To amplify the signal of a wi-fi router, you can use various methods, from setting up a wireless connection to installing a primitive reflector or buying a repeater. But before you purchase additional equipment or make reflective screens, you need to figure out what factors affect the signal range.
What determines the size of the coverage area
A range of factors affect the range of a Wi-Fi signal:
- The location of the router is incorrect.
- The presence of walls in the signal path, their material.
- Interference from other devices operating at the same frequency.
- The number of wireless networks around.
- Antenna Power, etc.
For example, if you put the router in the farthest corner in the apartment, then the signal on the tablet through a couple of walls will be noticeably weaker than on a laptop that is in the same room as the router. In addition, if the device detects many neighboring access points, then this also affects the signal quality – wireless networks intersect, creating interference.
These shortcomings can be eliminated at home without special financial costs, but if you want a real increase in coverage, or you just have a large house with several floors, then the best way to amplify the signal is to buy a repeater. But first, let’s see what can be done without buying additional equipment.
If you purchased a router and found that it could not cope with the coverage of an apartment or house, then do not rush to go after another router or a Wi-Fi signal repeater. Try setting up your wireless network — for example, finding a freer channel. The more wireless networks use one channel, the weaker the signal. Use the inSSIder program to find the least loaded channel.
- Run the program and click "Start Scan."
- See which channels the routers of neighbors occupy.
The channels partially overlap, so staying alone will not work. But if everyone has channel 1, and you put 8, then the effect will be minimal. To change the channel:
- Open the web interface of the router in the browser (the address, username and password must be indicated on the case).
- Go to the section with the basic Wi-Fi settings and specify the number of the free channel.
You can select 12 and 13 channels in the router’s interface, but if you want maximum compatibility with devices, set the value from 1 to 11. Some devices do not support working with 12 and 13 channels, so, for example, on Android, the wireless network will simply not be detected .
Another way to enhance signal reception on the phone is to set the 802.11N operating mode in the router settings. Most routers are set to 11bgn mixed by default, but if forced broadcasting is set to N, the coverage area and the speed of the Internet broadcasted over the wireless network will increase.
- Open the router interface in the browser. Go to the wireless settings section.
- Select 802.11 N mode and save the configuration.
Unfortunately, there are limitations too. Older devices do not support 802.11 N mode, so you cannot find the access point on them. In this case, you will have to set the mixed mode of operation back, which will negatively affect the signal quality. On some routers, you can additionally increase the transmit power. On D-link, this is done like this:
- Open the web interface, go to advanced settings.
- In the “Wi-Fi” field, go to advanced settings.
- Set TX power to 100.
Usually, the default value is the maximum value, but it’s better to check this point. On ASUS and TP-link routers, the order will be slightly different, but the essence remains – you need to specify the maximum possible transmit power.
Use of additional equipment
On Youtube, you can find different design options for amplifiers and reflectors that users make with their own hands. Silver-plated mirrors, foil and even cut tin cans are used. The principle of operation of the reflector is simple: the signal from the antenna does not diverge in all directions, but receives a specific direction.
But if you want to significantly increase the coverage area, then you should think about using special equipment. Three options can be offered:
- Buying a new router operating at a relatively free frequency of 5 GHz.
- The purchase of more powerful antennas (suitable if the router has removable external antennas).
- Installing a wifi repeater.
The best option is to install a repeater, although buying a new router is also a good idea. Replacing the antennas will work, but the effect will be less. In addition, really powerful antennas are not cheap, so it’s more profitable to take a repeater or amplify the signal using another router operating in repeater mode.
The repeater does not create a second network, but only amplifies the signal from the router. Let’s say the router is in the room, and in the kitchen the wireless network is no longer available. If you install a repeater in the middle of the path, the signal will amplify and a wireless network will appear in the kitchen.
Configuring the repeater usually does not raise questions and consists in simultaneously pressing the WPS buttons on both devices. It is important that you do not notice that the laptop or phone is connected to the repeater, and not to the router: the network still remains one, that is, you can safely establish a local connection.
It is not necessary to buy a repeater: if there is a second router, you can configure it to work in repeater mode. Let’s see how this is done using the example of ASUS network equipment:
- Open the web interface (available at 192.168.1.1).
- Go to the “Administration” tab and go to the “Operating mode” section.
- Mark the repeater mode and click Save.
- A list of available points appears. Select the network whose signal you want to amplify.
- Enter the password for the wireless network and click "Connect".
- Check the "Use default settings" box and click "Apply." To return the router to its usual mode, you must again go to the “Administration” tab and select “Wireless router”.
In repeater mode, not all routers can work. But if the interface has the ability to enable repeater mode, then there will be no problems with covering the premises with a wireless network, because a bunch of two devices will give a signal to all corners of the house.