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