Tech – for Everyone

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

Improve Your Wireless (Signal) Strength For Mere Pennies

How can I boost my wireless signal strength?

Folks, in the past few weeks, I have been asked many times about what can be done to improve the wireless signal produced by a home router/WAP. A weak signal slows you down, can cause “connectivity issues” (aka “disconnects”) and – if you have roommates streaming videos/”downloading” – make your “web surfing experience” an exercise in frustration. So I think it’s time to repost this How To article..

Like so many things in life, there is no one, single, best answer; but, methods for achieving a stronger wireless signal, at a greater distance, include:

  • Replace your router’s firmware with a Linux-based system that allows for “antenna gain” adjustment. (Advanced) — free (some risk).
  • Add a “reflector” (Simple) — free. (and.. today’s video!)
  • Replace your antenna with a “signal boosting” (aka “range extending”) antenna, or a directional antenna. (Simple) — $25 -$50. (ths assumes your WAP has external, removable antennas.)
  • Upgrade to a Wireless N router. (Simple) — $100 (or less).

I recommend the last option. Wireless N routers are quite reasonably priced now (as low as $40). But, if you have some tinfoil, scissors, and glue, I can tell you that a parabolic reflector will improve your signal (aka “gain”) .. in one direction, and it won’t cost you much more than a few minutes of your time to try it!

This short video tutorial demonstrates:

And the template is here, http://www.freeantennas.com/projects/template2/index.html

And, you may want to look around the Internet some. There are, literally, thousands of these wireless signal boost “hacks” and tips. (No.. I never did try the Pringle’s can..)

Today’s quote:The important thing is not to stop questioning.” ~ Albert Einstein

Am I wrong? Something is kinda funny with that one? A little.. suspicious?

Copyright 2007-2012 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.


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March 26, 2012 Posted by | advice, computers, gadgets, how to, Internet, routers and WAPs, tech | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Video Tutorial – WIFI Antenna Boost Pt.2

Reader questions regarding yesterday’s video have indicated that I needed to revisit this topic — How can I boost my wireless 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. (and.. today’s video!)
* 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…

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 4, 2009 Posted by | advice, computers, gadgets, hardware, how to, routers, routers and WAPs | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments