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10 Tips for Better WiFi

Bob Rankin provides 10 great tips for boosting your WiFi signal.–PC Pitstop

10 Tips for Better WiFi

by Bob Rankin

How to Boost or Extend Your WiFi Signal

Wireless devices are everywhere now… from laptops to smartphones, tablets and ebook readers. Even printers and hard drives can be connected to a wifi network.

So it’s important to get the best possible signal from your wireless router. WiFi is a type of radio signal, so it’s simply a matter of eliminating interference and boosting that signal to extend as far as you need it to, and doing it in a way so you’ll still get the same amount of power.
If the WiFi signal is weak in certain parts of your home (or out back in the hammock), there are some clever ways to boost or extend your WiFi signal, and most of them won’t cost a penny. Here are my ten ways to boost your wifi signal:

Position The Router – Yes, where you place your router does matter. If your wireless laptop or tablet is in another room, the signal has to go through walls and other interference before it reaches you. You can change the positioning and give everyone equal access. For example, in an open office room setting, instead of placing the router in a corner, try putting it in the middle of the room, where the signal should extend out more evenly, giving better coverage to the entire office.

If you’re looking for optimal wireless coverage in various parts of your home, position the router in the middle of the house. Moving it up off the floor, to a bookcase or shelf, should also help. If you only have one wireless computer, and it’s always in the same place (ie: your office, the kitchen, or the hammock) then it makes more sense to place the router closer to the computer, rather than in the center of the house. But experiment — I’ve heard of cases where there was a very weak signal, and the problem was that the router was TOO close to the computer.

Avoid Bad Neighbors – Remember, wifi is a radio signal, so the signals from microwave ovens, cordless phones and even fluorescent lights may cause interference and signal degradation. Other things that can wreak havoc on wireless networks are bluetooth devices, wireless game controllers, your neighbor’s wireless router, and powerful WiMAX signals in your area. Even poorly wired electrical connections in a home can interfere with wireless signals due to broad radio-frequency emissions. Steering clear of as many of these problems as possible may provide a boost to your wifi.

Extend the Antenna – There are some decent wireless antenna boosters available that you can purchase as addons to your current wifi router to help the signal extend out further. You just plug them directly into the router base (sometimes called the Wireless Access Point, or WAP) and it can give you that boost in the signal that you need. Hawking makes several types of wireless antenna boosters. One of the most powerful indoor models is the Hawking Technologies HAI15SC, which can boost the strength of your wireless signal from the typical 2dBi up to 15dBi! The HAI15SC’s hi-gain “corner antenna” replaces the external antenna of your wireless router, significantly improving signal strength, distance, and wireless performance. This unit sells for about $40, and can be found at Amazon and many other online retailers.

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