Wi-Fi is a wireless radio frequency (RF) technology that is used to network computers and other devices without a wired connection. Connecting to the Internet via Wi-Fi offers many advantages over standard wired connections, including greater convenience, lower costs and the potential for a large network with few networking devices. Wireless can, however, suffer from decreased Internet performance if the signal received by a computer is weak. The farther away your computer is from the router it is connecting to, the weaker your signal is likely to be. You can take several simple steps to help boost distant wireless signals.
Move your computer closer to the wireless access point if possible. When you are using a laptop, for instance, closing the distance between your computer and the wireless router you are connected to can increase signal strength.
Reposition the router. If you are at a workstation that cannot be moved and you are connecting to a router that is far away, locating the router and changing its position can help boost your signal. Elevating the router above the level of the floor and keeping it away from walls and large metal objects may help it project signals farther.
Use a high gain antenna on your wireless router. A high gain antenna allows the router to direct signals in a certain direction instead of sending them in all directions; directing signals toward your computer can increase signal strength at long range.
Install a wireless repeater. A wireless repeater is a device that can take in a Wi-Fi signal and send it back out with increased strength; setting up a wireless repeater somewhere between your computer and the wireless access point can boost signal strength.
Change the wireless channel of the router. Wi-Fi signals can be interrupted by other wireless devices that use similar channels. Click "Start," "Run," type "command," press "Enter," type "ipconfig" and then enter and note the number listed as "Default Gateway." Open a web browser and type your router's IP address (the "Default Gateway") into the address bar, press "Enter" and enter your user name and password to log in to your router's administrative panel. Each router will be somewhat different, but it should have a wireless frequency or channel drop-down selection in one of the wireless settings menus. Alter the setting and then save the changes.
Upgrade the drivers for your wireless adaptor. Click "Start," "Run," type "devmgmt.msc," press "Enter," expand "Network adaptors," right-click on your wireless adaptor and select "Update driver software..." You may also be able to find driver updates to install at the website of the network adaptor's manufacturer.
Replacing your wireless network adaptor or router may improve long-range signal strength. Routers and wireless cards that use wireless n technology may achieve better signal strength at longer distances than those that connect with wireless g, b or a.
Tips and warnings
- Replacing your wireless network adaptor or router may improve long-range signal strength. Routers and wireless cards that use wireless n technology may achieve better signal strength at longer distances than those that connect with wireless g, b or a.