WiFi connection speed usually depends on the standards of the router and the device that connects to it. But most routers are usually in the same level of connection speed. What makes routers different and sometimes creates problems for us is the WiFi range. WiFi routers usually have range of 100-200 meters outdoors and a fewer range indoors. So, if you use a router in a house with a number of rooms, you will definitely have connection problems in some specific spots at home. Fortunately, there are some methods you can use to extend WiFi range. Here are some of these methods.
What defines WiFi range?
Nowadays, wireless routers play an important part in creating local networks as well as allowing people to connect to the internet. Almost all smartphones are now capable of connecting to wireless routers through WiFi and they can be in turn a hotspot for other devices as well.
As I mentioned before, one of the shortcomings in wireless routers and internet connections is that these devices usually have a limited range. The average range of a wireless router indoors is somewhere between 40-70 meters and beyond that, signal quality significantly decreases. WiFi range depends on a number of factors which are outlined below:
- Data transfer power
- Type of antenna
- The surroundings
- Router placement
These five factors defines why a router has a more or less range compared to others. Changes in any of these five items can increase or decrease WiFi range. So, you need to do this absolutely carefully. However, what you need to consider is that extending your WiFi range is not always a good idea. Extending your WiFi range may make your WiFi available for people outside your house and this increases the chance that someone would attempt to hack WiFi.
Methods to extend WiFi range
The wireless router you buy comes with some information on its box along with manuals. This information helps you to choose a router which is powerful enough to cover the area you’d like to use it in. But aside from this, there are some tips you can follow to extend the range of your WiFi.
Update your router firmware
One of the best ways to improve your router performance as well as its range is to update its firmware. Almost all wireless routers can be updated and you can do it through its administrator settings. Most router companies regularly offer updates to improve their routers power and speed.
Find the optimal router placement
One of the most important factors that may limit your WiFi range is its placement. Wireless routers are designed to be placed outdoors to have full functionality. So if you place your router in an open place, you will get a better range and signal. However, to extend your WiFi range, it is recommended that you place your router in the center of the building or a big room with few electronic devices around it. Electronic devices emit noise which affect your router signal quality. You can use tools such as Heatmapper or Netgear’s WiFi Analytics to view your router range and find the optimal placement for it.
Change your router frequency
If your WiFi router supports 5 GHz channels, to extend WiFi range, it is recommended that you use 2.4 GHz WiFi frequency. As this frequency is the most common one for wireless devices, the interference in waves increases and hence, noise increases as well. This noise can increase the speed of data transfer in your router, however, you will have a wider WiFi range. If you use the 5 GHz frequency, data transfer will be faster but range will decrease.
Change your router channel
Nowadays, most routers support multiple channels. However, as most people use the default channel defined by their router, interference with your neighbor’s WiFi will be common and this will decrease your WiFi signal quality and range.
S, it is recommended that you change your router channel via your router settings.
Change your router antenna
If your router uses an internal antenna, changing it to an external one can be a good idea to improve its range. To this end, many companies have produced different types of antenna that you can buy easily. These antennas can extend the range in all directions or just in one direction. A directional external antenna allows you to point it to the direction where signal is weak.
Use a wireless range extender
One of the most useful ways to extend WiFi range is by using a WiFi booster or a repeater. Repeaters are tools that are placed in the vicinity of a router, receives the signals and send them again. In this way, WiFi signal range increases. So, if you use a router in a building with multiple floors, you can use a repeater to improve its signals.
This post is also available in: العربية (Arabic)