How To Improve Your WiFi Signal

How To Improve Your WiFi Signal

Increasing technological innovation means that most of us in the small business community enjoy wireless internet access which enables us to work online wherever we are: in the office, at home or on the move. Unfortunately, a big problem encountered by many users is a weak Wi-Fi signal and this can be particularly problematic if it affects staff in your place of business. A weak or unstable signal slows down data transmission and causes connectivity problems which can be extremely frustrating.

Important Things To Boost Laptop’s Wireless Performance In Area Of Particularly Poor Signal Coverage

1. Upgrade wireless hardware

Recent models of laptop come with 802.11g or 802.11n Wi-Fi capability. If your router is an 802.11b device, then that is the speed you can expect. If you upgrade your wireless hardware to correspond with the capability of your laptop, you will maximise its performance.

2. Expand the Wi-Fi signal

You can boost the strength of the connection by adding a wireless amplifier. This ‘range expander’ picks up signals from the router and re-transmits them, effectively amplifying the signal. Place the amplifier in close proximity to the edge of the signal you already have so that the device then covers the broadest range around it.

3. Upgrade your standard router antenna

The purpose of an omnidirectional antenna is to provide a signal in all directions. This means that you can target the location where you most need the signal. Check with an electronic supplier as you may be able to upgrade your antenna to one which will give you better coverage relatively cheaply.

4. External adapter

If you have an older laptop, disable the built-in Wi-Fi circuit and antenna and replace the setup with an external adapter. This will come with a larger antenna and uses the very latest technology. The external Wi-Fi device plugs directly into the USB port on the laptop or can be attached by means of a cable.

5. Swop wireless for firmware

Wireless signals are broadcast across several channels. You may find that one channel provides interference. If so, change the channel through the router. If this doesn’t work, reconfigure the router completely using Linux based firmware or alternatively a DD-WRT program, first making sure that there are no compatibility issues.

6. Move the equipment

You may achieve better connectivity by moving your router to a central location within the office away from thick walls or furniture which can obstruct the signal. Metals can interfere with the signal broadcaster too so avoid placing the router near metal filing cabinets and the like.

7. Transmission power settings

Some types of network adapters work by supporting the connection through adjustment of their transmission power. You can adjust this setting via the adapter’s driver interface program with other wireless profile settings and the Wi-Fi channel number. For the strongest available signal, you need to set the transmission power to maximum or 100%. If your laptop is running in power-save mode, this new setting automatically reduces the adapter’s range and the signal strength.

8. Background applications

Multiple background tasks can cause your laptop to run slowly. Check how many applications you have running and disable any which are not being used to boost the speed of your primary task.

In conclusion

If you’re not technology savvy don’t worry; your local computer repair shop will be able to help you with all of the above tips relatively inexpensively. The improvement in your Wi-Fi signal will be well worth it.

Image: Shutterstock

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