Jackie Stewart - PC Help


Gain Extra Signal or Extend Range for FREE on Wireless Routers

If you have poor range on your linksys, netgear, belkin or other makes of wireless routers with antennas and you're looking to improve the signal for your wireless network, try some of these tips for extending your wireless range and improving your wireless network performance.

  • Place your wireless router in a central location in your home. It is much easier to distribute the signal if you use a central location.
  • Metal, walls, and floors will interfere with your router's wireless signals. The closer your router is to these, the more severe the interference, and the weaker your connection will be.
  • The antennas supplied with your router are designed to be omni-directional, meaning they broadcast in all directions around the router. If your router is near an outside wall, half of the wireless signals will be sent outside your home, and much of your router's power will be wasted. Upgrade to a hi-gain antenna that focuses the wireless signals only one direction. You can then aim the signal in the direction you need it most.

  • Wireless network signals must be sent both to and from your computer. Sometimes, your router can send a strong signal but your computer can't send signals back to your router. To improve this, replace your wireless network adapter with a USB network adapter that uses an external antenna. Laptops with built-in wireless typically have excellent antennas and don't need to have their network adapters upgraded.

  • Wireless repeaters extend your wireless network range without requiring you to add any wiring. Just place the wireless repeater halfway between your wireless access point and your computer, and you'll get an instant boost to your wireless signal strength.
  • Wireless routers can broadcast on several different channels, similar to the way radio stations use different channels. Try changing your wireless router's channel through your router's configuration page to see if your signal strength improves. You don't need to change your computer's configuration, because it'll automatically detect the new channel.
  • If you have cordless phones or other wireless electronics in your home, your computer might not be able to "hear" your router over the noise from the other wireless devices. To quiet the noise, avoid wireless electronics that use the 2.4GHz frequency. Instead, look for cordless phones that use the 5.8GHz or 900MHz frequencies.
  • Router manufacturers make free improvements to their routers, to get the latest firmware updates for your router, visit your router manufacturer's Web site. You should also check Windows Update for any driver updates.These updates typically improve performance and reliability.

  • While a different makes of routers and wireless adapters work together, you often get better performance if you pick a router and network adapter from the same manufacturer. Some manufacturers offer a boost of up to twice the performance when you choose their hardware.

  •  If you're buying new equipment, definitely choose 802.11g. 802.11g is about five times faster than 802.11b. 802.11g is backward-compatible with 802.11b, so you can still use any 802.11b equipment that you have. If you're using 802.11b and you're unhappy with the performance, consider replacing your router and network adapters with 802.11g equipment.