Maximizing a Wi-Fi connection

Oct 11, 2011

You’ve researched and selected your internet provider, but now you have to figure out how to make the most of your home Wi-Fi.

In this day-and-age of wireless, a Wi-Fi connection for your household may be the easiest solution, however, you want to make sure the Wi-Fi signal is strong throughout your home, or at least where you’ll be using it the most.

Before you start, you should check to make sure you have a high-speed internet connection that will support a Wi-Fi network.

Wireless routers come in a variety of ranges, depending on your needs. In order to have a strong signal, it’s important to make sure your wireless router’s range matches your needs — whether it’s 100 or 300 feet.

Also, placing the wireless router in a central location, away from metal objects, floors and walls, allows the Wi-Fi signal and range to be maximized. Metal objects and walls interfere with the router’s signal performance, which will weaken its signal. Additionally, replacing the router’s standard antenna to a high-gain antenna will increase signal strength.

If the wireless router produces a strong signal and you’re still having connection and internet speed issues, you may need to upgrade your wireless components in your laptop and computer. A simple solution is to replace your computer’s PC wireless card with a USB wireless adapter that uses an external antenna. These adapters can greatly increase your wireless range and signal strength.

If you’ve addressed all the above issues and you’re still experiencing a weak Wi-Fi signal, you could add a wireless repeater, which extends your wireless range without any additional wiring projects.

Simply place the wireless repeater between the router or access point and where you’re experiencing a weak signal. The wireless repeater should instantly boost the Wi-Fi signal strength.

Another step is to change the wireless router’s channel, as some channels may offer stronger and more reliable signals for your wireless connection than others.

More tips for a strong Wi-Fi signal:

  • Purchase equipment from a single vendor
  • Reduce wireless interference from phones and other devices
  • Update your firmware
  • Update your network adapter driver
  • Upgrade 802.11a, 802.11b, and 802.11g devices to 802.11n

You can use these tips to begin maximizing your home Wi-Fi connection and make sure that you get the speeds you’re paying for.