How to Extend the Range of a Wi-Fi Antenna

By Techwalla Computers Editor

Here's something the manufacturer should be doing for you. Thousands of home network installers buy routers and wireless cards only to find that their Wi-Fi signal doesn't reach quite as far as they expected. The technology of wireless Internet is new and sometimes confusing. It seems the options on sale for boosting a Wi-Fi signal are not that accessible, but here are a few ways that people are talking about to extend the range of the antenna on your router.

Step 1

Reposition your router. A lot of times, poor signal ranges or dead spots' are caused by metal or other materials in walls and obstacles between the router and where you want to get a wireless signal. Experiment with moving the router around if you can: you might find a better arrangement will boost your signal strength.

Step 2

Try a directional antenna. Routers are sold with omni-directional antennas to be able to shoot a signal in all four directions. See if you can find a replacement antenna that is more specialized for use in tricky signal situations.

Step 3

Try a parabolic device or antenna. Parabolic or dish antennas gain strength by using a backboard that concentrates the signal using these devices can also boost your signal.

Step 4

Use a repeater. For a specific wireless range fix, look for a repeater on sale by the same manufacturers that sell modems. The repeater has been described as very similar to a router, and sadly, it seems that the manufacturers aren't making cheap, easy devices to string a signal along. Some store reps even suggest buying another router. At $100 or more, the router is not a cheap solution, and neither are most repeaters, but by installing the repeater halfway between the router and the target area, you can get the signal where you want it to go. Another complaint about repeaters is that they apparently cut bandwidth in half.

Step 5

Try an antenna hack. Sites like Lifehacker claim to have radical do-it- yourself solutions for getting your antenna more powerful and boosting your signal strength. But without the proper tools or know-how, this option could be a fiasco.