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10 ways to increase your Wi-Fi signal

Browsing slows to a creep, the inability to flow, dropped Wi-Fi signals, wireless dead zones. Each of these problems is madness in a world where one becomes online has become, for some, as necessary as breathing. (Well, maybe not as critical … but important.)

If you think your Wi-Fi has become sluggish, there are many tools you can use to test the speed of your internet. But if the only way you can get decent reception is to stand next to your wireless router, these simple tips can help you optimize your network.

first Update router firmware

Maybe your router needs only one update. Router manufacturers are always tweaking software to eke out a little more speed. How easy or difficult it is to upgrade your firmware depends entirely on the device manufacturer and model.

 Trendnet firmware update

Most existing routers have the update process built directly into the administration interface, so it's just about hitting a firmware upgrade button. Other models, especially if they are older, still require you to go to the manufacturer's website, download a firmware file from the router's support page, and upload it to the administration interface. It's boring, but it's still a good thing to do because it would be so easy to fix.

Even if your wireless network is not harmful, make it a point to regularly update your firmware for performance enhancements, better features, and security updates. ( How to access the router's settings .)

2. Achieve optimal placement of the router

Not all rooms and spaces are created equally. In fact, where you place the router can affect your wireless coverage. It may seem logical to have the router inside a cabinet and out of the way, or directly at the window where the cable enters, but that is not always the case. Instead of turning it into a far end of your home, the router should be in the middle of your house, if possible, so that its signal can reach as far as possible.


<div align= ] Router

(Casezy idea / shutterstock.com)

In addition, wireless routers need open spaces away from walls and obstacles. So while it is tempting to put the ugly black box in a cabinet or behind a lot of books, you get a better signal if it is surrounded by open air (which should prevent the router from overheating too). Keep it away from heavy appliances or electronics as well, as they can be run nearby, may affect Wi-Fi performance.

If the router has external antennas, direct them vertically to prop up the coverage. If you can, it even helps to raise the router's mount high on the wall or on the upper shelf to get a better signal. There are many tools to help you visualize your network coverage. Personally, I like Heat Folders or our editorial choice inSSIDs that shows both the weak and strong spots in your Wi-Fi network. There are also many mobile apps, such as Netgears WiFi Analytics .

3rd What is your frequency?

Take a look at your network administrator interface, and make sure you have it configured for optimal performance. If you have a dual-band router, you will probably get better throughput by switching to the 5GHz band instead of using the more common 2.4GHz band.

 Wireless router frequency

Not only does 5GHz offer faster speeds, but you will likely encounter less interference from other wireless networks and units, since the 5GHz frequency is not as common. (It also does not handle obstacles and distances equally well, but it will not necessarily reach as far as a 2.4 GHz signal does.)

Most modern double-band conductors should offer you the ability to use the same network name or SSID on both bands. Check the router's administrator interface, look for the 5GHz network option, and give it the same SSID and password as your 2.4GHz network. This way, your devices automatically select the best signal when they can. (If your router does not allow you to use the same SSID, give it only another name like SmithHouse-5GHz – and try to connect to it manually whenever possible.)

4. Change that channel

Interference is a big issue, especially for those living in densely populated areas. Signals from other wireless networks can affect speeds, not to mention some wireless phone systems, microwaves and other electronic devices.

Have you ever played with walkie-talkies as a child? You can remember how the devices needed to be on the same channel in order for you to hear each other. And if you happened to be on the same channel as your neighbors, you could listen to someone else's conversation, even if they used a completely different set.

At the same time, all modern routers can switch over different channels when communicating with your devices. Most routers choose the channel for you, but if nearby wireless networks also use the same channel, you will encounter signal construction. A good router that is set to Automatic will try to select the least congested channel, but many cheaper routers only choose a predefined channel, even if it is not the best one. It can be a problem.

 Change that channel

On Windows-based computers, you can see which channels that neighboring Wi-Fi networks are using. From the command prompt type netsh wlan displays all and you will see a list of all wireless networks and channels used nearby.

In PCMag, for example, most of our networks and Our neighbors use channels 6 and 11. In general, for 2.4 GHz you want to stick to channels 1, 6 and 11 because they are the only ones not overlapping with other channels (which may impair performance). 5GHz generally uses non-overlapping channels, which should make it easier to choose the right one.

If you find the Auto setting does not work well for you, log on to the router's administrator interface, go to the basic wireless category, and try to select one manually (preferably one that is not used by many networks in your area). See if it gives a better signal and faster speeds over the automatic setting. Keep in mind that channel overload can change over time, so if you select a channel manually, you can check in once to make sure it is still the best.

It is also possible that the problem is not interference or other networks. Is there a chance that you have unwanted guests piggybacking on your network? These tools can help you find a list of devices on your Wi-Fi to look out for uninvited neighbors. If it is an open network, shut it down and create a strong password, preferably WPA2, as WEP is remarkably easy to crack so others can't join.

5th Control Quality

Most modern routers come with QoS (Quality of Service) tools to limit the amount of bandwidth that apps use, such as the Netgear menu below.

 QoS Priority Rule 

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QoS settings can typically be found under advanced settings in the network administrator interface. Some routers can even make it easier by offering a multimedia or game setting with one click, so you know that those applications are prioritized.

6th Don't rely on obsolete hardware

It's a good idea to get the most out of your existing equipment, but if you run old hardware, you can't expect the best performance. We have a tendency to subscribe to "if it is not broken, it does not fix" mentality with back-end devices, especially network equipment. However, if you purchased your router years ago, you can still use the older, slower 802.11n standard (or God forbid 802.11g).

These wireless standards attract fairly low bandwidth. Thus, all the tweaking we have outlined above will only get you that far – the maximum throughput for 802.11g is 54 Mbps, while 802.11n cuts out at 300 Mbps. The latest 802.11ac supports 1Gbps. Our list of best wireless routers is a great place to start the search for a faster router.

 Routers circa 2013
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Although your router is new, you can have some old devices that fall back to older, slower standards . If you purchased a computer in recent years, you probably have an 802.11ac wireless adapter or at least 802.11n. But the older your units, the less likely they will have modern technology built into. (You might be able to buy a USB Wi-Fi adapter that makes things a little better on the old machines.)

Remember that a high-quality router not only supports the faster standards – it also makes everyone things we have outlined above better. It will perform better channel selection, tape control for 5 GHz units and better QoS features.

Others may have features such as Multi User-Multiple Input Multiple Output (MU-MIMO), such as Netgear Nighthawk X10 AD7200 Smart WiFi Router . MU-MIMO routers can send and receive multiple data streams simultaneously to multiple devices without bandwidth destruction and require special multi-client testing, but clients must be MU-MIMO compliant.

7th Replace Your Antenna

If your router uses an internal antenna, it would be a good idea to add an external one, as the latter tends to send a stronger signal. Your router may have come with antennas that you can put on yourself, but if not (or if you discarded them long ago), many router manufacturers sell antennas separately.

 The best wireless routers of 2018

In many cases, you can choose between omnidirectional antennas, which send a signal to all directions or directions that sends a signal in a specific direction. Most built-in antennas tend to be omnidirectional, so if you buy an external one, it should be marked with "high profit" to really make a difference.

A directional antenna is believed to be a better alternative, because the odds are that you do not experience weak spots in your network in all directions. Point your external antenna in the direction of your weak point, and it will transmit the signal accordingly. Check out your rudder manufacturer's website for details on what to buy.

8th Setting a Wireless Serial Expander

The distance is one of the clearer problems. There is a certain optimal area that the wireless signal can travel. If the network has to cover an area that is larger than the router can transfer to, or if there are many corners to walk around and the walls penetrate, the performance will take a hit.

If all of the above fail, it is possible that your house is just too big for a single router to send a good signal everywhere. All routers can only reliably transmit up to a certain distance before the signal becomes weak. If you want to extend your signal beyond that, you need a voltage extender of some kind.

 Best Thread Length Extender

Area Extenders are similar to standard routers, but work differently. To begin with, download the existing Wi-Fi signals from your wireless router and simply transmit it. As for your network router, the remote extension is just another client with an IP address, much like a laptop.

Although it is not a router, you should still use the same rules to figure out placement; The extension should be close enough to your main network router to retrieve a fixed signal, but close enough to the weak spot so that it can do its job of expanding that signal.

The extended signal will almost never be as good as the original, but it is better than nothing, but if you can connect the extender with Ethernet or Powerline instead of wireless, it much better.

You don't need an extender that is the same brand or model as your existing router, but in some cases the same brand extenders can offer extra features (such as Linksys & # 39; MaxStream routers and their "seamless roaming").

Above all else, make sure you choose one that can send a corresponding signal: Don't buy an 802.11n extender if your router is on 802.11ac. For more on choosing and setting an extender, take a look at the best wireless voltage extenders that we tested.

ninth Upgrade to a network-based Wi-Fi system?

Spreading Expander helps connect to dead zones, but wireless voltage extenders typically provide about half of the bandwidth you will get from your primary router. In addition, they often require separate management from two different administration sites, and can even force you to use two different SSIDs, which is a great pain. If you want seamless connectivity anywhere in your home, manageable from a simple smartphone app, consider upgrading the entire network to a wireless Wi-Fi system instead.


Designed to cover every corner of your home, Wi-Fi systems refer to replace your router instead to just extend it. You connect a node directly to your modem and then place one or more satellite nodes around your house. The included app goes through the installation, so that each node is placed in the perfect location for the best signal.

The resulting installation covers your house with a single wireless network, which uses a single management interface (in the form of a friendly mobile app), and often dedicates at least one wireless band to network backhaul, giving better performance than many extenders. Lots of networking systems also update your firmware automatically, so you always have the latest performance and security enhancements – no longer downloading firmware from the manufacturer's website.

Disadvantage: Wi-Fi wireless systems are not cheap, especially if you have a large home, which will require multiple nodes. However, if you are in the market for a new router, they may be worth considering as an alternative. For more, check out our list of the best networking systems, as well as our guide for setting one.

10th Getting Into the Router's Dirt

If you really want to get the most out of your current router, the adventurous look at the open-source DD-WRT router operating system. Many major router manufacturers, such as Linksys, Netgear and TrendNET, offer routers that can run DD-WRT . Or you can simply download the DD-WRT and install it on a compatible router you've lied to.

DD-WRT can improve performance and give you access to more advanced networking features, including virtual private network (VPN) security and granular adaptation. You can even install a right on your router.

For more tips on increasing your browsing, check out How to configure your router . Do you have trouble getting or maintaining a signal? Then Tips for Troubleshooting Your Internet Connection are worth reading. Once you've done all the necessary tweaks to optimize your wireless network, test your internet speed below.

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