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10 Science-Backed Tricks to Improve Your Wi-Fi Signal at Home

10 Science-Backed Tricks to Improve Your Wi-Fi Signal at Home

Life without reliable internet access is like a taxi driver without a reliable car. Living in the digital age where information is given and received at a fast pace, reliable internet accessibility is vital in almost any set of circumstances. With this great demand, Wi-Fi has become a very useful technology to transfer and share data farther, faster, and with less hassle. In addition to linking multiple electronic devices to one internet connection, a wireless router is needed to access Wi-Fi in most homes for mobile devices. Whether connected to a cable/DSL modem for broadband internet or VSAT system for satellite internet, every Wi-Fi router provides a limited range of wireless internet access within the home.

Nevertheless, there are 10 different ways to enhance the signal strength of the Wi-Fi router in your home. Each of these booster tricks can be done using materials you probably already have.

If you’re in need of a better Wi-Fi signal, try one or more of the following:

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1. Place your router in an open, centralized location.

Wi-Fi signals are radio waves that can travel throughout your home with ease. However, Wi-Fi signals can’t fully penetrate through walls, doors and other objects inside your home. If you place your router in an open area that is in the middle of all the rooms in your home, then the wireless signal should dissipate more evenly.

2. Place the router in an elevated position.

Generally, from the router antenna, Wi-Fi signals travel lateral and downward. Thus, it would be ideal for you to place your router on top of a shelf, tall chest, or mounted near the ceiling, preferably in an open space.

3. Keep the router away from other electronics.

Wi-Fi signals may experience interference when placed near the TV, computer, or other electronic devices. Try to keep your router away from such devices for better signal strength.

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4. Point the antenna in different directions.

Try pointing the router antenna in various directions to determine which achieves the best signal reception. It is suggested that one router antenna face outward vertically and the other antenna face outward horizontally.

5. Build a simple parabolic antenna to place over your wireless router antenna.

If your router comes with antennas, you can place a small, home-made, curve-shaped metal antenna over one of the router’s antennae. The handcrafted parabolic-shaped antenna concentrates the signal given off by the wireless router; thus, it helps to increase signal strength.

Download the Windsurfer antenna online template or build a simple antenna with a soda/beer can. (You can find a how-to on YouTube for this.)

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6. Change the wireless router configurations using DD-WRT firmware.

All routers are always preset with certain factory settings. You can change some of those configurations on your router, including signal strength and speed, using this software. It is free and downloadable to your computer to improve your router’s performance.

7. Transform an old router into a Wi-Fi repeater.

If you have an old wireless router at home, don’t throw it away. Recycle it by using the DD-WRT firmware to transform it into a Wi-Fi repeater (i.e., a device that extends the Wi-Fi signal from your newer router). Use the software to align both routers to the same internet connection in your home. Then, place the old router in another area of your home and connect it to your computer. There are plenty of online resources to teach you how to do this.

Of course, you can always buy a brand new and costly Wi-Fi repeater device; but why do that when you have an old router that can be reused to do the same thing?

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8. Build a Wi-Fi Booster using a small metal strainer and a Wi-Fi adapter.

Cut a hole inside a strainer that is big enough for the Wi-Fi adapter to fit in. Place the adapter in the hole with its USB-end sticking out of the strainer. Using a USB extender, connect the adapter to your computer. The parabolic shape of the strainer will magnify the Wi-Fi signal strength coming from the adapter, thus extending the signal.

9. Measure your signal strength using Wi-Fi signal map apps.

There are several free mobile apps available to map the Wi-Fi signal from your wireless router throughout the home. This can help you to find an ideal place for the router in your home for better reception.

10. Change wireless channels on your router.

To minimize interference from neighboring Wi-Fi signals outside of your home, simply change the wireless channels within your router using Wi-Fi stumbler/analyzer mobile apps and software. Most of these apps or software are free or low-cost; they can help you find the optimum channel for a better signal reception.

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Paisley Hansen

Freelance Writer

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Published on September 20, 2018

11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

In today’s fast-paced and never-ending busy world, we are overwhelmed by tasks that need to be completed by tight deadlines. With so much technology it is difficult to find the right tools to help boost our efficiency. And, many tools get obsolete so its essential to stay up-to-date to know when you will have to make adjustments to these tools. Independently of where you work, there’s a good chance that you have to be working on a PC or a laptop.

Do you are feel like you do not have enough time, or cannot accomplish much as of late? It is recommended to take a step back and look at the big picture. Also, you want to explore new and innovative ways to improve productivity.

In this article, I outline 11 features and apps within the Chrome browser that can help you do just that.

Minimizing Tabs

Let’s face it we all have more than a dozen tabs opened on our computers. One neat trick to still keep most of them open is to turn them into pinned tabs. On Google Chrome you can right-click the tab and select “Pin Tab” option. This turns the tab into an icon enabling you to continue multitasking.

Pinning a tab anchors the tabs on the left of your toolbar; a great benefit of the “Pin Tab” feature is that you can’t close these tabs accidentally since the “X” disappears after pinning them.

Incognito Mode

Google Chrome is a very easy-to-use and intuitive. But, Google does collect our browsing data; so to remedy this, you can use Incognito Mode. This feature does not keep your browsing or download history. You can enable or access it in three different ways:

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  1. Press Ctrl/Command+shift+N
  2. Select File Menu and choose New Incognito Window
  3. Download extension New Incognito Window

This feature is very handy if you’d rather not have your browsing history stored and utilized for future advertisement or suggested pages.

Save Webpages as PDF Files

Have you ever browsed interesting or important information and then forgot to bookmark or save it in “favorites”, making it impossible to find again? Chances are you have done this on a number of occasions.

Thankfully, there is an easy solution. You can save webpages as PDF files. On your keyboard, press control/command+p and you will be able to save webpages as PDFs.

Open Recently-closed Tabs

Ever had dozens of tabs opened and all of a sudden your browser shuts down? It has probably happened to all of us. You can easily recover all of your tabs using two approaches. Don’t panic if this happens because there is a workaround and solution for it.

One is by pressing Ctrl/CMD+Shift+T.

The other approach is to click on the three vertical dots on your browser and hover over “History”.

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Solve Mathematical Problems

Google’s Chrome browser doesn’t just search for relevant and updated information. It is also capable of performing some mathematical problems. Within the omnibox (Chrome’s address or URL bar), you can perform mathematical exercises.

For example, if you are struggling with percentages you can search 20 percent of x amount and it will instantly provide a result. Pretty handy, right?!

Play Media Files

Are you frequently met with difficulties when playing or watch a video files? Well, once again Chrome comes to the rescue. You can can listen or play videos from all sorts of movie or music files (mp3, mp4, .mov, .mkv, .ogv, .webm, .wav, etc.) by simply dragging the file into the search bar.

In addition, you can view images, PDF files and Microsoft Office files, too.

Navigate Swiftly Between Tabs

With all of those tabs opened comes great navigation responsibilities. Rather than clicking through every tab, you can use shortcut keys like Ctrl+Tab to navigate all of the different tabs. Also, you are able to navigate to the first tab by pressing Ctrl-1, Ctrl-2, and so on. If you want to switch to the very last tab, press Ctrl-9.

Stay Focus(e)d

Computers nowadays have awesome capabilities.

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Sometimes we like to get work done, but let’s face it, we’re all human. We sometimes procrastinate by visiting a website we really like, or maybe take a break with watching a flick on Netflix, a video on YouTube or browsing Facebook.

With Chrome’s StayFocusd extension, you can truly stay focused and get more done in less time.

This extension naturally helps you stay more productive by limiting the amount of time you spend on websites. You can set the time and it will automatically block those sites after a certain period.

Grammarly for Editing

Grammarly is a must have, and it’s really a complete powerhouse. Grammarly helps you check your grammar and spelling for everything you write online.

You can use it professionally or as a student, which will make the editing process much easier and more efficient. Furthermore, it can automatically check for typos when you send an email, type a Tweet, or post a Facebook comment. It’s like having your own personal copyeditor!

Loom

There are times that words in an email or written text in a chat app will just not convey the right meaning.

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There is a saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, the same is true of videos.

With Loom, you can capture, narrate and immediately share video recordings of your screen, which will help coworkers understand issues you are facing, or to easily convey an explanation on screen. Plus, with video you will be able to easily walk people through a process, and you can use it to create simple how-to videos.

Chrome Calendar Extension

No matter what your level of responsibility is at your job, Google Calendar is another essential resource to have at your fingertips.

Specifically, you can have this extension added as an icon in the toolbar of your browser, which I highly recommend. Once you add the extension to your browser, you can check for upcoming events with a single click without leaving your current page.

Final Thoughts

Google Chrome has definitely evolved from its inception. As you can see you have a very powerful tool that comes as a free installation and is loaded with dozens of capabilities. The above listed Chrome apps can resolve some of the most common obstacles to your time management and productivity.

Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com

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