6 Ways To Extend Your Wi-Fi Range

Wi-Fi is just as essential as running water for many people, especially those who work from home. So when it’s slow or constantly drops – and crashes your Zoom call or disrupts your Spotify stream – it can be really annoying.

Your situation could be even worse than this: there’s no signal in some parts of the house, or the connection is so weak that it’s not good enough to load web pages, let alone check who’s at the door. advance through your video doorbell.

These Wi-Fi ‘black spots’ are usually caused by too much distance from the wireless router (wireless signal weakens with range), thick brick or stone walls, and interference from other devices.

There are several ways you can fix this problem, but it all depends on how much you want to spend and the location of the problem areas. Here are six key ways to extend your Wi-Fi:

  1. Move your current router to a better location
  2. Buy a better new router
  3. Buy a mesh Wi-Fi kit
  4. Buy a Wi-Fi extender/booster
  5. Buy a powerline network adapter with Wi-Fi
  6. Switch to 2.4GHz from 5GHz

Now let’s take a more detailed look at each of those options.

1. Reposition your router

If your home has weak Wi-Fi upstairs, check where your wireless router is located. Make sure it’s outdoors (even if it’s ugly) and in the center of the house, if possible, free of obstructions.

Don’t hide it in a cupboard, on the floor, or behind your TV. try to raise it because Wi-Fi signals have an easier time traveling in open spaces.

How to Extend Your Wi-Fi

Does your router have a movable bridge? Wi-Fi signals coming from the edges of the antenna and facing up (perpendicular to the router) are usually best so the signal doesn’t shoot to the ground or ceiling. However, if you have a lot of beards, you can try adjusting them to different angles to give the widest coverage.

2. Upgrade to a better router

If weak or slow Wi-Fi persists despite moving the router, consider upgrading the router to a better one.

Oldest to newest Wi-Fi standards are: 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n, 802.11ac, and Wi-Fi 6. If you have an older wireless “b” or “g” router, you should consider it. replace it with a newer device that offers longer range and faster connection speeds.

Why not be bold and ask your ISP to send you an updated wireless router? If you’ve been a customer for a while, that will help, but watch out if they ask you to sign up for a new contract.

A common misconception is that the latest Wi-Fi standard gives you the best performance and range. While that’s partially true, the best speed comes with range, so you’ll really get the best coverage from a really good performing router using 2.4GHz, not 5GHz. To know more, click here.

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How to Extend Your Wi-Fi

However, this is where mesh Wi-Fi comes in, and that’s why we strongly recommend investing in a set, which can cost less than a single router in some cases.

Remember that your device also needs to support these newer Wi-Fi standards. But instead of buying a new laptop, you can buy a USB wireless adapter – from just £10 – that plugs into a USB port. You can also add a new wireless adapter inside a desktop case or via the PC Card slot, but good luck trying that with a Mac! Check out our roundup about
best 802.11ac USB Wi-Fi adapter
.

We also have a separate guide with tips on how to increase Wi-Fi speed.

3. Get a mesh Wi-Fi kit

In case you skipped the introduction and scrolled straight here, a mesh network is two or more routers that work together to provide a much wider range of Wi-Fi coverage than a single router can. can provide. It replaces your current router’s Wi-Fi and is very easy to set up.

You attach one of the devices from the mesh Wi-Fi kit to a spare port on your existing router, and it creates a new Wi-Fi network for all your Wi-Fi devices to connect to. .

How to Extend Your Wi-Fi

You then place the second (and third if needed) grid device somewhere else in your home – usually on a different floor, or on the other side of your home. The devices all talk to each other and create a single super Wi-Fi network that’s both strong and fast and can often extend to your garden, if you have one.

You can read more about the differences between the cheapest and most expensive systems in our list of the best mesh Wi-Fi, but our current top picks, which combine Wi-Fi and wired networks Power for great coverage and speed at a reasonable price is the TP-Link Deco P9.

4. Use the Powerline adapter

Powerline adapters are slowly being phased out and replaced by mesh Wi-Fi, but there’s still room for them – the Deco P9 uses the technology we just talked about. But a traditional power line adapter may be the cheapest solution to extending Wi-Fi if you need to receive the signal in a specific room or even a separate building such as a garage.

Simply plug an adapter into a power outlet near your router and connect it to the router using an Ethernet cable (usually supplied in the box).

Then plug the second adapter (must be the model with built-in Wi-Fi) into an electrical outlet in another room like an attic, garage, or other outbuilding. As long as any separate building receives power from the main house where the router is located, it should work.

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How to Extend Your Wi-Fi

In most cases, they create a new Wi-Fi hotspot – they don’t enhance an existing wireless network like a Wi-Fi extender. Powerline kits with Wi-Fi are more expensive than extenders but are much more versatile and can provide faster speeds.

Read our roundup of the best Powerline adapters for recommendations.

5. Buy a wireless booster

Wi-Fi extenders – also known as repeaters or boosters – boost your Wi-Fi signal by ‘catching’ the wireless signal from your router and then replaying it. Some people wonder if they really work: yes, but they’re not the best choice if you need very fast Wi-Fi speeds.

However, they are cheap and easy to install. Models like TP-Link’s TL-WA860RE can cost as little as £20/$20 or so. However, this uses the older 802.11n standard. If you want something faster and more up-to-date, the TP-Link RE300, which supports 802.11ac, costs around £35/$35.

How to Extend Your Wi-Fi

You can use a Wi-Fi repeater to boost the signal from a router on another floor of the house or on the opposite side of a building.

WiFi extender home booster repeater

The repeater uses half of its internal antenna to receive the wireless signal and the other half to transmit the new signal – halving the potential speed of the original Wi-Fi signal.

This is not noticeable for light web browsing, email, etc., but is perceptible when moving large files around the network like high resolution video. That’s why we prefer Powerline for more demanding tasks. But you may find it still perfectly fine to stream Netflix or YouTube.

The Wi-Fi extender needs to be centrally located, not too far from the main router, as shown in the image above. If you place the repeater on the far edge of the main network in hopes of boosting the signal, you will reduce the speed of your connection to the rest of the network and to the internet.

Remember that the extender only enhances the signal. If it’s placed in a place where the Wi-Fi is already weak, it will only push that weak signal away. Place it in an area with better Wi-Fi and the signal it pushes out will also be stronger.

The ideal location for a range extender is halfway between your main router and the intended wireless devices – in an open hallway or room rather than a crowded space. It should be kept away from interfering devices such as cordless phones, Bluetooth devices and microwave ovens.

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6. Use 2.4GHz instead of 5GHz Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi can use one of two frequency bands: 2.4GHz or 5GHz. Many people think the latter is better because it offers faster speeds.

However, this comes with a price: range. The higher the frequency, the shorter the wavelength. And a 5GHz signal can’t penetrate walls, ceilings, desks and, yes, people as well as 2.4GHz signals. (Incidentally, this is why 5G promises to be so fast, because it uses much higher frequencies – called millimeter waves – but these signals are very difficult to penetrate glass, trees, and plants. and even rain.

On the other hand, 2.4GHz is better at transmitting signals over longer distances, at slower speeds. That’s why you can get better range from your router by forcing your phone or laptop to connect to your router’s 2.4GHz network. Many routers combine the two frequencies into one network name. That’s done for convenience, but it means you can’t choose which network to connect to.

If your router is like that, log into the settings website and find the Wi-Fi menu where you can split the two frequencies into two separate network names.

It should be noted that 2.4GHz devices face a battle because a lot of other things also use this frequency including microwave ovens, baby monitors, Bluetooth and more.

These can cause interference, reducing Wi-Fi signal speed and range. The more range you want, the less speed you can get; The greater the speed you want, the more you have to minimize interference and work closer to the access point.

So your mileage may vary, but it’s a good idea to understand the differences between the Wi-Fi bands, as you can use them to your advantage.

We have separate step-by-step instructions on how to change the channel your router uses to avoid interference.

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Posts “6 Ways To Extend Your Wi-Fi Range” posted by on 2020-08-03 10:17:00. Thank you for reading the article at whatsinyourbox.org

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