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:
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.
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.)
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?
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.