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How Can the Range of a Wi-Fi Network Be Boosted?


Man using laptop in garden.
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Question: How Can the Range of a Wi-Fi Network Be Boosted?
You can boost the signal range of a Wi-Fi computer network in several ways:
  • reposition your router or access point (AP) to avoid obstructions and radio interference. Both reduce the range of Wi-Fi network equipment. Common sources of interference in residences include brick or plaster walls, microwave ovens, and cordless phones. Additionally, consider changing the Wi-Fi channel number on your equipment to avoid interference.

  • upgrade the antenna on your router or access point. Wi-Fi antennas on most wireless base stations can be removed and replaced with more powerful ones.

  • add another access point (or router). Large residences typically require no more than two APs, whereas businesses may employ dozens of APs. In a home, this option requires connecting your primary wireless router (access point) to the second one with Ethernet cable; home wireless routers and/or APs don't normally communicate with each other directly.

  • add a bi-directional Wi-Fi signal amplifier to wireless devices as needed. A Wi-Fi signal amplifier (sometimes called "signal booster") attaches to a router, access point or Wi-Fi client at the place where the antenna connects. Bi-directional antennas amplify the wireless signal in both transmit and receive directions. These should be used as Wi-Fi transmissions are two-way radio communications.

  • add a Wi-Fi repeater. A wireless repeater is a stand-alone unit positioned within range of a wireless router or access point. Repeaters (sometimes called "range expanders") serve as a two-way relay station for Wi-Fi signals. Clients too far away from the original router or AP can instead associate with the same local wireless network through the repeater.

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