Tech Talker shows you some easy ways to boost the range and strength of your WiFi!
I’ve had a few listeners write in all with the same question: “How can I get better WiFi reception?” Ask and you shall receive! In this week’s episode I’ll be going over just how WiFi works and some quick (and free) fixes that might just take your WiFi signal from glacial to supersonic.
And next week, in Part 2 of this WiFi series, I’ll follow up with an episode on some more advanced techniques you can use to boost your signal if the tips I mentioned today don’t quite cut it.
What Is WiFi?
Now, let’s just do a quick overview. Wireless fidelity or WiFi is how devices such as laptops and smartphones connect to the internet. Sounds simple, right? Well, actually, there’s a lot more to it.
What exactly is Wi-Fi? Well, it’s a radio wave that transmits on a 2.4 or 5 gigahertz frequency. Radio waves can go through many objects such as walls, but these impediments decrease the strength of the signal. Imagine you’re playing with a cheap pair of children’s walkie talkies. If you’re using them outside, the range is pretty good, but the moment you take them inside, you’ll start to pick up interference. This is the same case with your router, only routers are always getting interference while in the house.
So the real question is what blocks WiFi signals? Well, everything does to an extent, but the main culprits are concrete, metal, chicken wire, and stone. There are many other elements that can cause signal blockage, but the simple rule of thumb is the more metallic or dense the material, the more it blocks WiFi.
Location, Location, Location!
One of the best ways to boost your WiFi signal is to position your router optimally. What I mean by this is that you’ll want your router to be centrally located to where you use your wireless devices most often. You’ll want to keep it up high, and preferably towards the center of your house. For me though, this has always been a problem because the only working outlet for the internet is in the far back corner of my home, which would put my router in a less than optimal location. The way I got around that is I moved my router from the floor to an elevated position on the book shelf. Just think how much more clutter there is on the floor to block a signal than there is on the ceiling of a room. It made a huge difference in my WiFi experience.
If you’re like me and can’t really move your router to a central location, you’ll want to move as many obstructions as possible from the direct path of your router. For example, my router used be right next to my computer which has a metallic case, I simply moved my computer case and boom - the signal jumped much higher because there was no longer a metal sheet blocking it.