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How can I improve my WiFi Connection?

Last response: in Wireless Networking
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February 23, 2010 2:29:10 PM

Hello, there is a free WiFi spot in my house I don’t know exactly in what part of it. So the main problem is that my WiFi adapter in my laptop (HP Compaq 6830s) is rather low or smth and my windows shows me only 2 sticks. I tried to explore my room with laptop where the signal is better and discovered that in some corners of my room the signal was nearly 4 sticks! I think that something wrong with wifi adapter in my laptop. So is it any possibilities to improve my WiFi?
a b D Laptop
February 23, 2010 2:55:26 PM

There's likely nothing wrong w/ your laptop. Variation in signal strength is normal since radio waves are affected significantly by distance, obstructions (walls, corners, floors, etc.), interference from other wireless routers or devices sharing the same 2.4GHz freq., etc. It's all very normal and what makes wireless a bit flakey/unpredictable compared to a wired connection.

So the more you do to avoid these things, the better. If the problem is bad enough, you can sometimes use additional technology to help increase your signal strength, such as upgrading the antenna on your wireless router (perhaps even your laptop if it’s an external antenna), using a wireless repeater, etc.

February 23, 2010 3:00:18 PM

Is it possible somehow to improve my WiFI connection? i head that if i'd buy some kind of WiFi USB adapter, WiFi would work better... is it true ?
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a b D Laptop
February 23, 2010 3:13:42 PM

Murloc said:
Is it possible somehow to improve my WiFI connection? i head that if i'd buy some kind of WiFi USB adapter, WiFi would work better... is it true ?


Most modern laptops these days come w/ a wireless adapter preinstalled. And frankly, most are pretty good. Esp. since they usually use the screen's frame to house the antenna. It makes for better reception than using USB wireless adapter in most cases. So I wouldn’t worry about the laptop itself at this time. Besides, who wants to have one more USB dongle when you already have wifi capability.

As I said above, you’re usually going to do better w/ a laptop if you improve the wireless router side. Sometimes just repositioning it can help. It should be elevated at least a couple feet above the floor. It’s best to keep it in an open area, as close to the center of the home as possible to minimize the distance from any given location you might use that laptop (and to minimize interference from outside the home). You can sometimes upgrade the antenna. Or modify the antenna to be more directional if you happen to need a stronger signal in one area (most wireless routers use an omni-directional antenna, which is why it’s better placed in the center of the home; in a corner, much of that signal is directed at a wall, which is useless). A more sophisticated solution might be to add a wireless repeater (iow, several distributed wireless access points working together and strategically placed, you then connect to the one w/ the strongest signal at your current location).

Of course, none of this helps if you don’t know where the router is! LOL

Is this router owned/controlled by a roommate or something? Or maybe a landlord, neighbor?

Lots of things to try, some simple, some cost nothing, some a little more expense, some a significant expense. It’s a bit hit and miss, so try a few of the simple things and move to the more advanced solutions as/if needed.

February 23, 2010 7:25:50 PM

No, it's a public WiFi spot... so i need to do something with my wifi adapter or smth or buy wireless repeater and place it in the spot where the signal is better, i guess ? :) 
a b D Laptop
February 23, 2010 7:42:41 PM

Murloc said:
No, it's a public WiFi spot... so i need to do something with my wifi adapter or smth or buy wireless repeater and place it in the spot where the signal is better, i guess ? :) 


Well they do make high powered USB adapters if you need one, some as much as 1000mw!

http://www.amazon.com/Alfa-Wireless-Original-9dBi-Stron...

That's probably 10x what your current adapter is putting out right now! :pt1cable: 
!