal all the time?
Are you thinking of replacing your router?
These are some of how you can make better use of your old router before switching to the new one.
1.Change the position of your Router to boost WiFi signal
There are many obstacles in our homes like doors, walls, metal cabinets, etc, and each time the signal passes through these barriers It’s strength decreases resulting in the poor performance of the router.
- Place it High
A router placed in an open area provides better connectivity and good service, but it is always not possible. So position your router in a higher place where it is visible from all the areas of your home.
- Make it central
Try to keep the router in the center of your house. This is very important because we need access to all the corners of our house. A router positioned in one corner may not perform better while reaching the far corner passing through all the barriers and obstacles. In the case of a multi-storied building place the router on the first floor rather than the ground floor.
Always check and change the position of your router considering these things for maximum coverage.
Position your Router high and in the center of your home
2.Change the channel of transmission to boost WiFi signal
There are two frequency bands for data transmission. One is 2.4GHZ and the other 5GHZ.
- 2.4GHz frequency band
It has 14 channels of both overlapping and non-overlapping channels for transmission. Out of these the non-overlapping channels which are free from noise and interference are the channels 1,6,11.
The signal coverage for the 2.4GHz channel is more.
- 5GHz frequency band
It has 23 channels for data transmission and reception. It is very fast compared to the 2.4GHz band and the channels are also more.
The 5GHz frequency band has less coverage and it can not pass through obstacles easily.
Generally, if your range is small and the operating devices fall within the range, it’s better to use 5GHz. But if you are living in a multi-storied building and you need services in a longer range 2.4 GHz works better.
Now coming to the channels, 2.4GHz may provide better coverage but the channels may be overcrowded because many household devices like car remotes and microwaves use 2.4 GHz channels.
If you are living in an apartment where your neighbors are also using the same channel, because of the traffic of the channel the quality of your connection gets deteriorated.
So it is always recommended to use the less crowded channels for better transmission rates.
How to know the channel we are using? How to change the channel?
- Open the command prompt and type ipconfig.
Find the default gateway. It will be like this.
3.Google the gateway number and click login.
4.Login with admin and password.
5.Select WIRELESS SETTINGS vertical tab present in the displayed web page and Advanced on the main page.
6.For Dual-band routers you will have both 2.4GHz and 5GHz.Select each one of them separately.
7.Choose the channel in the drop-down menu.
Here are the 14 channels for 2.4GHz, the default option is auto which you can change to 1,6 or 11.
Similarly you can change the channels for 5GHz.
8.With each router, the options may vary. Save your settings and reboot the router.
Choose the right channel with minimum interference and maximum performance
3.Change the Position and placement of the antenna to boost WiFi signal
The performance of the transmission and reception of the router can be changed directly by antenna position. Antennas are used for maximum signal coverage. There are internal and external antennas. Internal antennas although not visible help for better transmission and reception. We can not do much with internal antennas but with external antennas, we can change the position and check the connectivity issues.
- Look for the Orientation
The orientation of antennas plays a major role in signal transmission.
- Directional Antenna
They send waves in a particular direction only. For example, when placed in the vertical direction can send radiation sideways in the horizontal plane, and similarly, when placed horizontally they are sending the waves in the vertical direction. It is always suggested to place one of your antennas in the horizontal direction and the other one in a vertical direction perpendicularly to each other for maximum coverage.
- Omnidirectional Wi-Fi antenna
They are connected to the access point of the router with the help of a coaxial cable. It helps in the propagation of the signal in all directions in a 360-degree pattern from the center of the antenna. Omni Wi-Fi antennas are generally used in public places.
- Placement of the antenna
- Indoor Wi-Fi antennas have very low range transmission and very low power gain. The normal antenna gain will be in between the frequency range 4-5dBi, decibels.
- Outdoor Wi-Fi antennas get maximum coverage and propagation for long ranges with high gain. There is much 10dBi wireless Wi-Fi antenna available online which serves as a booster to your Wi-Fi. They are generally placed over the terrace.
How to boost Wi-Fi signals on the router without an antenna?
You can always go for a Wi-Fi router antenna extension. To boost up Wi-Fi, We can use Wi-Fi antennas through adapters which come with USB.
Change the Wi-Fi antenna position and placement for increasing Wi-Fi range
4. Change the wireless security to boost WiFi signal
In an apartment with multiple networks,, it is often possible to easily join an open network with less security. With multiple users using the same network for uploads and downloads, the bandwidth is lost resulting in poor performance.
Wireless security prevents unauthorized access to your network and prevents your data from stealing.
- Always make sure that your network is secure and is not too susceptible to malicious users. Make sure that to join the network one has to take permission
- Don’t share your password to untrusted sources and make a password difficult to guess.
- Always use encryption to secure your network and data.
Steps to be followed for setting up wireless security are
- Follow the similar manner described above in changing the channel of transmission to reach the main screen.
- Select the wireless tab in the setup page
- Click wireless security and on the configuration view section click Manual
- There will be 4 options for security mode
WEP(Wired Equivalent Protocol)
WPA Personal(WiFi protected access)
WPA2/WPA Mixed mode
WEP is the basic security mode and WPA and WPA2 provide better security than WEP.
- Select WPA2 Personal and choose passphrase. It is the same as PSK2 in some routers.
- Save settings and reboot the router.
The secured transmission always results in better Wi-Fi performance
5.Change the range of the Wi-Fi to boost up the signal
If your Wi-Fi range is limited and you are not able to use it to the maximum extent, a booster is needed to pick up the signal.
Does aluminum foil boost up our Wi-Fi signals? No, we need extenders or repeaters.
What is the difference between an extender and a repeater?
- An extender is a wired connection and a repeater is wireless.
- An extender creates a new Wi-Fi connection whereas a repeater helps us in using the same connection.
Both are the same in serving the purpose of providing better coverage and the maximum signal strength.
Wi-Fi repeaters are connected wirelessly to the router. They rebroadcast the signal. We can use the repeaters in the places where the signal is weak. The same network is repeated in all the farther corners of our house where the Wi-Fi reach is limited.
Generally, we use repeaters where there is no possibility of wires or cables.
There are some problems with repeaters.
To get a strong Wi-Fi signal the repeater has to be close to the router. If it is placed in a far position from the router the signal may be weak.
Repeaters may cause interference as they share the same bandwidth as the devices connected with the router.
Wi-Fi extenders are used to extend the Wi-Fi. They are more expensive than repeaters. They are connected to the router through a wired connection like coaxial cable or Ethernet cable.
Nowadays we have houses with built-in powerline connections and we can easily plug in the extender to the socket to access the new Wi-Fi connection. We can also use our old routers as extenders by connecting to the router.
The speed and bandwidth of the new connection will be almost the same as the old connection.
6. Change the version of the firmware to boost WiFi signal
Don’t forget to upgrade the router. Check for the software updates and update the firmware of your router.
You have to go to the manufacturer’s website to download the latest version of the firmware. After that upload the file here and click on upgrade.
Reboot the router.
Keeping the router up to date with the latest software and firmware helps in
- Securing the connection from malicious users
- Preventing bandwidth misusage
- Increasing the speed
Upgradation helps to use the best of new features.
7.Changes suggested by technology may boost WiFi signal
The first thing we observe is the connection indicator lines showing Wi-Fi. The more lines mean a better signal.
There are many apps available online to check the speed of the Wi-Fi and to run an analysis test also.
Here are some free apps.
1.WiFi Signal Strength Meter
This app is designed for Android users.
You can also manually check signal strength in settings. Select Network and Internet. Select the Wi-Fi and see the signal strength.
This is the app for Windows.
This app can detect nearby networks and their signal strength. You can also know the channel of transmission.
This app is designed for Apple users.
Test your internet speed, by doing a speed test.
You can directly go to Google and click on the Run speed test. It gives both the download and upload speed in Mbps.
Make use of the latest technology to boost up your router’s performance.
If you have already tried these ways, do try these simple ways also which may work sometimes
- The simplest way to service a router is to switch it off, wait for 10 seconds and switch it on, the memory will be refreshed and you will be amazed to see the speed gain.
- Limit the number of devices connected. Too much burden on the router limits its performance. Turn off Wi-Fi on your devices when not in use.
- Check if your neighbor is using your account. You can go to the list of devices connected to your router in the Local devices section. You can make them inactive.
- Change your password periodically and check for the latest updates.
- Experiment changing the positioning of the router and checking the performance. Keep close to the windows for better signal strength.
If none of these work and it is better to go for mesh Wi-Fi.
Instead of having one router for the whole place Mesh Wi-Fi system has multiple access points. One main router transmits the Wi-Fi signals which are sent to the satellites or nodes in various corners of the house. These nodes act like routers themselves. They are secure and easy to set up.
They are Expensive than our Wi-Fi extenders. However, Wi-Fi extenders need to switch Wi-Fi accounts which is not necessary for mesh Wi-Fi where the same Wi-Fi is used without any loss in the strength of the signal across all the areas of the house.