Typically, you'll only be able to receive wireless Internet signals from a wireless router that is in your home or within a couple of hundred yards from your home. If you're a mile away from your router, however, there are ways to extend that signal so that you pick it up. Extending the signal is a great way to allow your neighbours to access your Internet connection or to access it yourself when you are in a distant location on your property.
Remove the antenna on your wireless router. Replace it with one that is unidirectional, and point the antenna in the direction you want to channel the signal. Most antennas supplied with routers broadcast wireless signal in all directions, which wastes signal power if you want that power directed one way. Some antennas are removable by unscrewing them from your router. If this isn't the case, take it to your Internet provider and request a new antenna.
Remove your computer's wireless PC card network adaptor and replace it with a USB wireless network adaptor, which you can find at your local electronics store. Sometimes PC cards won't allow your computer to send signals back to your router if you're too far away; with a USB adaptor, this won't happen. Some PC card adaptors will pop out with the push of a button; other times you have to take it to a computer technician to remove it. A USB adaptor simply plugs into the USB port on your computer.
Place a wireless repeater between your router and your computer one mile away. Make sure this location has an outlet that you can plug the repeater into and that it is protected, such as inside a neighbour's house. A repeater works by bouncing the signal from your router, which extends the reach of the signal.
Change your wireless channel from your router's online setting page. Routers can broadcast on different channels, so changing your channel could mean that the interference of other signals will be reduced and thus improve your connection. Find your router's online settings page in the user's manual that came with the router.
Connect your router to a wireless signal booster. A booster plugs into your router and an outlet, and some have been known to increase signal strength by up to 600 per cent. You can purchase a signal booster from your local electronics store.
Things you need
- Replacement wireless router antennas
- USB wireless network adaptor
- Wireless repeater
- Wireless booster