Extend your Wi-Fi range of your Network

Getting more range out of your wireless networking gear can be a challenge, but it isn’t impossible. Here are some pointers on how to extended your Wi-Fi range.

First if you are planning on getting a new wireless router 802.11b or g, forget it, get the 802.11n models if you can afford it instead. You can never be upto date and if your planning on transferring data within your own network aswell then 802.11n gear is what you need.

Now if you already have a 802.11b/g router, dont worry, if you have problems with signal strength or get cutoff intermittently, the first thing to try is moving the router. Best spot is at the highest most central point of your house (unless you live in the basement).

Remember, the signal needs to travel through walls, metal, interference form other wireless devices and the signal can get week easily. So now you tried moving the router around, still not much of an improvement? Try a Range Extender or replace the small original antenna on your router with a high-gain antenna replacement which is cost effective.

Ensure if possible that your PC or Notebook connecting to the router is using the same wireless version, meaning if you buy a 802.11n model router, your laptop or PC should have a 802.11n adapter in it otherwise your going to default to a lower speed.

If you find that the location isnt the issue, try change channels in your router’s firewall configuration screen. You’ll find a “Wireless Channel” setting in the wireless configuration portion of your router. Most routers default to channel 6, or 11, but if your neighbors are all on channel 6, then you might be seeing slow speed and lower range due to interference. Try one of the other channels (start with 3, 1, and 11) to see if you get a better signal with them.

Sample router config screens from D-Link and LinkSys

I also recommend you try the online speed test services to measure your download speeds and verify the Internet service provider is supplying you the expected amount of bandwidth. These tools will also help you measure the results of performance tweaking your network setup.

Here is a list of tweaks for your Web Browser:
For Firefox performance tweaks click here
For IE7 performance tweaks click here

Here is a list of free speed test providers:
Speedtest.net Global Broadband Speed Test

Dslreports.com Speed Tests

CNET Bandwidth Meter

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