Signal-to-Noise ratio (SNR) is defined as the signal divided by the noise, both measured on the same power scale. When measured in decibels, a logarithmic scale, both signal and noise are negative numbers and SNR is computed as: SNR (dB) = Signal (dB) - Noise (dB), for example: SNR = (-80) - (-98) = 18. SNR is a composite measurement of how fast wireless data travels and how far a wireless signal reaches. A higher SNR is better, and acceptable SNR is typically in the range from 8 dB to 25 dB, with 8 dB supporting a data rate of 6 megabits per second (Mbps) and 25 dB supporting a full 54 Mbps data rate. To increase your SNR, try these suggestions for increasing the strength of the wireless signal.
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Things you need
- Wireless router
- Advanced firmware
A wireless signal gets weaker the further it travels from the router, which means SNR also decreases with distance. For a simple method to improve SNR, place the router and the client physically closer to one another.
Double the transmission power of your wireless router to improve the signal output and the corresponding SNR. For example, if your signal is -85 and your power is 100 milliwatts (mW), you can improve your signal to approximately -82 by doubling the router's transmission power to 200 mW.
Install an antenna with increased gain on your wireless router to improve the signal and SNR. Replace a standard 3 dB antenna with a 12 dB antenna to get an additional 9 dB of signal. For example, if your signal was -82 with a 3dB antenna, it should increase to -73 with a 12 dB antenna.
Tips and warnings
- In order to change settings such as the router's transmission power, you may need to flash your router with advanced firmware such as the free, open-source "dd-wrt" firmware.
- Increasing the power of your wireless router can also increase the noise level, which decreases the SNR.
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