Low Signal Problems With Netgear N600

By Jason Artman

The maximum bandwidth you can achieve over a Wi-Fi connection with your Netgear N600 router decreases as signal strength becomes poorer. Interference from nearby wireless devices and objects around your home can rob your wireless connection of signal strength, decreasing its speed and reliability. However, there are steps you can take to increase your signal strength and avoid bothersome disconnections.

Router Location

You may not have placed the N600 in the ideal location for best signal strength throughout your home. Netgear recommends installing the N600 away from obstructions and in a central location, making it as close as possible to the computers that will connect to it. Netgear recommends against placing the N600 on the floor and suggests maximizing the distance between it and other electrical devices, which can interfere with the router's broadcasts. Signal strength may also be poor when the N600 transmits through metal and water.

Router Band

The N600 is a dual-band router that transmits at the 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies simultaneously. Many home electronics such as cordless phones also transmit at 2.4GHz, creating potential sources of interference. If you have many other wireless devices in your home, switching to the 5GHz network may alleviate your signal issue. The N600 operates two wireless networks simultaneously; the default name for the 5GHz network is "NETGEAR-5G." The drawback of using the 5GHz band is that, although it may have less interference, its maximum range is less than that of the 2.4GHz band.

Wireless Channel

It is possible to change the channel the N600 broadcasts on without changing its broadcast frequency. This feature can be useful if you live near others who may also own 2.4GHz and 5GHz wireless routers. Utilities such as InSSIDer allow you to scan for nearby wireless routers and see what channels they broadcast on. This can help you select a channel that is free of interference. You can select a new channel from the administrative front-end. Open a Web browser and type "routerlogin.com" in the address bar. If you have not selected a custom password for the N600, enter the user name "admin" and the password "password." Access the "Wireless Settings" area to change the broadcast channel.

SSID

Your N600 broadcasts two Service Set Identifiers by default: one for the 2.4GHz network and another for the 5GHz network. If the N600's SSID broadcast is enabled, nearby computers may periodically scan for network signals, locate your router's SSIDs and query them to determine their features. This takes place each time a computer scans for nearby routers, increasing local network traffic and potentially generating interference. Disabling the SSID broadcast may reduce interference and improve your signal strength.