The best way to boost WLAN is to layout your home or office with as few barriers to the signal as possible - here are a few ways in which your WiFi signal can be enhanced, with new drivers, hardware and sensible planning.
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How To Improve WiFi Signal
There’s nothing worse than spending money on a new wireless router only to find you can’t get a signal on your PC or laptop unless you’re sitting right on top of it. Even with the right channel selected (to avoid conflict with the WiFi of a neighboring property), problems can be encountered.
With a scarcity of WiFi signal booster software on the market, the only alternative is to find hardware solutions – although this doesn’t necessarily mean electrical hardware.
While updating your router driver and firmware can bring certain benefits, there are other ways to improve the situation – if you’re wondering how to improve WiFi signals, consider some of the following suggestions, most of which are likely to save you a lot of money!
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WiFi Signal Booster Software
There is next to nothing on the market in terms of reliable WiFi signal booster software – at best, you need to be looking for software updates for your own hardware.
You should check the websites for both your WiFi router’s manufacturer and your laptop/PC manufacturer (or PCI card or motherboard maker, depending on your setup) in order to download the most recent drivers and router firmware.
If you find a newer version of your router’s firmware which offers improvements in signal strength, you should follow to the letter the instruction for installing this, as updating hardware firmware (the software that runs the device internally) is not without its risks.
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Improving Your WiFi Signal
Homes usually have a different layout and building design to most offices – with thicker walls, heavy furniture and more reflective surfaces against walls, WiFi signals can be restricted by a number of physical barriers.
To combat this, you should consider the correct placing of your WiFi router – it should be as positioned on a high shelf or attached to the wall, and should certainly be as close to the center of your house as possible.
Positioning should also take into account the location of your kitchen microwave and cordless phones, both of which operate on the same frequency of 2.4 GHz. You can use a Wireless G or Wireless N router to avoid interference from cordless phones.
Furniture, mirrors and a positioning of your router on an external wall can lead to the signal being “bounced" away from your PC or notebook or even sent outside your property – you probably don’t want to be serving your whole neighborhood with wireless internet!
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More Ways to Improve Your Signal
You should also consider placement of power cords and computer wires – cable tidies are a great way of keeping these away from your router and they’re also perfect for PCs which often have countless wires connected to the back.
Heat from radiators or underfloor heating can also disrupt a WiFi signal, and you can focus a signal from your router to a fixed device like a PC by positioning a reflective surface beside the antenna on your PCI card.
Many methods have been devised to utilize the properties of household items to improve wireless reception – my favorite is employing an old CD or DVD as a reflector to “focus" the signal onto your PC antenna. This type of solution isn’t so good for laptops, but there are plenty of other solutions, including the use of a Pringles tube!