6 Ways To Extend Your WiFi Range
Having poor signal around your house or business can cause serious issues. Here we talk about 6 ways you can improve your WiFi range.
Do you find that your WiFi doesn’t reach all around your home? Perhaps your one too many rooms away from the router and you notice extended buffering and generally slow performance.
Maybe some parts of your property there is no signal at all where even loading a web page seems to take an eternity.
Usually these ‘black spots’ are often caused by distance, thick walls like brick and interference from other devices.
Nowadays WiFi is essential especially since working from home has become the new norm with video calls and cloud sharing becoming more popular. So when your WiFi keeps dropping out it can get increasingly frustrating and disruptive.
Luckily there are many different ways to extend your routers range all around your property to give you the same performance as if you were right next to the router.
Move the router
The easiest option would be to move the router to a better spot. Sounds simple enough but there are a few tricks to placing the router in the best spot.
Firstly have the router out in the open preferably in a raised place, not in a cupboard or behind the TV. Also getting the router as close to the centre of the house as possible will help distribute a signal evenly.
Although something of the past now some routers still have antennas and adjusting them to be perpendicular to the router will help. Antennas send the best signal out of the sides and less out of the top and bottom. Also if your router has multiple antenna your could position them accordingly to target certain parts of the house.
Upgrade the router
If moving your router around seems to not solve anything then perhaps your router is not powerful enough or too old. If this is the case then maybe its time to upgrade it to a newer one, most ISPs give these out if you ask and being a long-time user of the provider may help you out. Just watch out if they try to sell you a new contract.
The oldest to newest WiFi standards are: 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n, 802.11ac and WiFi 6. If you have an older “b” or “g” wireless router we really recommend upgrading.
A common misconception is that the latest WiFi standard gives you the best performance and range. While this is partially true the best speeds come at the expense of range so you’ll actually get the best coverage from a router with really good performance using 2.4GHz, not 5GHz.
However, this merges with the next option of a mesh WiFi.
Mesh WiFi kit
A mesh WiFi network is when two or more routers work together to provide the best coverage than what a single router could deliver. What it does is replace your existing routers WiFi and although this sounds confusing the process has been made very simple so that people with little to no knowledge of IT can set it up.
To set up a WiFi mesh kit connect the main device to the router via ethernet and put the other mesh devices around the house. Depending on what sort of coverage you need and how big the property is you may need one or more mesh devices. All the devices communicate with one another creating a reliable connection around the house even into the garden.
One of our most recommended options would be to use your properties electrical circuit. Powerline adapters are similar to mesh kits where a module is in each room that wants to be boosted. These even can work in places such as garages or outhouses.
All you need to do is plug an adapter into a power socket near the router and connect the two via ethernet. Then plug in the extenders in the rooms that you want a boosted signal in and press a few linking buttons and you’re all setup.
Depending on what model you get sometimes the extenders create new connections which sometimes means you have to switch your internet. However there are some good ones that simply work off the main connection meaning you don’t have to switch around when going into different rooms.
Powerline adapters are more expensive than mesh kits however they mirror the signal that the router provides meaning no loss of bandwidth on each extender.
WiFi extenders which also go by repeaters or boosters increase your WiFi signal by capturing the wireless signal from your router and then rebroadcasting it. These do work however are not the best option if you require extremely fast WiFi speeds.
These are very cheap and very easy to install with some models little than £20 or so. However these use the older 801.11n standard. There are newer models if you’re looking for something slightly faster, 802.11ac boosters can be brought for around £35.
They work by having two halves of an antenna, one to receive and one to transmit which effectively halves the potential speed of the original WiFi signal.
Realistically this shouldn’t be too much of a problem if you are doing basic things like browsing the web but you could see some buffering if trying to stream in HD or downloading large files.
Wireless boosters work best when placed in a central location and are not to far away from the main router. If you think that putting a booster in a place where the connection is bad it will do no good as it is just spreading around a weak signal and will reduce the speed of the rest of the network.
So the best spot for the booster is somewhere in the middle between the router and the desired device that you want to be connected.
Using 2.4GHz instead of 5GHz WiFi
If you didn’t know WiFi uses two frequency bands: 2.4GHz and 5GHz. Most people think that the fastest option would be 5GHz. In a technical sense you’d be correct 5GHz is faster than 2.4GHz however you’d have to sacrifice the walls and ceilings in your house or sit right next to the router.
This is because 5GHz cannot penetrate walls, ceilings or anything because of its wavelength. The higher the frequency the shorter the wavelength.
2.4GHz is much better at delivering a signal over greater distances but at slower speeds. That is why you may benefit from forcing your device to connect to the 2.4GHz network instead. Most basic routers combine the network so separating them can sometimes be a challenge.
If this is the case then all you have to do is log into the settings web page (type your routers IP directly into a browser) and look for a WiFi menu where you can split the two frequencies into two entities.
Bear in mind some household devices can interfere with a 2.4GHz connection such as baby monitors, Bluetooth, Microwaves and more. These can reduce the speed and range a WiFi signal has.
Ultimately you have to decide if you want a greater range with lower speeds or shorter range with greater speeds. Mileage may differ but it is very well worth understanding the difference between the WiFi bands and use it for your advantage.
There are many different ways of boosting a WiFi signal over your property. Some options are much better than others but really it depends on what property that you have. There are many different things that can influence the choice of WiFi extender, such as what your properties internals are made out of such as brick or plaster, also the size of the coverage that you want should influence your choice. It is easy to forget the reliability of your broadband causing an issue. If your property can’t currently get FTTP then SoGEA is the best alternative for speed and reliability.
All the options that we’ve covered in this article are viable options but if you’re having trouble deciding what would best suit you, don’t worry.
Here at ATS Connection we can find the best option for your property and install everything to ensure that you receive top-notch WiFi everywhere.
If you do want a professional opinion feel free to call us at: 01903 357002 or alternatively email us at firstname.lastname@example.org