How to Make Your Wi-Fi Signal Stronger

By Eoghan McCloskey

Having a wireless Internet signal in your home allows multiple devices to use the same Internet connection without having to run lengths of Ethernet cable to each device. Given that the wireless network is transmitted over the air, the consistency of your Internet connection depends on the strength of the wireless signal. If wireless signal strength is not strong enough to give you a consistent Internet connection, there are a few simple steps for finding the problem and improving your signal strength.

Step 1

Reset all devices. The majority of Internet issues, including poor wireless signal strength, are very often solved by a simple power cycle of all the devices in the network. Locate the power cords of both your modem and your wireless router and remove them (if you use a modem/router combination, simply unplug the power to that device). Leave them unplugged for a full 30 seconds, plug them back in and restart your computer. When your computer fully reboots, check your wireless signal strength to see if it has improved. If it has not, further troubleshooting is required.

Step 2

Move your computer closer to your router, or your router closer to your computer. Wireless routers do not have unlimited range. One reason your computer may be getting a weak signal strength from your wireless network could be because your computer is simply outside of the router's range. Typically, ISPs (Internet Service Providers) will install your modem in one specific location in the house and the modem will not work at other locations, so moving the modem or modem/router combination may not be a possibility. If this is the case, you may need to move the computer to a location that is within the range of the wireless router's broadcast. If you still get poor signal strength, your router may be experiencing a malfunction.

Step 3

Contact the technical support department of your router manufacturer. Router malfunctions often are not the result of a bad or broken router, but of something much simpler, such as the router's needing a firmware upgrade or an incorrect setting on the router's internal setup. If your router manufacturer is unable to improve your wireless signal strength, it may be time to purchase a new router.

Step 4

Purchase a new router. Wireless routers are priced in part based on how widely their wireless signal broadcasts (in other words, the more expensive the router you buy, the larger a wireless signal the router will broadcast). Included in the packaging of each wireless router is the approximated range, in square footage, of that router's wireless network. A good rule of thumb is to know the square footage of your house and buy a router that can accommodate that square footage. That way, as long as the router is functioning properly, you will have strong wireless signal strength throughout your entire home.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you are thinking of skipping a call to your router manufacturer and just buying a new one, it may cost you in the long run. Tech support calls can be frustrating in a lot of ways, but keep in mind that a brand new wireless router could cost you anywhere from $75 to $150. A firmware upgrade to your router in most cases will cost you nothing, especially if your router is still under warranty. It may be well worth your while to sit through long hold times to see if your router manufacturer can fix your router without you having to spend any money.