How to Improve Low Wireless Signals on Adapters

Written by gregory hamel
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Wireless network adaptors are devices installed in computers that are able to connect to wireless signals to access the internet or a local area network. Unlike internet connections that are set up with wires, wireless internet speeds are largely dependent on the quality of the signal that the network adaptor receives. Low signal strength may cause the internet to run slowly or even cause a connection to cut in and out. You can boost the signal received by wireless adaptors to increase internet performance.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Wireless repeater

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  1. 1

    Move the computer with the wireless adaptor closer to the wireless router or wireless access point. Similar to a car radio, the farther a wireless adaptor is from the router that is sending out a Wi-Fi signal, the weaker the signal strength tends to be.

  2. 2

    Remove physical obstructions between your computer and router. Things like furniture, walls and doors can reduce wireless signals. If you can't move your computer right next to your router, remove obstructions to help boost your adaptor's signal.

  3. 3

    Set up a wireless repeater midway between your router and computer. A wireless repeater is a device that takes in wireless signals and sends them back out with increased strength, effectively increasing the range of a router.

  4. 4

    Update the driver software for your wireless adaptor card. Drivers are software packages that tell a computer how to use a certain piece of hardware. New drivers may help your computer use the wireless card more effectively. To search for new drivers, go to the website of your wireless card manufacturer. Download and run a driver install file and restart your computer to enable the new drivers to take effect.

  5. 5

    Increase the power devoted to your wireless adaptor. If wireless cards are not given enough power, the signal strength can be weaker. Change the power settings by clicking "Start," "Control Panel," "Administrative Tools," "Computer Management," then "Device Manager." Search the list for "Network Adapters," click on the "+" sign, and then right-click on your wireless card and select "Properties." Click on the "Advanced" tab, then click on "Transmit Power." Set the "Value" drop-down field to its highest setting and click "OK."

Tips and warnings

  • An outdated wireless adaptor can limit your internet speed. Upgrading your computer with a new wireless card may increase your wireless signal.
  • If your router is outdated, it may have weak or slow signals. Consider upgrading your router to increase signal strength.
  • Outdated hardware is less likely to have new drivers to optimise speed.

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