How to improve WiFi range

Tuesday, March 29th, 2016

WiFi has become an important part in everyone’s lives, whether we like it or not. When the signal drops or we are out of range many people think their lives are about to end!
The range between your device and router can be the difference in quality, speed and even connection. So how do you go about improving the signal strength of your WiFi?


For most people with simple setups devices like homeplug/powerline or range extenders will work. These devices are plug-and-play and require little to no configuration. There are many different brands, we sell Solwise Homeplugs.

What are Homeplugs?

Most homes have WiFi dead spots, which means there are areas of your home that the WiFi doesn’t reach or the signal is very low. This is usually because of thick walls or doors, corners or you are fortunate enough to own a big home and the signal just doesn’t travel that far!
One option is to run ethernet cables from your router to the room you are in but this would only allow wired devices.
A Homeplug overcomes these problems. You connect one of these plugs into a mains socket near to your router and run an ethernet cable from your router to the plug. You then plug in the second Homeplug in the room you would like the WiFi signal. This then transmits the signal using the mains wiring in your house. Most Homeplug kits also allow for an ethernet connection on the second plug too.

Range Extenders

A range extender or wireless booster, when placed within range of your wireless router, can amplifies the strength and range of your wireless network.  This simple device can be used to provide wireless coverage to that hard to reach bedroom, office or even the garden for uninterrupted browsing and smooth streaming. Make sure to choose a device that will amplify otherwise you may not be much better off.
The best place to put one of these range extenders is about half way between your router and dead spot. Some range extenders will have lights that will help determine the best location.

Wireless USB Adapter

A wirless USB adapter can help when your device (as long as it has a USB port) has a poor/old wireless adapter built in. If your device has an older G type wireless adapter and you have a wireless-N compatible router, it may be worth considering buying a wireless-N compatible USB adapter to take full adtange of your router, the wider signal strength and speed.

Choosing the right router


The first generation of wireless routers was ‘802.11b’, followed by ‘802.11g’ then ‘802.11n’, and now ‘802.11ac’, also known as ‘AC’- the next WiFi generation. The primary difference among the router standards is speed and range. AC WiFi offers data transfer speeds 3 times faster than wireless-N, delivering seamless performance for super-high speed, home wide coverage while minimizing the risk of interference. If your router pre-dates wireless-N, you should seriously consider upgrading.

Dual-band or Tri-band?

When WiFi first became a standard fixture in homes and business, it transmitted and received data on a single 2.4GHz band. This connection was relatively slow, but was compatible with almost all wireless devices and provided satisfactory range and speed. Eventually, the era of dual band WiFi arrived, with its addition of a 5GHz band. This newly added band provided the speeds that are necessary to support for all of our favourite bandwidth-intensive online activities, such as streaming video and online gaming. Now, tri-band WiFi is poised to become the new solution and enhance the speed and reliability of our connections by creating an additional connection on the 5GHz band.

The 2.4GHz band is used by a lot of wireless devices such as cordless phones and bluetooth devices. Because there are more devices competing for space in this band, it results in interference and congestion which affects how well the signal performs both in speed and consistency. The 5GHz band provides better performance because there is less interference.

When you consider a dual-band or tri-band router you need to make sure your wireless devices are compatible with 5GHz band. It is an end-to-end operation so both ends should be able to send and receive data over 5GHz frequency band.




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