How to Make Your Wi-Fi Strength Extend Further

By Michelle Castle

Every wireless router or access point has a finite range that it can broadcast to under the best of circumstances. However, a number of factors affect the strength of Wi-Fi networks. The number of walls and solid objects the signal must travel through, interference from wireless and electronic devices and the technology used all impact the signal's range. You can increase the range of your Wi-Fi signal by placing your router in an optimal location, using modern wireless routers and adapters and adding Wi-Fi repeaters or routers as needed.

Step 1

Position your wireless router carefully to achieve the strongest signal possible. Choose a location that is as close to where wireless devices are used as possible. Reduce the number of walls and other solid obstacles between the router and your Wi-Fi compatible devices. Place the router on an upper floor or above your Wi-Fi devices for the strongest signal. Avoid placing the wireless router near cordless devices, microwave ovens, metallic objects, fish tanks and mirrors because they can interfere with the signal.

Step 2

Convert the omni-directional antenna on your router to a uni-directional antenna if you want to broadcast the Wi-Fi signal in only one direction. Most routers come with omni-directional antennas which emit the signal in every direction uniformly, and using a uni-directional antenna to focus the signal in one direction will extend your signal farther. Alternatively, create a reflector from aluminum foil and place it behind the router's antenna to focus the signal in one direction.

Step 3

Purchase a Wi-Fi repeater or range extender. Follow the instructions that came with the repeated to install it. Connect the repeater to your computer using an Ethernet cable. Open a Web browser and type the repeater's IP address into the browser's address bar. Provide a name for the device and use the repeater's wizard to complete setup. Disconnect the repeater from your computer and place the repeater within your router's range to use it to relay the Wi-Fi signal farther.

Step 4

Connect another wireless router to your primary router using a long Ethernet cable. Place the second router on another floor or in a another room to extend the Wi-Fi signal.

Step 5

Use a wireless router with a greater range. Choose a Wireless N (802.11n) router over a Wireless G (802.11g) router for a stronger and faster signal.

Step 6

Upgrade the wireless adapter on your desktop or laptop if it uses the Wireless G or other old standards. Install a new network card or add a USB wireless adapter that uses the Wireless N standard for better reception and faster Web browsing.