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How to Improve the Wi-Fi Network Signal Strength in Your House or Workplace

Wi-Fi is just radio waves, and many things can cause interference. But a strong Wi-Fi signal can give you faster performance and better coverage distance, so it’s important to properly position and configure your router for optimal signal strength.
Point the Antenna Up

Routers generally have physical antennas that are adjustable. The antenna often comes pointed horizontally to fit the router inside its box. For maximum signal strength, position your router’s antenna vertically, pointing straight up. If you have two antennas, you won’t get better performance by pointing them in different directions.

Position Your Router Properly

Consider where you put your router. If you have a large home or office, place the router close to the center to maximize coverage. If you position the router at one end of the building, you may have poor (or no) signal at the other end. But, if you already have your router positioned at one end of your home and the signal strength is just fine on the other side, you don’t need to move it.

For maximum coverage, the router should also be high up. Placing it on the floor is the worst location possible – place it on a high shelf, if possible.
Avoid Interference

Don’t place the router on or near large metal objects, such as metal shelves or filing cabinets. These can block the signal. Metal or stone walls can also block Wi-Fi, while wood and plaster walls won’t cause any problems.

You might be able to root out other sources of interference. For example: microwave ovens, 2.4 GHz cordless phones, and 2.4 GHz baby monitors all have the potential to interfere with a 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi signal. If you have one of these devices in direct line-of-sight between a laptop and a router, they could cause your Wi-Fi to cut in and out. The solution? Move any one of them so the interfering device isn’t in between them. If you get interference from a cordless phone, you might want to purchase newer 5.8 GHz cordless phones; these work on a difference frequency band and won’t interfere with Wi-Fi.

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Choose the Best Wi-Fi Channel

If you’re in an area with many different WiFi networks — such as an apartment complex or even just a house close to other homes — your neighbors’ Wi-Fi networks are probably interfering with yours.

To minimize this, move your router further away from the other Wi-Fi access points, if you can. For example, if you’re in an apartment and have a router in the corner of your room, your neighbor’s router might be right on the other side of the wall.

But the best thing you can do is switch to a different Wi-Fi channel. You access this option on your router’s settings page — check your router’s instruction manual for instructions on how to do that. (If you don’t have the instruction manual, you can almost certainly find the instructions online.) Locate the Wi-Fi channel option in the router’s web interface and change it to a different channel with less interference.

It might take a little experimentation to find the best one, but you can get help choosing a WiFi channel using the WiFi Analyzer app for Android phones and tablets, which will monitor the Wi-Fi networks near you and recommend the least-cluttered WiFi channel for your network. Unfortunately, similar apps aren’t available for iPhone or iPad due to the limitations Apple places on app developers.

That’s it — all you really have to do is position your router well and choose the ideal Wifi channel to optimize your network. Of course, buying a new router that supports modern, improved Wifi standards may also offer you a signal strength and speed boost.

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