How to Boost Someone Else's WiFi

By Quinn Marshall

Public Wi-Fi has many advantages, such as free access, but also one downside: Lack of router access. Some public wireless Internet hotspots use a cheap router that provides a poor signal, and without access to the router, you're unable to install a booster. The same is true for apartment complex-wide Internet access, and school campus Wi-Fi. A few procedures will boost the Wi-Fi signal from someone else's router and won't interfere with the connection or anyone else's access.

Step 1

Install a Wi-Fi antenna onto your computer's wireless card. Some computers, particularly desktop systems, have a small circular port on the wireless card visible on the outside of the computer; this is an antenna port. Purchase an external wireless antenna and screw it into the port. Purchase a wireless card with an antenna port if your current wireless doesn't have one and have it installed in place of the original card.

Step 2

Purchase a Wi-Fi signal boosting device and place it in the location where you most commonly access the wireless signal. For example, if you need to boost the Wi-Fi in your dorm room, place the signal booster somewhere in your dorm room, or ask for permission to place it at the midway point between the router and your room, where more people will benefit from the device.

Step 3

Ask the owner to install a signal-boosting antenna onto the router. The Wi-Fi owner may not realize that you're unable to make a strong connection to the network, and will take steps to fix the issue when informed. The Wi-Fi owner may be obligated to boost the wireless if it is part of a service you pay for or your apartment lease.