About Wireless Router Signal Boosters

By Jonita Davis

Wireless Internet has become the popular way to surf online. It allows users access from any location that emits a signal. However, not all router signals are high enough to give peak performance. Fortunately, there are ways to boost your wireless connection, making it faster and more reliable. Before doing so, you must first learn a few important things about a wireless signal and how a booster can help.

Wireless Routers

A wireless router is a device used to connect a computer to a network without using any cables. It also allows you to share an Internet connection with other computer users. This means no additional user fees to have more than one computer online. Typically, a computer needs to be within 100 feet of the wireless signal in order to connect to the Internet.

Reflector Shields

As with any other technological equipment, there is more than one type of wireless router signal booster. Some act as a signal shield that filters out the interference from wireless telephones and other equipment. Called reflector shields, they are placed behind the router in an effort to "cut off" the interference signal before it gets into the router. The result is a signal that is stronger and capable of reaching a slightly longer distance.


Another common signal booster is the repeater. It is usually placed close to the router and acts as a filter that renews the wireless signal repeatedly as it flows from the router to the computer. This renewal extends the distance over which the signal can travel, while also preserving signal quality. It is also known as an active hub.


These wireless signal boosters connect to the computer via USB or the wireless adapter. It expands the range of the wireless card or adapter. Antennas also filter the signal to increase the quality. Homemade signal boosters are generally little more than antennas made from metal strainers, potato chip cans and even soda cans. Most routers have a removable antenna that you can replace with an upgraded antenna for around $10 or less. Research Wi-Fi antennas and you'll find that there are many inexpensive choices available.

Buying a Signal Booster

When searching for a wireless signal booster take all of the information about your computer like the make, model and wireless card brand and type. Not all wireless router signal boosters are compatible with other computers and routers, so take care to find the signal booster that fits your equipment. Also, consult the laptop or desktop's manufacturer's site to get more information or recommendations for appropriate signal boosters. Try a homemade signal booster at your own risk, as these items will usually void a manufacturer's or extended warranty in the event of any resulting damage.