Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

Video Tutorial – WIFI Antenna Boost

How can I boost my signal strength?

Folks, I have been asked many times about what can be done to improve the wireless signal produced by a home router/WAP. And, like so many things in life, there is no one, single, best answer. A weak signal slows you down, and can cause “connectivity issues” (aka “disconnects”).

Methods for a stronger signal, at a greater distance, include:
* Replace your router’s firmware with a Linux-based system that allows for “antenna gain” adjustment. (Advanced) — free.
* Add a “reflector” (Simple) — free.
* Replace your antenna with a “signal boosting” (aka “range extending”) antenna, or a directional antenna. (Simple) — $25.
* Upgrade to a Wireless N router. (Simple) — $100.

I recommend the last option. Wireless N routers are quite reasonably priced now. But, as I mentioned in If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It*, some people have a need to “tweak” and “hack”, and try to give things “more power” (ala Tim “The Toolman” Taylor). If you’re one of them, check out this video…
Vodpod videos no longer available.
more about “WIFI Antenna Hack!“, posted with vodpod

.. and should you decide to try this at home, of course, you will be doing so “at your own risk”, and any sane person would have six paragraphs of legalese here. I will simply say that, if you open up your existing antenna, and it is a plain wire as shown in the video, and does NOT have a dipole, you can do this and expect a modest improvement. Which may be all you need– and the price is right!

Today’s free link: watch how to make a tinfoil parabolic reflector in this vide0.  And, you may want to look around the Internet some. There are, literally, thousands of these hacks and tips.

Copyright 2007-9 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved. post to jaanix

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March 3, 2009 - Posted by | advice, computers, hardware, how to, networking, performance, routers, routers and WAPs | , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. TechPaul,

    Very cool… I love stuff like this. I had just purchased an extender antenna and it did in fact push out my wifi range…

    Rick

    Like

    Comment by whatsonmypc | March 4, 2009 | Reply

    • The only router “hack” I’ve personally done more than experiment with was a very simple reflector, as I only needed to ‘extend’ the signal in one direction, and not very far (and I really didn’t want to light up the whole neighborhood).
      The “professional” antennas – such as you mention – usually contain electronics which amplify the signal strength and can be a good investment.

      I have discovered that the science of antennas is rather.. um, “deep”, and I wouldn’t be surprised if you couldn’t earn a PhD while trying to grasp the topic!

      Like

      Comment by techpaul | March 4, 2009 | Reply


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