Best Methods that Help Boost Wi-Fi Signal
If you are the proud owner of an expensive router, your Internet connected devices have plenty of Wi-Fi signal. At least, this is what should happen until they are moved more than 20...30 feet away from the router! But then, no matter how great your router is, signal strength will start to decrease fast due to several factors. Fortunately, there are several ways to increase Wi-Fi signal strength. Here are the most effective methods, and I guarantee that they won't cost you too much. In fact, the last method can be applied by using an item that can be found in any home.
1. Reorient the router antennas. If your device has two or more antennas, you should reorient them, pointing them towards the room(s) that could benefit from a Wi-Fi signal increase. Consider moving the router as well, and maybe even placing it in a different room. The alternative is to detach the router antennas from their sockets, and then reconnect them using compatible cables. This will offer you a much greater flexibility, and may even help you hide the router in a closet, without diminishing its performance.
2. Replace the router antennas. A pair of high quality antennas will only cost about $20, and they have the potential of increasing Wi-Fi signal by over 200%. This is especially true for lower end routers, which are shipped with standard, 5dBi antennas. In comparison, external router antennas have gains that can reach up to 24dBi, leading to a signal strength increase of almost 1000%. These high-gain antennas are more expensive, of course, but if you study the available products, you should be able to reach a good price/signal strength ratio.
3. Place an aluminum foil behind the router antennas. Yes, a piece of aluminum foil which was shaped as a parabolic reflector (a "U" shape) can double Wi-Fi signal strength as well. Ideally, you should use a few layers of aluminum, to ensure its stability. Some people prefer to glue the aluminum foil on a piece of cardboard, thus making sure that the end result it solid enough and won't tip over.
All these methods are guaranteed to work. But if you aren't 100% happy with the result that you have gotten, here are a few guidelines that will help increase the range of your router even more.
First, ensure that your router isn't placed near objects that can prevent Wi-Fi signal from propagating. I am talking about walls, furniture, large water bodies (think aquariums, etc.) and so on. It is much easier to find an ideal position for your router if you decide to use longer cables for its antennas, the way it was described in the first wireless signal boosting method above.
As a general rule, routers that are placed as close to the ceiling as possible will be able to deliver good quality Wi-Fi signal over a longer range. It should be noted that signal performance depends on several other factors, though. The number of connected Wi-Fi devices is very important, for example. So, if you have got devices that don't need a permanent Internet connection, but you have forgotten to disconnect them (an old tablet that isn't used anymore, and so on) it is a good idea to shut them down.
If none of these solutions is good enough for your needs, you should use a signal extender, which is guaranteed to deliver a much better performance. In a nutshell, the signal extender (also known as a signal repeater) will pick up the weak Wi-Fi signal, amplify it, and then rebroadcast it. It is true that a device like this may cost you up to $100, but it should fix your wireless signal problems for good.