Friday, July 10, 2009

How to Extend Wireless Range

Maximizing the signal of a wireless network is always a big advantage to a home, business establishment, or workplace. There are many ways of boosting wireless range. Some may require something as simple as relocating the wireless router, while some would need special equipment. One or a combination of these methods will hopefully help extend network range enough to cover an entire home, office, or establishment.

Materials Needed:
- wireless router
- hi-gain antenna (optional)
- USB network adapter (optional)
- wireless repeater (optional)
Step 1
Try relocating the router. Ideally, the router should be placed at the center of the area for maximum coverage in all directions. Also, thick metal and concrete, as well as floors may interfere with the signal of the router so try placing the unit away from these obstructions. Elevating the unit onto a table or mounting it on a wall may also help boost the signal.

Step 2
Try to gauge if the signal has increased by referring to the Wi-Fi client’s signal meter.

Step 3
Try changing the orientation of the router’s antennas (horizontal, vertical, at a certain angle) to see which direction works best to intensify the signal.

Step 4
Go to the wireless router’s configuration page to change channels. Changing the wireless channel, much like fiddling with the dial of a radio to find the best signal, may also help in choosing a channel that is free of interference.

Step 5
Most antennas that come with the router are omni-directional so they broadcast in equal intensity around the router. This will prove inefficient if the router is near an outside wall since half of the signal will go to a place outside the needed area. If this is the case, consider upgrading to a hi-gain antenna. This kind of antenna will concentrate the wireless signal toward only one direction, maybe the area where the router power is most needed.

Step 6
Adding a wireless repeater is one very common way of increasing signal strength. Placing the repeater halfway from the computer and the router will instantly boost the wireless signal. Choose a repeater from the same producer of the router if possible, as hardware coming from the same manufacturers generally work better together.

Step 7
Upgrading the wireless router may prove to be more costly but it is the surest way to actually boost wireless signal. The best in the market, according to most online reviews, is the 802.11n so far. It has been said that this model’s signal provides better range as well as stability. It has also been observed that it crashes less frequently than other models.

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