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How to increase the signal of my router?

Last response: in Wireless Networking
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March 7, 2010 11:31:52 PM

I want to increase the signal of my router. my router is down stair and my laptop is in my room upstairs i cannot access my router. how could i increase the signal in my backyard i have 500 + square meters approximately. Pls. help me ty

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a b D Laptop
March 8, 2010 12:33:05 AM

Well, to be precise, you want to increase your wireless range. Increasing your signal strength would be one approach. But not all wireless routers allow you to adjust the signal strength (and that’s often counterproductive anyway).

First follow some basic rules. Placement and orientation can make a big difference. Try to keep the wireless router elevated, at least a couple feet off the ground. The closer to the center of the room the better since almost all wireless routers use omni-directional antennas (the signal is dispersed relatively evenly). Try to keep it out of direct sunlight or any location that would tend to increase the chances for overheating.

If you’ve exhausted all these possibilities, then perhaps the situation calls for more drastic measures.

The simplest solution is to use an aftermarket antenna. While generally cost effective, it doesn’t always help. When they do work, they seem to work best when used at BOTH ends, the router and wireless client(s). But that’s often impractical (e.g., a laptop w/ internal antenna) and starts to lose its cost effectiveness as more antennas are required.

Another approach is a simple antenna modification to make your omni-directional antenna more uni-directional (e.g., WindSurfer). It doesn’t amplify your wireless signal, but rather takes the signal you already have and concentrates it in the direction of greatest need.

Another (more sophisticated) approach would be to use a wireless repeater bridge (e.g., ZyXEL WAP3205).

[wireless router]<-- wireless -->[wireless repeater bridge]<-- wireless -->[pc]

You would ideally place the wireless repeater bridge approx. midway between your wireless router and most distant wireless clients (although individual circumstances could dictate otherwise). Now wireless clients have the choice to bind to either the wireless router or wireless repeater bridge, whichever provides the strongest signal. The wireless repeater bridge is responsible for relaying traffic back and forth between itself and the wireless router on behalf of its wireless clients.

In the end, most ppl with moderate to severe range problems opt for the wireless repeater bridge. But for mild cases, and to save some money, the other solutions might be sufficient.
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a b D Laptop
March 8, 2010 6:07:31 AM

I think I would generally follow eibgrad's advice but you might experiment with wireless channels:

(a) the frequencies represented by the channels may work better or worse depending on environment. (b) if you can detect neighbouring wifi, try to select a channel at least 5 stops from the strongest neighbour [allowing for the consideration mentioned in (a)]

If you are aiming at the backyard put the router near a window on that side of the premises (but be sure to use wireless security).
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March 15, 2010 3:31:52 PM

If you are still unable to connect even after trying all of eibgrads suggestions, you might want to consider investing in a wireless adapter for your internal computer wifi. Choose an adapter that will simply enhance the internal wireless card signal from your computer since you already have the router.

The one that I have had the best luck with has been the Wi-Fire which is made by a company called hField. It is a USB adapter and has a range of over 1000 feet in a clear line of sight. It really is a pretty fantastic product, and it is also relatively inexpensive, only $50. I was using this adapter previously, but I had a lot of trouble getting it to work as well as the manufacturer promised it would.

I hope this helps!

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