How Do I Boost My Wireless Router Signal

Wondering "how do I boost my wireless router signal?" as your network drops off for the 20th time today? If you're having signal strength issues with your wireless router, you can do a few things to enhance your signal strength.

Know the Causes of Interference
Interference can wreak havoc with your wireless network signal. Devices that typically interfere with wireless networks include cordless phones, televisions, microwaves, baby monitors and garage door openers. Move your router away from these devices. Try to put your router in a place where the signal won't need to cross the path of these devices on its way to your computer. You may need to do some rearranging, but avoiding these sources of interference can really boost your signal.

What's in Your Walls?
Concrete or brick walls, metal studs, steel beams and soundproofing materials can drastically reduce your wireless signal strength. Beware of these walls, and other structural components that cut your wireless signal. If you have an interior wall that's cutting off your wireless signal to the rest of your home, move your wireless router or consider a signal amplifier to boost signal performance.

Use a Signal Amplifier
If you're experiencing wireless signal issues, you can always add a wireless signal amplifier. An amplifier connects to your wireless router and boosts the signal output, typically by connecting to where your antenna connects. Wireless signal amplifiers also boost the receiving capabilities of your wireless router, ultimately increasing your network speed and ensuring that you never lose signal.

Upgrade the Antenna
Some wireless routers have entirely internal antenna arrays, and it isn't possible to change or boost the signal from these devices. However, if your wireless router uses an external antenna, you can upgrade to a high-power antenna. Consider a directional antenna that lets you focus the signal, rather than the omni antenna that came with your router. Omnis send the signal out in an even 360-degree radius, which can be a problem if you've got a very tall or very long home.

If you can't swap the antenna, there's a very inexpensive way to try and boost the signal. Cut an aluminum or tin can in half lengthwise. Position this behind the antenna, and point it in the direction where you need more signal. This can reflect signal to places where you need it.

Check the antennas in your wireless devices as well. Laptop network cards have tiny built-in antennas that often don't get enough signal at the edge of your network's range. Adding an external USB antenna can make a big difference in this situation.

Start with a Good Router
Cheap wireless routers are typically made from inexpensive parts, with low-quality transmitters and antennas.. If you want to avoid wireless router signal issues, start with a good router. A good router may cost more, but it is more likely to include a high-quality antenna and broadcast a strong, clear signal. 

Check for Firmware Updates
Manufacturers sometimes discover changes they can make to router firmware or device adaptors to help boost signal strength. If you're having signal problems, make sure you're using the most updated version of your firmware and adaptors. Update your firmware if you're not fully upgraded, and you'll likely experience better performance overall.

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