How to Get a Good Wi-Fi Connection

By Matthew Schieltz

Wi-Fi technology is based on the 802.11 standards set by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) organization. The Wi-Fi devices you own, such as notebooks, desktop computers and routers, communicate with each other over radio frequencies. A wireless router acts as the "access point" on a network and is the primary device that many people use to broadcast a Wi-Fi signal. The amount of interference between the router and your Wi-Fi-enabled device as well as the strength of the router's signal itself affects how well you receive a Wi-Fi connection.

Things You'll Need

  • Wi-Fi-enabled device (e.g., laptop)
  • Wireless router

Step 1

Position Wi-Fi-enabled devices closer to the access point or router to which you're trying to connect. Position your router away from metal objects and devices that will interfere with and can absorb the router's signal, such as metal filing cabinets, wireless portable phones and microwave ovens. Move the router, if possible, to a more central location away from walls and floors.

Step 2

Change the wireless channel on your router. Log into the Web-management interface of your router with the correct username and password. Click on the "wireless" section and find the wireless channel setting. Many routers use default settings of channel "6." Change this setting to a frequency channel away from channel "6," such as channels "1," "2," or even "10" or "11" to boost the Wi-Fi connection on your network.

Step 3

Amplify the wireless router's signal. Extending the range or "reach" of the router can boost connections from laptops and other wireless devices. Purchase and install a Wi-Fi repeater or wireless range extender--a hardware device that hooks up to your wireless router and "repeats" the Wi-Fi signal to extend the geographic area of your wireless network. Or, install a bi-directional antenna on your router that can be pointed in a specific direction (most home routers are "omni-directional," meaning that the Wi-Fi signal goes everywhere).

Step 4

Configure the settings on your wireless network adapter card if you have a laptop. Open the "Device Manager"--the utility that lists all of your computer's hardware connections--and find your wireless network adapter card in the list. Right-click the entry and select "Properties." Click the "Driver" tab and select "Update Drivers" to obtain the latest manufacturer drivers for your card. Select the "Advanced" tab and find the "Transmit Power" or "Transmit Buffers" from the list. Increase the setting to boost the signal on your laptop and receive an improved Wi-Fi connection.