WiFi signals produced by your Router has its own limitations. The biggest of them all being Range. This is because these signals are affected by various kinds of interference leading to dead zones, network latency and an overall reception that is pathetic. Apart from interference, WiFi signals lose strength with increase in distance. The distance problem is evident even in other forms of transmission as well.
If you are reading this, you are probably frustrated by the fact that you always need to go closer to your WiFi Router to experience a decent connection. Why not connect from anywhere in your house. All this boils down to the fact that signals from your WiFi Router can’t reach your device. At times your device may be connected but you can barely notice any traffic.
In this article, we have compiled some ingenious perks you can perform to extend your WiFi Router Range and improve reception. Let’s get right into it.
1. Place your Router at a strategic position
Placing your Router at a corner or at the far end of your house would not be a good idea. Neither is placing it somewhere near the ground. It would be logical to have the Router centrally placed and at an elevated position in your premise. Centrally placing the Router means that every spot will be at better proximity with the Router. An elevated position will be ideal since tall appliances and furniture won’t be in the way of the signal anymore. Also, try as much as possible to place your Router away from electronic equipment that uses or emit radio waves. These equipment cause a lot of interference which weakens the signal.
2. Integrate a WiFi Extender
A WiFi Extender may also be termed as a Repeater or Range Extender. This is basically a device that you add to your existing WiFi network. What this device does is that it connects to your Router’s WiFi, amplifies it and then rebroadcasts that signal. This means it becomes an Access Point as well. It forwards data it receives from both the Router and end devices. The idea here is placing the device at an effective distance with the Router. A distance where it can maintain a steady connection with the Router while considerably improving the Range. Not too close and not too far from the Router.
It is prudent to note that after you integrate the Range Extender, you will have two different signals. One from your Router and the other from the Range Extender. Remember to manually switch between these two networks when you move closer to one of these devices. The new network will be weaker than the primary network. NETGEAR N300 and TP-LINK RE450 are examples of good Range Extenders in the market.
3. Update Router Firmware
Making sure your router firmware is up to date is important in keeping its performance at optimum. The manufacturer of your Router mostly does upgrades to fix bugs and security vulnerabilities. But it can also be done to integrate a new feature or technology such as IPV6. Some of these enhancements are geared towards increased performance in terms of speed and Range.
Just in case your Router does not update its firmware automatically, you can visit the manufacturer’s website for your model and check for instructions on how to do it manually.
4. Switch to a Mesh Network
A Mesh Network is the best solution we recommend. Mesh Networks consist of various Routers (known as nodes) interconnected to each other. Each node performs the functionality of a Router while still connecting to other nodes around it. Mesh Networks come equipped with various intelligent capabilities which makes its performance very efficient. Only one node is connected to your ISP but surprisingly the rest of the nodes don’t experience significant performance lag.
You can spread these nodes equally across your house and your device will switch between signals automatically depending on which node you are closer to. In case you consider switching to a Mesh Network, check recommendations here. A Mesh Network is meant to replace your existing Router but is worth it.
5. Connect another Router to your existing Router
This solution is almost similar to the one of using Range Extenders. In this case, we introduce another Router which gets connected to the existing Router via an Ethernet cable. You can then take the new Router upstairs or to where the signal is weak. You will have to tweak a few IP configurations here and there to set it up but it’s not too complicated.
6. Replace antenna
Manufacturers install a small antenna for design and portability purposes. There are larger and more powerful third party antenna that you can fix to your Router. This solution may not be suited for everyone since some Router models come with the fixed antenna so don’t try to pull it out in that case.
If for one reason or another none of the tips above have helped increase your WiFi Router Range, the underlying problem may be the device you are using to connect with. If it’s your computer just upgrade the network card to a better one or use an external adapter. In the case of a mobile phone, you would want to buy a more recent one. It may even be your ISP throttling your connection to give you an impression that your signal is weak.