How to Boost the Signal Strength on a Wireless USB Modem

By Rianne Hill Soriano

Because a wireless USB modem can be used in just about any computer compared to other devices, like an express card or PC card, its use for acquiring Internet service has gained popularity through the years. It provides the accessibility and versatility of getting a wireless connection within a wide coverage area from an Internet service provider. Boosting this signal makes this device even more beneficial for optimal Internet use.

Basic Options for Signal Boost

If you're using a laptop, it is easy to boost your signal by simply changing your location then seeing if there is a significant increase or decrease in the connection signal. If you're using a desktop, use a USB extender cable, which allows you to find a nearby area where there is better signal strength. Ideally, placing the modem higher and near a window can help boost its signal. Compare the signal strengths you get from different locations so you know which area is best for high Internet speed.

Placement and Software Updates

Experiment on where you physically place your wireless USB modem. Place it and your computer somewhere within an open and clear space to ensure nothing blocks the modem. Also, regularly update your USB modem's firmware or network adapter driver to take advantage of improvements offered by the USB modem manufacturer for its products. These updates typically provide increased performance and security for your modem.

Practical Improvements

Use practical and easily accessible materials to boost your wireless USB modem's signal. You can use about 12 to 20 inches of copper wire wound two to five times around the modem then peel one edge of the wire up to about 4 inches. Make sure that this edge is placed on top of the modem like an antenna. You can also make use of old, damaged or even new and functional CD pieces simply placed below the modem to increase signal strength. Make sure that the discs' shiny sides are facing the modem.


Avoid wireless interference that may come from other wireless devices, such as cordless phones and garage door openers. While their effects are not always detrimental to the amount of signal loss your modem gets, they still decrease the speed of your Internet, especially in areas that are not covered well by the service. Also, avoid placing the USB modem near the floor, metal objects or file cabinets. The closer you are to these external obstructions, the more they can interfere with wireless signal strength.