How to Boost a Wifi Signal

Five Methods:Look for InterferenceSwitch Channels802.11nRelocateUpgrade

A wireless router typically has a range of 100 feet (30.5 m) or more. However, many factors can lower this range and zap its signal strength. Interference can be caused by metal, competing signals and other devices that use wireless frequencies (like cell phones and microwave ovens). Thankfully, there are many methods available to boost your signal strength. Here are a few.

Method 1
Look for Interference

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    Replace devices in your home that can interfere with network traffic on the 2.4GHz frequency range. You can buy a wireless network analyzer to help you track down the source of interference. A sample of appliances that might be causing the problem include:
    • Cordless phones,
    • Microwave ovens.
    • Baby monitors.
    • Security alarms.
    • Television remote controls.
    • Automatic garage door openers.
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    Check your router's signal strength with these devices. Compare power levels when each device is on and off to determine if they are the cause of your signal problems.

Method 2
Switch Channels

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    Change your signal channel. Routers can broadcast on a series of channels, between one and eleven. Change to a channel that will allow your router a clear signal between other wireless networks.
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    Use a software utility to analyze which networks are using which channel and configure your system for an unused channel.

Method 3

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    Change your router's network broadcast mode. Try to use the new 802.11n standard if your router supports it. The 802.11n standard offers far greater range and signal strength compared to 802.11 a/b/g.

Method 4

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    Reposition your Router. Sometimes the solution is simple. All you have to do is find a new place to store your router.
    • Raise as far as possible to increase the effective broadcast range.
    • Place near the center of your house or apartment for wider coverage.
    • Move closer to the receivers, if possible.
    • Move away from any metal including metal shelving, filing cabinets and similar common objects.
    • Move away from cordless phones and microwaves, which operate on the same 2.4-Ghz frequency.
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    Be aware of external interference. Move your unit as far away as possible from your next-door neighbor's WiFi router. In addition, if you're living in an apartment building, there might be multiple routers in operation too. Note: make sure you're using a different channel than everyone else.

Method 5

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    Raise your transmit power. Check your router's documentation and configuration utility for the ability to change the Xmit power of your router: the amount of power it uses to transmit the signal. Generally, you can boost this number by up to 50mW. Keep in mind that you risk overheating or damaging your router.
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    Replace the Antenna. Unscrew and replace the broadcast antenna on your router with a model that delivers more power. Not all routers allow for new antenna to be attached, but many do.
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    Install a Repeater. A repeater is a piece of hardware that acts like a wireless network expander. The repeater takes the signal from your router and boosts it to increase the range.
    • Wireless repeaters are increasingly common and affordable and will probably be available in your local computer store, or on the Internet.
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    Install a Wireless Amplifier. Attach a wireless amplifier, also known as a booster, directly to your router. A booster can be more affordable than a repeater as they only increase the strength of your existing signal, rather than the strength and range.
    • Use a bi-directional amplifier to increase both your inward and outbound speeds.
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    Make a Reflector lulu with Tinfoil. Note that a tinfoil router may boost your signal, but will also make it more directional.
    • Cut a tinfoil circle with the tinfoil on the inside of a piece of paper or some cardboard large enough to wrap around the router. If you want to get fancier than this, cut a shallow parabola and put the hole for the antenna at the focal point.
    • Place the tinfoil circle over the router.
    • Place the antenna in the center of the circle or parabola.


  • Older and traditional homes have walls made from wooden studs, while newer construction in office buildings, malls, and condominiums are often constructed with metal studs in the wall. Metal studs can interfere with a router signal quite badly, so consider your building type when diagnosing your signal.


  • Remember: in some countries, they will fine you if you exceed your power levels and they interfere with other services. It is most unlikely they will bother, as they will then use other channels.
  • Do not overheat your router.
  • Remember: in some countries, this can be illegal. Do your homework first.

Things You'll Need

  • Router also known as an access point
  • Tinfoil
  • Paper or cardboard

Article Info

Categories: Networking