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Why does your home’s Wi-Fi coverage insist on being so temperamental?! Dead spots can feel like they appear at random, the connection quality can vary throughout the day, and the router can give the impression it has a mind of its own.

A lot of these things might be in your head, but there’s no denying that a lot of people suffer from shoddy Wi-Fi signal around their property. And as more and more of our daily lives depend on connecting to the web, this can quickly become annoying (even infuriating).

Luckily, there are some easy steps you can take to ease your frustration and improve Wi-Fi performance. In this article, we have eight tips that will effectively boost your wireless router’s signal.

1. Physical Position

Many people overlook the fact that wireless signals can be finicky. Putting it here can provide great signal to certain rooms but poor signal to your bedroom, while putting it there might result in the opposite. Something as simple as moving your router could be the solution you need.

Distance is always the most important thing: the further you are from the router, the worse your connection will be. But there are some other aspects of positioning you might not be aware of.

Interference

Even if your computer or tablet is quite close to the router, other nearby electronic gadgets and devices can have an adverse effect on your overall signal quality. How many of you have your router next to your TV, your computer, your smartphone, your wireless media center? You might want to rectify that.

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You should also check the line-of-sight between your router and your computer. Devices such as microwaves, refrigerators, and landline phones can all diminish the strength of a connection if they stand in the way of a signal.

Walls

It’s true that your interior walls can disturb Wi-Fi signal. However, the amount of disturbance depends on what your walls are made from — the key fact to consider is how dense the material is. Solid concrete is a sure-fire Wi-Fi killer, whereas sheetrock and wood are nowhere near as problematic.

Height

If you live in a property with a second floor, something as simple as placing your router on a high shelf on the first floor can greatly improve the connectivity upstairs. Or if you have three floors, then you should probably place the router on the second floor for equal coverage all-round.

2. Router Antennas

ISPs give you a default router device when you first sign up for their services, and most people stick with what they’re given. The problem is that these routers are not high-quality Should I Buy a Cable Internet Wi-Fi Router, Modem, or Both? Should I Buy a Cable Internet Wi-Fi Router, Modem, or Both? Do you need a Wi-Fi router, cable modem, or both? Most people don't give it much thought because they can just ask friends and family for help when issues arise. Read More , even if they are still largely good enough for most home users.

So if you’re happy with your ISP’s default router, stick with it. If you aren’t, then you should know that switching to a better router will result in better signal: higher-quality router usually implies a higher-quality antenna. This is the bottleneck that most users face.

Think of all the TV antennas on the market: the bigger and more powerful the antenna, the clearer the picture. Router antennas follow a similar principle, except good routers don’t just have better antennas — they have more antennas.

Insten 2 pack Wi-Fi Wireless Antenna / Router Signal Booster Insten 2 pack Wi-Fi Wireless Antenna / Router Signal Booster NOTE: This antenna is only compatible with modems and routers with a 1/4 inch external antenna port. 5 X Range Extender - Extends up to 5 times the original range of your WiFi access in open space. Buy Now At Amazon $6.98

If you don’t want to spend money on an entirely new router, one alternative solution is to simply replace the antenna on your existing model. Most antennas can be screwed in and screwed off, which makes swapping very easy.

Also, if your router’s antenna direction can be tweaked, make sure you point it towards your devices! Don’t point it straight up. And if your router has multiple antennas, point them all in the same direction. You won’t extend coverage by pointing in opposite directions — you’ll only weaken your signal.

3. USB Antennas

What if your router doesn’t have its own antenna, or you still can’t get a reliable signal even after changing the internal antenna? You could consider buying a USB antenna for your computer.

It performs in exactly the same way as a built-in antenna, but can be positioned however you need for optimal performance. Make sure you purchase one that has a cable attached — this lets you tuck the receiver into the most optimal position without physically moving your actual machine.

4. Wireless Range Extenders

Another alternative is to purchase a wireless range extender Wi-Fi Extenders vs. Powerline Adapters: How to Fix Poor Wireless Signals Wi-Fi Extenders vs. Powerline Adapters: How to Fix Poor Wireless Signals If your router's Wi-Fi signals are weak and unreliable and you can't seem to find a solution, the answer may lie in Wi-Fi extenders and/or powerline adapters. Read More .

They’re not expensive and are compatible with almost all modern routers and modems. They’re really useful if you’ve got a large property and new antennas are incapable of bridging the wireless dead zones that you may have.

Given their cheap price tag Wi-Fi Extenders of 2016: Which One Is Right For You? Wi-Fi Extenders of 2016: Which One Is Right For You? What are the best Wi-Fi extenders out there? We've rounded up three of the best performing, cheapest, and best value wi-fi extenders for 2016. But which one is right for you? Read More , they’re also an effective way of circumnavigating your signal around a dense wall or other physical structure that stands in between your router and your workstation.

5. Firmware Updates

A router’s firmware The Top 6 Alternative Firmwares for Your Router The Top 6 Alternative Firmwares for Your Router Alternative firmwares offer more features and better functionality than stock firmwares. Here are some of the best ones to use. Read More is like the device’s brain: it’s the underlying software that allows the rest of the device to operate.

As is the case with almost all modern technology, router manufacturers are forever pushing out new tweaks and updates to their products, often with the intention of adding more speed and performance — not to mention fixing security flaws How to Configure Your Router to Make Your Home Network Really Secure How to Configure Your Router to Make Your Home Network Really Secure Default router settings put your network at risk, allowing freeloading strangers to squeeze nadwidth and potentially commit crimes. Use our summary to configure your standard router settings to prevent unauthorized access to your network. Read More .

router-firmware

Most modern routers will let you update the firmware from within the admin portal. If you’re unsure whether that’s possible, or if you aren’t sure how to actually do it, consult your router’s manual. If the instructions aren’t in there, contact your ISP (assuming you’re using an ISP-provided router.)

6. Router Channels

Wi-Fi congestion is a real problem. If you live in a densely populated area, such as a block of apartments, there are so many people using wireless devices that the airwaves are thick with signals bouncing around Wi-Fi Spectrum Crunch: How to Beat Slow Speeds in Crowded Areas Wi-Fi Spectrum Crunch: How to Beat Slow Speeds in Crowded Areas Now that Wi-Fi is so ubiquitous, spectrum crunch is becoming a real and growing issue -- but it looks like MIT researchers may have found a solution to it. Read More .

Like walkie-talkies and baby monitors, routers can operate on several frequencies, with the most common frequency being 2.4 GHz. Within that frequency there are 13 channels, and each channel is 20 MHz apart from the two channels around it — so given this spacing, each of the 13 channels overlaps with at least two others.

Overlapping leads to signal interference, which can force data re-transmissions due to packet loss effectively slowing down your connection or even causing it to drop entirely if the interference is too much. To avoid overlapping, you should only choose between channels 1, 6, and 11.

Most people never change their router’s default channel 10 Things You Must Do With a Brand New Router 10 Things You Must Do With a Brand New Router Whether you just bought your first ever router or upgraded your old one to a new one, there are several crucial first steps that you should take right away to set up properly. Read More , so changing yours can help alleviate some of these potential congestion issues.

wifi-router-channel

To determine which channel is the best option, you need to find out which channel your neighbors’ routers are using. Open Command Prompt and type netsh wlan show all.

I live in a rural area and don’t have problems with my neighbor’s signal, but I do have two phone lines and two internet connections. In the image above, you can see my two networks are on two different channels and don’t interfere with each other.

7. Router Frequency

If you’re lucky enough to have a router that supports the 5 GHz frequency, you should use it. It’s a newer standard, which means most of the routers in your neighborhood probably aren’t using it. Not only that, but it also has many more channels that are spaced farther apart than in the 2.4 GHz frequency.

Long story short, 5 GHz connections result in less interference! You’ll be able to change both the channel and the frequency from within the router’s admin portal.

8. Replace the Router

How old is your router? Electronic components wear out over time, and router components tend to wear out faster than other gadgets. Worn-down components lose performance, which means slower processing of data and less power when transmitting signals.

Perhaps it’s time to let it gracefully stand-down from service? The technology inside routers has improved so much over the last few years that changing it out for a newer model could have a profound effect on the quality of coverage 10 Ways To Improve The Speed of Your Current Router 10 Ways To Improve The Speed of Your Current Router Here are a few simple router tweaks that could make a world of difference on your home Wi-Fi network. Read More you receive.

Lots of ISPs will even give you a new one for free after a certain period of time. Contact them directly to find out more.

How Do You Improve Your Coverage?

All the solutions I’ve presented are low-cost and easy to perform, but they still won’t be enough for some people.

Can you help your fellow readers? What steps have you taken to help boost your Wi-Fi signal’s coverage? Did I miss an obvious suggestion? Are there some important tips you’d like to pass on to anyone who’s encountering difficulties?

You can leave your ideas, opinions, and thoughts in the comments below.

Image Credit: Konstantin Faraktinov via Shutterstock

Originally written by Leon on July 18, 2009

  1. Mustafa
    January 29, 2010 at 7:42 am

    I don't know about anyone else but the last one worked for me it got me signal strength from low to very good... that sorts my issue out.

  2. Super Man
    January 24, 2010 at 5:37 pm

    my router is in the kitchen, next to the wireless phone hub, 3 feet from the microwave and in front of the sliding glass door leading to the backyard.

    anyways, here's how i got my wireless signal from 70% to 100%.

    1. i bought a corner shelf for the wall (http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId=10051&productId=100546138&langId=-1&catalogId=10053&ci_src=14110944&ci_sku=100546138&cm_mmc=shopping-_-googlebase-_-D23X-_-100546138).

    2. placed the router on the shelf.

    3. taped tinfoil to wall behind router, so it acts as a directional tool.

    what is happening is that before, i was (and everybody else is as well), losing x% of my wireless signal out the backend of my house (especially through the sliding glass door). now, the tinfoil reflects the wifi signal back into the house. no signal loss = full signal. makes sense, doesn't it? what's the use in letting half the signal go outside.

    i now get 100% signal throughout my house (upstairs, downstairs, anywhere), and it never varies.

  3. Hallie Dandy
    October 5, 2009 at 2:35 pm

    Sie haben einige gute Punkte gibt. Ich habe eine Suche auf dem

  4. Florine Rosenbeck
    September 27, 2009 at 7:35 pm

    Erste-Hilfe f?r einen Herzinfarkt und Ihre Post sieht sehr

  5. Blah
    August 8, 2009 at 4:51 pm

    P.S. wireless technology works just like the human voice. When speaking to someone you automatically know to turn towards them and your voice is projected in that direction and therefore louder to the recipient than if you were to talk facing away. These tinfoil antenna's allow you to face your wireless devices towards each other, so when they talk they can hear each other better. The tinfoil also blocks out some interference from other equipment behind the tinfoil, such as electrical boxes and other wireless devices, much like putting up cubicles at work to keep noise levels down, that way you don't have to scream at the guy next to you hold a simple conversation.

  6. Blah
    August 8, 2009 at 4:23 pm

    The Aluminum foil DOES work, without a doubt. I spent the time to test it out. My signal strength from 1 side of the house to the other was around -70dbm stock, as measured by "Inssider" on Windows 7, after attaching the tinfoil Windsurfer antenna to just my PC I gained about 7% signal improvement (~60-65dbm), after attaching another Windsurfer antenna to the Verizon FIOS Wireless Router and aiming them at each other I am now at 50-55dbm, a nearly 20% improvement with just some paper and tinfoil and 20 minutes of time. I just ran a test at SpeedTest to see if it would actually be any faster and I got 20.80Mb/sec down and 4Mb/sec up, my best speed yet. Thank you FIOS and Walmart tinfoil.

  7. pcrequest
    July 28, 2009 at 8:44 am

    I would recommend http://www.metageek.net/products/inssider also to see what your neighbors are on, and then pick a channel that is most clear. This will only show you wifi usage, and not phones, bluetooth, microwave ovens, but Metageek also makes some USB dongles I've found at reasonable prices at eBay if you want to take the investigation to the next level. Remember that wifi works a bit like old hubbed ethernet. All devices are competing for a common media (the air channel in this case) and only one device can send OR receive at any given moment over that media.

    Also if you have many G devices, and one B device, the B is going to spoil the party and everything will operate at B. (ISBN: 978-0-470-11008-9 page 709)

  8. Jenny Miller
    July 28, 2009 at 5:38 am

    This is great, and I really appreciate all of the information that you shared in this post!

  9. Andy
    July 20, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    Use only channels 1, 6, or 11. Using other channels will interfere with those three channels (Thanks WiFi Specification!), causing you throughput loss as well as throughput loss for your neighbors.

  10. Harrier
    July 19, 2009 at 10:47 pm

    This is all well and good, but really doesn't upgrade your router. You can upgrade almost any router by putting in different firmware. For whatever reason, the manufactures don't put much time into their firmware and are only adding some hardware with minimal support. So, some people have taken matters into their own hands and essentially done their job for them.

    Here a link that should get your started. It is something anyone familiar with routers should already know. The information in this article appears to be 20 years old

  11. Lauren
    July 19, 2009 at 10:12 pm

    I have a laptop and gave up trying to use it wireless. The speed goes down and then up so pages load and then they stop. It is so frustrating.

  12. rob
    July 19, 2009 at 9:35 pm

    Hi
    I paid 90 bucks for high gain linksys antennas. They didn't do a thing. I gave them away to someone who ran a linksys in an auditorium (big open space, very little metal and no objects in the way). He also noted zero difference or a difference so minimal that it made no effective difference.

  13. Ken Pasco
    July 19, 2009 at 8:42 pm

    I use an N router which give me the same speed as the DSL line. I also use software to boost the speed of the pc. I don't play games on it (well, maybe gin, but I don't need speed for that), but I tell you, I am F-A-S-T!

  14. Tom
    July 19, 2009 at 6:45 pm

    There are software solutions if all else fails - DD-WRT will allow you to boost the signal amp beyond manufacturer specifications and give you much finer control over ACK timing and other variables that will affect speed and signal propagation.

  15. CeeJay
    July 19, 2009 at 3:41 pm

    @ Belz :
    To lower your network ping try the following

    1: Use an Ethernet cable and not wifi.
    I mention this first , because I've seen several people complaining about stability issues and lag using wifi , and found that they were trying to connect to a router in the SAME room.
    This should probably be step 1 of Leon guide - "Don't use Wifi if you don't gain anything from it"
    So simple , but many people overlook the simple things.

    2: Use short preamble if your router and adapter allows you to set it. It should be default but isn't always.

    3: Tweak your Windows settings with TCP optimizer.
    http://www.speedguide.net/downloads.php

    4: Tweak them further for gaming by disable naggling - See :
    http://www.speedguide.net/read_articles.php?id=158
    This requires you to know how to use regedit.
    Also note that while it improves ping , it can hurt your bandwidth - Choose between higher speed or lower ping, you can't have both.

    5: Either use a router firmware that supports QoS/Traffic Shaping or use a program does.
    CfosSpeed is such a program, but it's not free.
    http://www.cfos.de/speed/cfosspeed_e.htm
    It can help you get a little more bandwidth and a little lower ping out of your connection.
    It also manages that bandwidth better , so lots of downloading in the background doesn't ruin your Vo-IP call , webbrowsing or gaming.

    6: Try a better connection from another ISP.
    You might try using Speedtest.net's database of results to see which ISPs in your area are highly rated by other users:
    http://speedtest.net/global.php

    Also ask around people you know to find out which is the best provider in your area.

  16. Ben
    July 19, 2009 at 8:28 pm

    If you have a spare router laying around you can always do this:

    tweaktown.com/guides/1575/print/index.html

    I used an old Netgear and a 15m CAT 5e cable to widen my siganal.

    Note : You can tun off the Main Routers wireless if you dnot need it at the source.

  17. CeeJay
    July 19, 2009 at 3:07 pm

    @ Leon :
    You can make your wifi-g network connect with greater speeds (up to 125Mbps) if you use the "turbo" mode that some gear come with , but as I wrote earlier , only if all your equipment supports it and it could make your signal unstable.

    You can also get more throughput with the same connection if you tweak your Windows settings and your wifi-settings.

    Which brings me to :

    7) If your router or adapter allow you to choose between long and short preamble , always use short.
    It greatly reduces the overhead of your connection and long is only more stable in the most extreme cases.
    Your throughput will be better with short preamble and your ping will be lower.

  18. CeeJay
    July 19, 2009 at 2:52 pm

    @ Testa : Increasing the power output of your router works .. but only one way.
    It will make your wifi-adapter receive a stronger signal , but it will not make your router get a stronger signal from your adapter unless you can find a way to boost that too.

    Better antennas , waveguides or reflectors however help to both transmit and receive a stronger signal.
    So does placing your antenna in a good spot.

    Also if you increase your transmit power you also cause more noise to the surrounding wifi networks your neighbors are using.
    Therefore only increase your transmit power if other methods if improving the signal is not enough.

  19. Leon
    July 19, 2009 at 2:52 pm

    I've done some research on tomato and it does seem pretty legit. DD-WRT also seems to be an alternative, so give those a shot if you would like.

    @ Ceejay

    I reiterate my previous point: you cannot increase your bandwidth outside of hardware upgrades. Tell me if I'm wrong, but I don't seem to see the word utilization anywhere in the sentence I wrote.

    One more thing. We get it. Tomato and DD-WRT. Repeating what others said 500 times really brings new light to a situation.

  20. CeeJay
    July 19, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    2) Switch off any “turbo” , "nitro" , "afterburner" or other proprietary speed-boosting modes your router offers unless you need the extra speed and both your router and your wifi-adapter are from the same company (otherwise it won't speed up your network , it will only make the connection less stable)

    3) Don't use a hidden SSID network name.
    If you do then Windows will routinely drop your network for short periods of time to search for a better connection.
    It usually reconnects fast and you probably won't notice it while browsing or reading email , but it can be devastating to a Vo-IP call or online gaming.

    4) Don't set your router to wifi-b or wifi-g only if it supports both. It will not improve security , nor will it give your router less to do or speed anything up.
    What it will do however is make your router not understand wifi-b or wifi-g packets , so they instead are seen as noise , which will make your network less stable.
    It can be okay though to set a dualband wifi-n router to N only because wifi-b and g doesn't transmit on the same frequencies.

    5) Use TCP-optimizer to optimize your Windows settings for your connection speed.
    This doesn't make your wifi-connection more stable , but it does make your internet connection recover faster from problems when it is unstable and also helps you get a lower ping and utilize slightly more of your available bandwidth.

    Get it from Speedguide.net (it freeware):
    http://www.speedguide.net/downloads.php

    6) If using Windows 2K , Windows XP or Windows 2003 also get the tweak to DNS from the same page :
    http://www.speedguide.net/files/winxp_dnscache.zip

    This tells Windows not to cache failed DNS requests. If your connection was unstable when requesting a DNS and did not get a reply , Windows would normally remember that and it future attempts to connect to that site would fail until you rebooted. Not caching failed attempts prevents that.

  21. Testa
    July 19, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    Or you can just install the free program DD-WRT o n the router and increase the power that is directed at the antenna to increase range....

  22. CeeJay
    July 19, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    Some additional tips for improving your connection :

    1) Try reducing the speed of your wifi-adapter to a speed that provide just enough bandwidth to accommodate your connection with a little to spare for overhead.

    You don't need to connect to your wifi-router with 54mbit/s if you only use it to connect to the internet with 4mbit/s.
    I have a 4mbit connection to the Internet so I have set my use a wifi speed of 5.5mbit.
    This improves the stability of my signal and doesn't slow down my Internet any.

    As a rule of thumb : Slower connection speeds are more stable.

    This is because slower connections speeds use other (usually more stable) methods to modulate the signal.

    See this for an overview :
    http://www.networkdictionary.com/Wireless/WiFi-Wireless-LAN-Data-Rates.php

    Using my example 5.5Mbps uses CCK/DQPSK which is more stable than OFDM/64-QAM which 54Mbps uses.

  23. itguy
    July 19, 2009 at 1:47 pm

    Sorry to busrt your bubble, but those parabolic tin foil covered contraptions really do work. If you build them correctly, you will turn your omnidirectional antenna into a directional antenna and get better reception in one general direction while losing strength in all others. It's great if you put it in one corner of the house, not so good in the middle. Silly know-, i mean guess-it-alls.

  24. Andrew
    July 19, 2009 at 6:42 pm

    dd-wrt.com

    allows boosting of signal to 250mw - solves all problems and makes this article useless. don't overdo it as it can burn out your cpu if not cooled properly. (reduce lifetime)

  25. CeeJay
    July 19, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    I'd like to clear up some of the authors mistakes.

    "Apparently aluminum foil amplifies reception and transmission"

    That's not correct. Aluminium foil amplifies neither reception or transmission.
    It can however be used to focus the signal.
    Aluminium foil is metal and all metal reflect electromagnetic waves.

    A piece of metal used to reflect and focus the signal is called a reflector.
    Most reflector are parabolic in shape .. just like a satellite dish.
    This because the parabolic shape reflects all signals into one spot and if you put your antenna in that spot you get a huge improvement in signal gain.

    The Windsurfer is such a parabolic reflector and it popular because it costs next to nothing to make and can be made in no time and easily from stuff you already have in your house.
    You don't need to put YMMV up there .. It works.

    You can also bounce your signal off a large flat metal plate or a metal mesh in exactly the same way you would bounce light off a mirror .. in fact you can use a mirror since a mirror is a smooth metal surface (protected by glass). Light behaves the exact same way because light is also an electromagnetic wave.

    "there is no way to improve data transmission or bandwith outside of hardware applications and upgrades."

    Not true. While you cannot increase the bandwidth of your connection beyond its capabilities , you can improve your utilization of your available bandwidth, by reducing the overhead and thus improve your speed.

  26. CeeJay
    July 19, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    I'd like to clear up some of the authors mistakes.

    "Apparently aluminum foil amplifies reception and transmission"

    That's not correct. Aluminium foil amplifies neither reception or transmission.
    It can however be used to focus the signal.
    Aluminium foil is metal and all metal reflect electromagnetic waves.

  27. Sean
    July 19, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    I wonder if the location of the linksy terminal matters.

  28. Zonaholic
    July 19, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    Install DD-WRT and crank the transmission power up to 200 mW, overclock the processor if you have the 54GL, and build yourself a high gain directional antenna with an old directv dish. I have a point to point connection of about half a mile between two remote sites. It also works great for sniffing on a wardrive.

  29. sam
    July 19, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    Aluminum reflectors do work - immensely well if you do them properly. I set up a parabolic reflector on my router using aluminum foil which I shaped around my bent knee. In one of my back rooms the connection improved from 1mbps to 11mbps, another room went from 5.5 to 20. Costs almost nothing and increases your range reliably, I highly recommend it.

  30. Alex Mcquown
    July 19, 2009 at 11:18 am

    Do what I do - instal a custom firmware on the router of your choice (I use DD-WRT) and crank up your maximum transmission power to 251mW.

    If you have lag while on wireless - that's the overhead nature of wireless - go wired.

    • Toby
      July 19, 2009 at 12:24 pm

      Alternate firmware choices are great (I prefer Tomato to DD-WRT, for the snazzy bandwidth monitoring graphs). But it isn't generally recommended to increase the transmission power to the max. I've been running mine a 70mW without any trouble, but I'd consider rigging up some kind of fan if you're going over 100mW...

  31. Vadim P.
    July 19, 2009 at 10:21 am

    I didn't find this particularly useful. Esp. that the original firmware is often surpassed by stuff like Tomato in performance

  32. David T.
    July 19, 2009 at 9:25 am

    I have seen cases were a notebook's built in wifi adapter would only reliably work on either channel 6 or 11. FYI.

  33. Frank's Father
    July 19, 2009 at 7:18 am

    How many times do I have to remind you, the world is a far better place without your childish commentary. Go back to your room.

  34. THBergdorf
    July 19, 2009 at 7:14 am

    30 months of dropped connections and weak signal reception with a Linksys WRT300N router and WUSB300N adapter. 30 months of re-searching for the signal, re-entering passphrase,R&R software, update drivers/firmware, "chat" with English-impared tech support, try G, N, mixed, various Radio Bands. Finally drilled a hole through each of two walls and ran 35' of Cat6. Problem solved.

  35. .High*Ping*Drifter.
    July 19, 2009 at 5:42 am

    Put your wireless router on top of a metal cookie sheet, which gives the router a "ground plane" ... this also works with cordless phones, putting the base unit on a cookie sheet.

    Beyond that, pick a non-busy channel is always good advice...seems like everyone in my condo complex was is channel 6 or 11, I guess those were the defaults...I dropped down to channel 1 and immediately got much better thruput.

    Buy a wireless "N" router, works quite a bit better than a "G" router.

    .H*P*D.

  36. cjizzle
    July 19, 2009 at 5:22 am

    The best way extending wifi capability that wasnt mentioned on here is using mains electricity wires to boost signal. You can buy a small plug like device which you connect to your router which you then plug into the mains, it then transmits the signal through out the wires in your home essentially turning it into one big wifi antennae I have this i my house and can get strong signal from about 200m away. you need wpa encryption though or everyone will be using it.

    • cccv
      December 19, 2009 at 6:12 pm

      @cjizzle: What product do you use?

    • AriesWarlock
      February 6, 2010 at 5:06 pm

      you are talking about ethernet powerline I take it.

  37. Ky
    July 18, 2009 at 10:47 pm

    Thanks for the software channel changing software tip. I have to try that out with my DLink router. I bought a DLink DIR655 and while it cost me $150 it hasn't worked at all with Windows Vista. I've been advised to change the channel and now I might have the means to do so. Thank you.

  38. SadistiX
    July 18, 2009 at 10:22 pm

    rather than buy a repeater or WAP, why not just upgrade to wireless N?

    • itguy
      July 19, 2009 at 1:49 pm

      wire your isht.

    • Skeleetor
      July 28, 2009 at 10:46 am

      Wireless N has yet to be standardized fyi.
      Also you all definitly want to set your Nic's to full speed duplex, alowing simultaneous up and down info transmission.

    • shel
      January 25, 2010 at 7:26 am

      I upgraded from G to N (Cisco) and found zero differences. There should simply be a real signal booster to purchase, rated honestly, like 10 watts (mw is hardly enough).

  39. shs
    July 18, 2009 at 10:14 pm

    What a stupid list......just replace the stock firmware with DDWRT....the stock firmware has transmission strength set at 20mw. With DDWRT, you can crank it up to 250mw...

    • sausage
      July 19, 2009 at 9:16 am

      DDWRT rocks and you can use it to configure a spare wireless routr you have lying around as a WIRELESS AP!

  40. heat pump
    July 18, 2009 at 10:04 pm

    Why go to the trouble of buying an omni-directional antenna? A pringles can works great and with two USB wifi adaptors and 2x pringles cans I can make a bridge connection between two points about 6-700m apart. Awesome stuff!

    • AriesWarlock
      February 6, 2010 at 3:30 pm

      Do you have a video of this?

  41. bob
    July 18, 2009 at 9:42 pm

    Reflectors (parabolic or corner) can make a big difference in signal strength.

    But the first two steps:

    (1) Set it up using WPA2 security so your wireless connection is just for you, and not for everyone on the block! Your wireless connection will be a lot faster when it's not supporting your neighbor's hentai fix, and his daughter's youtube habit!

    (2) Pick a channel that's not as busy! On the 2.4 GHz US bands, there are 3 nonoverlapping channels: 1, 6, and 11. That's it. Can your gear do the 5GHz band? Channel 147? It's less crowded up there! Running pre='N' on 5GHz can really rock.

    Once you're secure and on a not so busy channel, then worry about signal strength.

  42. dgeyer
    July 18, 2009 at 11:24 pm

    If you have an old WRT model Linksys, you could load on the amazing Tomato Firmware. polarcloud.com/tomato

  43. Leon
    July 18, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    Well, the first thing to consider is obtaining an internet connection with more bandwith, or a faster connection. the wireless signal is related to the ping problem in that the more data being transferred, the larger the burden on the connection. If your internet connection is clear, then your ping should be lower. Also, try closing all of the unnecessary operations going on; programs can slow down your CPU by clogging up memory.

  44. Belz
    July 18, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    Thanks Leon, this will definately help me when I'm playing games because I lag a lot also do you know anyway in which I could lower my ping?

  45. Hector
    July 18, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    I may need to update the firmware for my wireless device, and try the rest of the tips.
    Thanks

  46. Waqas Lone
    July 18, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    i really gota try this......my game really lags when on router

    • Womble
      January 24, 2010 at 12:57 am

      I found this with wireless too doing a ping -t at the commandline revealed that my throughput was OK but they were dropouts at regular intervals. Having tried a zillion things I am resigned myself to the fact that this is the way with wireless right now.

      I currently Have a second router setup as a wired bridge so that my main PC and Xbox are wired but I still have the benefit of wireless throughout the house.

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