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Hacks and Tips To Boost Your WiFi Signal

Hacks and Tips To Boost Your WiFi Signal

Watch this useful video guide to boost you WiFi signal strength and range. If the hack isn't for you, we have some useful tips and advice that can also help improve your WiFi connection.

The performance of your WiFi home network is highly dependent on the signal strength of the router or the wireless access point (base station). This signal is greatly affected by distance, obstructions and interference.

There are several ways to boost your range and signal strength. There is a selection of different antenna enhancers available on the consumer market as well as some DIY hacks to create your own expander.

D.I.Y Boosters

You can boost your WiFi signal considerably well using kitchenware or even old cans.

Check out this video on how to create your own wireless enhancer.

You can also use a sheet of manila folder and aluminum foil to create the parabola reflector:

    DIY Parabolic Reflector

    DIY Parabolic Reflector

  1. Download and Print out a template of a parabola @ http://www.freeantennas.com/Templates/windsurfer.jpg
  2. Use it to score an outline onto a manila folder with a pen or pencil
  3. Apply glue to the side of the folder that is not scored for the reflector (with the slots)
  4. Apply aluminum foil with dull side down onto the glue
  5. Don’t apply foil to the support part (with the tabs)
  6. Turn the manila folder over and cut out the shiny new parabolic
  7. reflector
  8. Cut out the reflector part (with the slots) and the support part (with the tabs)
  9. Bend the reflector – with the foil in back – and insert the tabs of the support part
  10. Apply tape to keep two parts together
  11. Poke the antenna through hole (about 1/2 way down pole) and pivot the reflector to point in desired direction

Apple Airport Wifi Hack

Apple Airport Wifi Hack

Another easy DIY solution is for those who already own an Apple Airport Express Base station. Simply placing the AE in a steel wire ladle (as shown) acts like a passive antenna enhancer. There are bigger Chinese and Asian ladles available and placing the AE directly in the focal point of the parabola can further marginally improve the range.

800hightech can not be held responsible for your actions. If you are worried about damaging your equipment during this hack then our advice is NOT to begin! You may void warrantees on your equipment buy Doing-It-Yourself. Instead keep reading for further advice on how to improve your wireless range and signal strength.

If the hack is not your cup of tea there is a selection of wireless enhancers available to buy on the consumer market. These include:

  • Signal Repeater/Expander – The traditional way of extending your signal, picks up the existing signal retransmitting it. It is possible to use multiple routers to help spread the signal out over larger areas.
  • Parabolic Antenna – Works in the same ways the parabolic hack. Points and boosts the signal exactly where the data needs to steam.


Before building your own or buying a new wireless enhancer, you may be able to improve your signal once you consider and resolve the main problems that affect your wireless range and signal strength, these include:

Placement of the Router

Place your AP off the floor, in the center of your house or office. This will help center the signal range so the furthest corners of the house receive equal signal strength.

Interference

Try to positioning your access point as far away from your neighbors so as to avoid any interference from their connection. In addition you could consider changing the WiFi channel on your equipment.

Be sure to keep the router away from cordless phones, microwaves, baby monitors or any equipment that works on the same frequency, 802.11b or 802.11g (2.4 GHz). Likewise, install the unit away from electrical equipment that also generates interference. Avoid electric fans, other motors, and fluorescent lighting.

Obstructions

It is best to keep a clear line of sight between your PC or wireless device and your router. Plaster and brick walls have the most negative effect on signal strength but almost any obstructions, including wardrobes and cabinets can also degrade your signal. Mirrors can also reflect the direction of the signal decreasing the signal strength; however this can have a positive effect if the router is placed precisely in the focal point of a mirror like parabola.

Upgrade the antenna on your router (or access point)

WiFi antennas on most wireless base stations can be removed and replaced with more powerful ones.


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15 Comments

  1. I have a En Genious router. I have an omni antenna with 16 power ( ) I can only ger 24.0 Mbps (speed), it is somthing is blocking the speed it is supposed to put out 100Mbps. where am I going wrong.

  2. John

    It could be a number of things. First I would check your internet connection speed. What you signed up for, is rarely the speed you ever achieve. Check out http://www.speedtest.net/

    Next, be sure you have no spyware or software that may be causing your internet speed to slow down.

    Also check if you can optimize your internet settings. There are plenty of software available to help you tweak your computer settings. Some are free, but I always download from CNet. You will also be able to check out the reviews http://www.download.com

    Finally, you can check to make sure your WiFi connection has no interference and try to boost your signal strength.

  3. I’ve got a public internet network about 1/3 of a mile from my house. Currently playing with a parabolic dish and external antennae. Gonna try to aim with 1500ft laser pointer. If I can get it aimed at a window which is in line with the omnidirectional broadcasting antenae I’m hoping I have a chance. It is a brick building. Do I have a shot at this distance?

    There are some oaks in the way. Will the trees with or without leaves interfere? Will I need to aim around branches?

    My worst suspicion is that from ground level there is also a chain link fence in line of sight. I’m suspecting that this acts like a Wifi signal sucking antenae: When I point at the fence there are a ton of networks detected but only 1 has only a single bar.
    If I’m right, getting on my roof in the summer will clear it but there will likely be smaller branches and more leaves in my way from those oaks. Your comments?

  4. I am trying to do the “Signal Repeater/Expander” My question is how does that work? So here is the set up. I have wireless internet set up in my house. Now I live next door to where I work and I want to use my office computers (which is within range) wireless port to boost my homes signal to reach the other side of the building (Which is where my other office is along with my laptop).

    I tried setting up a wireless network but I can’t get my laptop to even see the new network. So I’m just going to say I have no idea what I’m doing and ask that some one walk me through a way that will work. any step in the right way is helpful. Thanks

    Daniel_p

  5. Make sure that your wireless card is compliant with the wireless network. A/B/G wireless card is the best bet. Also make sure that the wireless network is turned on and not an internal network. You will pick up all kinds of signal, make sure the one you are trying to connect to is the one you actually want.

  6. You could use an old TV dish to build an antena like these.

  7. Been told if I boost my output of my AP with an amplifier that the niose will distorte my signal…. Creaing a hotspot and do see advantages of 1 watt output…

    Thoughts…

    Al

  8. I’m using an itouch and I’m trying to get a connection off a local router(yes I’ve asked permission). Would foil help if I wrapped it in a spiral and tried to use it almost like a condutor and placed it on my itouch or somewhere in the room?

  9. pleae anyone tell me which sotware he will use in monitor signal in 1st video(can video)

  10. hi, I have similar problem. I need to pick up the internet signal in ports. I live on a boat, and sometimes the internet from ports is to far away to get a good signal. People been telling my about booster antenna which can make a signal 10 times stronger, just don’t know where to get it.

    thanks

    axel

  11. oh and i am on mac.

    axel

  12. hey i want to hijack off of my neighbors internet, but my laptop that comes with a built in wireless router, is not strong enough to pick it up…need help on how to boots signal, because i dont want to buy a booster… thnx

  13. put a wifi antenna on your chain link fence

    i had 6 signals till i did that now i have 15  !!!

  14. i live in a tralier park and several of my neighbors have wireless internet  my ? is if i hook up a external  router in my house will it boost  their singal for my purpose please reply to christophersimon99@yahoo.com

  15. Parabola Reflector works well for me, boost my wifi from 1Mbps at upstair, to 24Mbps. Tooks me a while to work it out though, but really worth it. Thanks a lot !

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