While avid Internet users always prefer to have a wired Internet connection where available, there are ways in which you can improve your wireless Internet coverage. Windows provides a wireless signal meter in the system tray of the taskbar where five signal bars is the highest. For an efficient and reliable connection, you should have at least four signal bars. Manufacturers of wireless modems and receivers often grossly exaggerate the maximum range where, in practical terms, the real range is usually a fraction of what is advertised. Try some of the following tips to improve your wireless Internet performance.
1 – Reposition Your Router
Distance and physical obstacles are the main barriers which decrease the efficiency of your wireless connection. Ensure that the wireless router is placed in a central location in your home. The fewer walls and ceilings you have between the router and the computer, the better. Also, try to keep your router away from any metal objects or other devices which can interfere with the signal. Things like microwaves, wireless handsets and televisions can all have a negative effect on the connection.
2 – Install a Wireless Range Extender
Also known as a wireless repeater, a range extender does exactly what the name suggests. They do not require any extra cables other than the power cable to your home’s mains supply. Placing the repeater around half way between the router and the computer, taking the above factors into account, can greatly increase the strength of the signal.
3 – Upgrade to the Latest Wireless Standard
There are four standards of Wi-Fi Internet which, from the oldest to the most current, are 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g and 802.11n. Although 802.11g still remains the most common, the 802.11n is considerably better with regards to range and reliability. To notice any difference, however, you will need to have a router and receiver which both conform to the latest standards. Many slightly older laptops only have an 802.11g receiver, so you will not get the benefits of 802.11n – your connection will work like an 802.11g one. To get the greatest advantage of 802.11n, you may need to upgrade your router, network card (receiver) or both.
4 – Try Changing Your Wireless Channel
Wireless routers may broadcast signals on various different channels in much the same way that a radio does. In some cases, you will be able to get a better quality signal by changing the channel setting. To do this, you will need to access your router’s configuration page. You can do this by opening your Web browser and entering the router’s IP address just as you would enter a website address. Depending on the manufacturer of your router, it is most likely to be one of the following: 192.168.1.1, 192.168.0.1 or 192.168.2.1. Consult your router’s manual for further details on changing the wireless channel.
Sam Jones, the author, used a test my broadband service and found that he could dramatically improve his connection speeds.