If your Wi-Fi connection is fine when you are in the same room as the router but degrades when you are in a different room, there are a few things we can try to boost your Wi-Fi signal. Even if you have a large home, there are ways to extend the coverage so that you can get access to your network from any room, though you may not have the best signal in every room of the house.
Move Wireless Devices Away From the Area
If there are other wireless devices like wireless phones or baby monitors in the area where you are experiencing problems, try moving them to a location where you don’t often need your Wi-Fi connection. Many wireless devices operate on the same frequency as a wireless router, so you can experience a loss of signal strength if you are near the wireless device.
Move the Router Closer
The wireless signal can also be degraded by going through walls or other solid objects. And if your router is on one side of the house, it can be degraded by the time it gets to the other side of the house. It’s best to position the router in a central location that is free of walls or other obstructions.
Change the Channel on Your Router
Believe it or not, a single setting on your router may be the answer to all of your problems. This one is for those who don’t mind getting into the router settings, and more importantly, actually know how to get into the router’s administration page. This is usually accomplished by navigating to a specific address in your web browser.
The most common channels are 1, 6 and 11, and for good reason. These are the only channels that don’t overlap, so they’ll give you the best signal. However, most routers are set to “automatic” by default, which means the router may automatically be selecting a poor channel. Try cycling through those three channels to see if it helps the signal improve.
Buy a Wi-Fi Extender
If you have a really big house, you might want to buy a Wi-Fi extender. This device essentially logs into your Wi-Fi network and then rebroadcasts the signal, allowing you to log into the extension and get a better signal strength when further away from the router.
It’s usually better to place the Wi-Fi repeater closer to the router to get good signal strength than further away. Oftentimes, getting the signal repeated will allow it to be clear of obstructions between the repeater and where you want to use it, resulting in a really nice boost to signal strength.
Buy a Dual-Band Wi-Fi Router
“802.11ac” may sound like a random series of numbers and letters, but it actually represents the newest standard in Wi-Fi technology. One of the biggest features of the new standard is the ability to figure out where your device is located and focus the signal in that direction rather than just sending out the same signal in all directions. These “beams” can help increase the signal in parts of your home that are having trouble. Apple began supporting 802.11ac with the iPad Air 2, but even older iPads may see an increase in signal strength with an 802.11ac router.
Unfortunately, they are more expensive than normal routers. If you want to save some money, look for a dual-band router. These routers produce two signals for the iPad to use and can increase the speed of the iPad’s Internet connection.
Build a Mesh Network
This solution is best for those in larger houses that need multiple routers and a single extender just won’t cut it. This includes houses where the primary router sits in the middle of the house and Wi-Fi availability dwindles at the edges of the house as well as multi-level houses. Generally speaking, mesh networks work best when the house or office space is above 3,000 square feet, but even smaller areas can benefit from a dual-router mesh network, which acts similar to a primary router and an extender.
Here are a few good brands to check out:
- Linksys Velop. Considered one of the best mesh networks available, these Lynksys routers use three bands for a great signal and usually run around $450 for a pack of three.
- Google Wifi. Who would know networking needs better than Google? A well-designed approach that can be used as a single router or as a mesh network. A set of three will cost under $300.
- eero. Easy set up and great for houses, this mesh network costs around $400.