A lot of people complain about weak Wi-Fi signal that is not giving them the chance to watch their favourite music videos on youtube, or to upload a really clever Facebook status on the internet.
Some people also complain that it's hard enough for their Wi-Fi connection to reach the four corners of their houses, let alone the backyard and beyond. To take your computing to the distance, you will need to seriously boost your Wi-Fi signal.
The following tips will ensure your Wi-Fi keeps you connected no matter where you are.
If you are hoping to connect remotely, say on camping trip, where there's no Wi-Fi in sight, you'll need to address one of two solution: Enable your wireless plan to turn your phone into a hotspot or get a Mi-Fi hotspot. These pocket-sized mobile hotspot connect multiple devices through your cell-phone carrier.
Extending your current Wi-Fi signal to encompass the outdoor area surrounding your home is a little more complicated.
The first and easiest method is to check your router settings. Many current routers support two networking standards: 802.11b and 802.11g. Turn off the 802.11b option, its older, slower, and will clog up your connection speeds. This should give you an extra bar, but probably won't reach the far corners of your yard.
Don't worry about updating your router to a new standard, just yet. New router standards like 802.11ac do exist and may give you a stronger signal, but sometimes suffer serious drawbacks, such as compatibility with your current devices. Your old router should do just fine.
Next, check the placement of your router. While that unsightly box might detract from your décor, avoid tucking it away in the deep recesses of your home or against an exterior wall. Wi-Fi routers work best without physical barriers, such as cement or brick, blocking their signal. Think of your Wi-Fi signal as a stream of water ripples, constantly moving but getting weaker as it expands. Centralize your router in your home, ensuring the strongest signal will as far as possible, or position it closer to the outdoor region you're hoping to boost. Just know other areas of your home may suffer.
Now that you've gotten the router placed correctly, you can extend the reach of the signal. Some insist that a well-placed soda can or some aluminium foil will do the trick, if only to gain an extra bar or two.
Another option is to replace the stock antenna on your router with an Omni-Directional Antenna. This simple fix could potentially double or triple your signal strength in every direction.
If you are looking to even boost your signal, you'll need to purchase a repeater or range extender. Place your repeater between the router and the dead zone where it will catch the original signal and repeat it farther outward. Some old routers can convert into repeaters, or you can purchase one which are less expensive.
If your signal isn't reaching as far as you'd like, you have options, many of which are free or relatively cheap. Remember, not everyone will have the same solution. Changes in something as simple as terrain can have a huge effect on signal strength.