Broadband, Education

Improving Your Router’s Signal Strength. It Really Works!!!

WiFi gives wireless waves for the use of internet. There are many devices that uses WiFi to communicate to the wonderful world of internet. Lack of wires make WiFi easier to access and most demanding technology. Most of us are heaving WiFi signals at our home. These signals are broadcasted by a device called Routers. When we opt for an Internet service, our ISP (Internet Service Provider) will provide us with a Router. Alternatively, we can also purchase our own Router.

Our WiFi signal varies by make and model of our Router. Depending upon Router’s brand, we can have a strong or weak signal. No matter whatever router we install at our home, there remains some grey areas where we cannot find optimal WiFi signals. Hence, we may experience slow speed in those areas of home or even no connection. These are called dark areas.

If you do a search on any of the search engine for boosting WiFi signals, you will find thousands of web page suggesting tips and tricks to boost up your WiFi signals. You will also find several device available to boost up your WiFi signals. In this blog, I am sharing with you a very handy technique that you can try at your home to boost up you WiFi signals. I have personally used this trick and the result was worth. My WiFi signals improved about 30 – 40 %

Table of Contents

Things to know: Before you go ahead with the tricks mentioned below, it is important to understand how WiFi signals are measured. WiFi signals are measured in a unit called decibel milliwatts (dBm). A signal strength less than -70 dBm is not considered good. For example, a signal strength of -80 dBm is not good and you will encounter internet issue. Please note that higher the number, lesser signal strength it is. For example -80 dBm is weaker than -70 dBm. -60 dBm is better out of these 2 signals.

How Do Routers Broadcast Signals: Home WiFi routers contains antennas. These antennas can be an internal antenna (placed inside the router cabinet) or an external antenna. The signals broadcast from WiFi routers are generally of 2.4Ghz or 5Ghz. In general 2.4 Ghz signals have an average internet speed 10-29Mbps on 802.11g standard and 150Mbps on 802.11n standard. On other hand, a 5Ghz router will have an average speed of 3-32Mbps on 802.11a standard and 210Mbps-1Gbps speed on 802.11ac standard.

Checking Your Current Signal Strength: I would suggest you to download any of the WiFi analyzer software in your phone and read the WiFi signal strength in the areas identified as dark areas. Android phone users can use “WiFi Analyzer” or NetSpot. iPhone user can use “Fing” or “WiFi Analyzer” app for the purpose. As these signals are measured in dBm and their values are negative, you should remember that a lesser negative number is a more powerful signal. Make a note of your WiFi signal strength before proceeding further.

WiFi Signal measurement graph

A good WiFi signal must not exceed -70dBm. Signal range from -60dBm to -70dBm are considered below average quality signals.

How to boost up WiFi Signals at Home

Boosting WiFi Signal using Mirror: I bet this is world’s simplest and easy to implement trick. It will cost you nothing. All you need is a small mirror to boost up your WiFi signals by up to 40% strong.

I have a Nokia Router installed by my ISP that has its antenna placed internally. I just placed a mirror at the back of the Router and WOHO!!! The signal strength is now -33dBm. This can be considered as an excellent signal strength. Please see the Image below to understand what exactly I have done.

Nokia Router with Mirror reflector

Boosting WiFi signal using Aluminium foil: Aluminium foils are commonly available in every house. We often use it to keep our food hot. This Aluminium foil works great when it come to boosting your WiFi signals. We can make a simple parabolic reflector using Aluminium foil. It works great and you will see a good difference in your WiFi signals in dark areas of your rooms.

Nokia Router with Aluminium Foil reflector

Here is how I have made a simple parabolic reflected using Aluminium foil. I just staple the foil on a hard square paper and placed it behind my Router. It works great. Here is a link to Youtube video on how to make a simple parabolic reflector using Aluminium foil.

Boosting WiFi Signal using Old Router as Repeater: This trick requires a little bit of technical understanding and you should have another working router. I would suggest an old Router that you might have and you are no longer using this. A second Router can be used as Wireless or Wired Repeater.

Essentially, a Wi-Fi repeater extends the coverage area of your existing wireless network by amplifying the signal and then transmitting that signal to a wider area. In short, it receives a wireless signal from your router and rebroadcasts it to another localized area, providing a “bubble” of additional network coverage that you can access when you’re out of range of your router’s finite coverage area.

Here is a detailed instruction of setting up a D-Link DIR-816 as a repeater.

Now that you are aware about the simple yet powerful techniques to boost up your WiFi signals at every corner of your room, its time to enjoy chatting or conferencing from balcony. Enjoy!!

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