5 Ways to Improve Your Wireless Router Signal

You pay an arm and a leg for the top of the line internet service, and yet you still struggle with a weak, inconsistent signal. It happens to the best of us, so don’t despair. But if you’re sure the issue isn’t coming from your ISP and your computer is set correctly, it is time to take a look at your wireless router.

That’s the gadget with the antennas that is actually responsible for sending that trusty internet hurtling through space and into your computer.

You don’t have to have the most expensive wireless router to receive consistent signal strength, though you probably shouldn’t buy one of the bottom feeder brands either.

Yet regardless of which device you have, here are five ways you can easily improve your wireless router signal starting right now.

First of all, make sure you are positioning your wireless router for success. Remember, that little box works with science, not magic. Perhaps you’ve placed the router in some dark corner because you don’t want it to be a center of attention in your living room.

That’s fine, but placing it next to walls or near dense metal furniture will block the signal. Any significant obstructions will lead to lost signal strength, and if you place the router next to an exterior wall, you’re basically sending 50% of your signal outside.

Try to set it in an open space and a central location in your house, and you should see an immediate difference.

You can also try changing the wireless channel your router is set to. There are eleven different channels most routers use to transmit data.

Since the majority of households now have wireless internet set up, there is a strong chance that other homes close by may be running routers on the same channel as you.

Use a free tool downloadable online to find your neighbors’ networks and discover which channels they are using, and then switch to a different one. Less traffic on the channel will lead to a stronger connection.

If that doesn’t help, you may have to update the wireless router’s firmware. Even if the router is fresh out of the box the software it is running might be out of date. The manufacturer will regularly release a firmware update, generally designed to handle any bugs their engineers or users have discovered and to improve performance.

The router won’t always tell you when it needs an update, so head to the manufacturer’s website to download the latest version.

The antenna might be another source of problems if you continue to have trouble. Most current wireless routers sport internal antennas, but if your router has an external antenna you might need to make a change.

Look for a high-gain antenna you can add on, which will increase the strength of your wireless signal while allowing you to send it in one specific direction.

Another cheap and easy fix is adding a wireless repeater to your router. You’ll find these sold through many online retailers, and it basically just allows you to extend your router’s range without having to move it around.

This really helps those dealing with rural broadband, when you want the signal to travel far distances but cannot expect improved infrastructure any time soon. It’s not a perfect fix, but it will make a real difference in most cases.

Evan Fischer
Evan Fischer is a freelance writer and part-time student at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, California. He enjoys writing about the latest tech news for a variety of companies and discovering new and innovative gadgets.
If you wish to write for techchai, you can get in touch using the write for us form above.

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