How to Boost the Signal for a Wireless Router

By Techwalla Computers Editor

There are a number of factors that go into WiFi connection quality. Large obstacles between the client and WiFi antenna can introduce interference, signal bounces, noise and reductions in signal strength. They fall into two categories: noise and signal strength. When the signal of your wireless router isn't optimal, there are a variety of options to consider in order to boost it.

Things You'll Need

  • Wireless router
  • Additional antenna (optional)

Boost the Signal for a Wireless Router

Step 1

Minimize obstacles. Metal objects and dense objects are the types of things you want to avoid, but if you're using a directional antenna, any obstacles at all can be problematic.

Step 2

Check the connections on your wireless router, as a loose connection to an antenna can introduce considerable noise. The antenna connectors are designed to screw on tight, but only as tight as needed. Make sure they're screwed in until they stop moving.

Step 3

Use high-quality cables if your antenna is connected to the router or client by a cable. Inexpensive cables introduce more noise than higher-quality cables. By replacing the cable, you can eliminate noise.

Step 4

Use or add a better antenna to boost the signal. Oftentimes, routers and clients come with small, inexpensive antennas which can be replaced with omni-directional or directional antennas that will work better and introduce less noise.

Step 5

Use quality WiFi hardware. Inexpensive WiFi devices (routers and clients) often have weak signal strength and introduce more noise. By upgrading to hardware with quality chipsets, antennas and connections, signal strength can be increased and noise can be reduced.

Step 6

Use repeaters, and use your routers in a repeater mode if your WiFi network has to span large distances. Each repeater you add to the network adds its own range to the total range of the network. Having multiple repeaters around the perimeter of a large area often works better than having a single router in the center of the area.

Step 7

Reduce the interference of devices that inhibit WiFi signals. Anything that transmits or emits EMI (electro-magnetic interference, or unintended transmissions) in the 2.4GHz range can possibly interfere with WiFi devices. Anything from cordless phones and cell phones to microwave ovens and television sets can be a culprit. If you're getting interference and cannot remove the offending devices, you can try changing your WiFi routers to use a different channel.

Tips & Warnings

  • Normal house walls (studs and drywall) are not generally problem obstacles. However, concrete walls (especially concrete walls with rebar) are considerably more dense and affect WiFi signals more.