How to Improve WiFi Reception
In June 2005 the record for the longest WiFi connection was set at 125 miles. While this distance is probably beyond your needs, here are some quick tips to maximize your signal strength and minimize interference with a little wireless feng shui.
1-Put large furniture along the exterior walls of your home.
2-Minimize mirrors. All metallic surfaces reflect WiFi signals, including the thin metal layer found in most mirrors.
3-Place your router in one of the following locations:
- Near the center of the house
-Off the floor, ideally on a high shelf
-As far as possible from your neighbor's Wi-Fi router (which, of course, you've made sure is using a different channel)
-Away from cordless phones and microwaves, which operate on the same 2.4-Ghz frequency.
-Keep antennas as far away from power cords and other computer wires as possible. Those cords and wires can interfere with radio reception.
- The computer case itself can be a significant barrier to the Wi-Fi signal - try positioning the case so it doesn't come between the network card and router antennas.
-The addition of a "high gain" (higher dBi) external antenna will often provide increased reception signal and performance. Note that a higher dBi increases the signal horizontally, but decreases vertically. If you need to cover several floors, a higher dBi will probably not help. In this case, you might consider buying a Wi-Fi amplifier, which will boost your signal.
- Reflectors can also be used to good advantage. Use NetStumbler to tune your placement of the reflector. Compact disks can be used, as can anything that actually looks like a parabolic reflector. The reflector, of course, should be placed behind the receiving device or antenna. Large increases in signal strength can be expected. This trick also works with cellphones.
-If all else fails, you can look into purchasing a WiFi repeater, which is a piece of hardware you can use to boost the signal between the router and your device.
-Depending on your brand and model of wireless router, you may be able to replace the built in software with a replacement open source solution that adds much more capabilities and the option to increase the power to your wireless antenna.
- If you still need more range, consider upgrading your wireless standard, up to Draft N (Regular N has not yet been released) or Wireless G with MIMO. These two technologies will greatly increase the range of a formerly 802.11g or 802.11b network.
-If you replace your router's firmware, it may void your warranty.
- If you turn the power up too high on a modified wireless router it will suffer permanent damage.