How to increase WiFi range: router, antenna, repeater

How to increase WiFi range: router, antenna, repeater

Some areas, even some rooms in your home, may not receive a good WiFi connection from your router. Continue reading to discover how to solve this issue by increasing the range of your WiFi.

Free Solutions

You don't necessarily have to spend money to solve a problem of faulty WiFi signal. See below for some free solutions.

Check your WiFi's current range

Before getting started, you should check your WiFi's current range. You can do this by using programs such as SpeedCheck or Network Signal Speed Booster.

Positioning advice

First make sure that your WiFi router is correctly placed in your home. Correctly placement of your router can make or break your experience.

Be sure to place your router in the center of your apartment on a surface that is neither too elevated or too low, in an open area.

You should also make sure that the router is as far as possible from any metal objects. Additionally, it should be far from any telephones or microwaves that occupy the same wavelength (2.4 GHz). Finally, place your router as far away from any neighbours as you can to avoid their WiFi from interfering with yours.

After you have taken these steps, you may test your WiFi with the apps cited above to check if its range has been expanded.

If you have tried all of the free solutions and have had no luck, you may need to move on to one of the following paid solutions to your faulty WiFi problem.

Replace WiFi router's antenna

To replace your WiFi router's antenna, unscrew the current one and replace it with a more powerful model of your choice. Not all routers allow you to change their antennas. However, if it is possible, it may be a worthwhile solution.

You can buy WiFi router antennas from electronic and IT stores, like Best Buy or Walmart, for example. Online, they are available on Amazon.

Install a repeater in your home

A repeater is a small device that allows you to extend the range of your WiFi network. More specifically, the device connects to the WiFi network — typically via a router or an Internet box — to "elongate" the network's connection to the zones or rooms originally left uncovered by the WiFi signal.

To use a repeater, you must first set it up to associate it to the network. Depending on the model, this configuration is done by physically plugging in the repeater to the box via an Ethernet cable. You may also be able to do this by connecting directly via WiFi and modifying a few settings (network name, password, etc.) in an Internet browser or a dedicated smartphone app. The WPS function helps to simplify this step.

There are many different types of repeaters (e.g. with visible antennas or without, with an Ethernet port or without, etc.) sold at very different price points, ranging from a dozen dollars to hundred of dollars. They can be found in electronic and IT stores, like Best Buy or Walmart, and online.

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