How to extend Wi-Fi range and speed

By ConnectionCafe

Browsing at the speed of a snail, unable to properly stream media, constant drops in Wi-Fi signals, and numerous dead zones can create ever frustrating situations. We live in a world where the internet has become an integral part of our lives and a slow one just won’t do.

A common problem would be the distance, if the network needs to cover a huge area with thick walls and numerous corners, then connection quality will drop. Here are a few measures that can improve your Wi-Fi experience.

Upgrade firmware

You might not know it, but maybe your router only needed a quick update? Manufacturers out there always update and upgrade their software in order to provide a better performance for the owner. The difficulty level of upgrading your particular firmware heavily depends on the brand and model of your router.

The latest models on the market today offer a built in update process in the administration interface; so whenever an update is available, all you have to do is push that firmware upgrade button. But almost all the earlier models will require the owners to manually search and download the firmware update from the official website of the router manufacturer. More likely than not, after an upgrade, the performance of the router and the Wi-Fi will improve.

Control quality

A lot of the newer router models today come with something called a QoS or Quality-of-Service tool, it basically limits the overall amount of data that certain apps use. You’ll be incredibly thankful for this tool if you constantly stream videos or use Voice over IP (VoIP) on a regular basis.

Imagine what a nightmare it would be when you make an important call and the quality suddenly drops just because someone in the house decided to download huge files.

The QoS gives the owner the ability to specify which services and apps receive priority and place downloaders low on the list during certain times in a day. You don’t want to sound selfish to the family members that love to download, but there some tasks are more important than others.

Replace router antennas

For those that own routers with internal antennas, you should consider adding external ones; external antennas typically give off stronger Wi-Fi signals.

A lot of the router manufacturers out there offer omnidirectional antennas that send signals all over the area. There are also directional antennas that can concentrate signals towards a specific direction. Built-in antennas tend to be omnidirectional, so if you decide to purchase an external antenna then make sure it’s ‘high-gain.’

Many consider directional antennas as the better option; you won’t experience tons of weak spots on networks coming from numerous directions. Simply point the external antenna where weak spots are and it’ll broadcast stronger signals there.

Consider a wireless range extender

There’s a great chance that your weak signal has something to do with the size of the room, every router is only capable of broadcasting quality signals at specific distances. The further you go from the specified coverage, the weaker the signal.

If your area is considerably large, then it might be time to purchase a range extender to strengthen the signal; another term for it is a Wi-Fi expander or wireless repeater. It may look like a router at first glance, but it does an entirely different job. It picks ups your Wi-Fi signal and rebroadcasts it to the areas in your home with weaker signals. Make sure it’s close to the main network since it needs to get a good signal.

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