Is it your wifi feeling a bit peckish? Can your wireless home network barely give you a signal across the room, let alone through walls and up a flight of stairs or two? Need to add some power, speed, and range — some oomph — to your wireless performance? Here’s how to do it.
Consider Upgrading Your Router
If your current wireless router is more than a year or two old, you might just want to splurge on a new one. Wifi technology has advanced significantly in the past few years with new emerging standards like 802.11n, which is just faster and has a better range than its predecessors. The use of MIMO (multiple antennas) has worked wonders, and higher GHz adds a boost as well.
Check the Latest Reviews
A quick search on ‘wireless routers reviews’ will turn up a host of articles with recommendations for new routers, as well as some terrific, plain-English explanations of their different features, and advice on setting them up.
I recently got a Belkin N MIMO wireless router, which has good speed and has totally eliminated any dead spots in my house. It transmits reliably from the basement to the attic, over a range of four floors. I’m quite happy with it. As an added benefit, set-up was pretty simple (as opposed to my first wifi router, which was more like brain surgery). http://192.168.1.1/ IP of Linksys, Netgear, and Trendnet are also well-regarded brands, though you should choose carefully among their many offerings. Apple’s Airport router certainly has its boosters, though I’ve seen those who question whether its high price makes it a good value.
Consider Cheaper Options
If a new router isn’t in your budget, some tweaks to your current wireless home network set-up might help.
An intriguing option is a simple, homemade, parabolic reflector to help ‘focus’ your wifi transmission to where it’s needed. Search on ‘free antenna windsurfer’ to see the simple plans for making a booster antenna with nothing more than cardboard and aluminum foil.
Also, try just relocating your router to a different spot in the house. Sometimes that simple step of moving the wireless router from one room to another makes a lot of difference in signal strength, range, speed and overall performance.