Just a quick post on some of the simple things you can do to boost the WiFi signal around your house if it’s not quite reaching some parts:
Look at your equipment
Are your router and wireless receivers up to date? I gained a massive amount of extra coverage simply by getting a new MiFi dongle router from 3 and a couple of new WiFi adapters all of which use the latest Wireless N (802.11n) specification which is stronger and faster than the 802.11b or g you might already have.
Re-position your router
Try to avoid placing your router in a corner or in some position where it’s signal might be blocked by obstacles or interfered with by competing wireless signals, ie cordless phones, tv senders, etc..Place it centrally in the house to have the best chance of covering everywhere. A high position is good too. I’ve put mine in the attic for maximum height and also because there are less walls there, none in fact! The signal then only has to go through the ceiling which is a lot thinner then walls.
Tip: if you use mobile broadband and know where your local mast is, you may have to trade off between WiFi reach and best signal/broadband speed. Placing your mobile router in a position in the house nearest the mast will increase it’s speed and signal but you might lose WiFi at the other end of the house.
Edit your router settings
You’ll have a control panel or program to manage your router or adapter settings, one thing you can do is to look for a “TX” settings page and change the values here. TX is the transmit power of your router and they are normally set quite low from the factory. A good setting seems to be about 70mW. Don;t go too high here or you’ll burn your router! It’s a bit like overclocking a cpu.
If you suspect interference from another wireless device or neighbour’s router even you can try changing your WiFi channel. 6 is normally the default so try another few and re-measure each time. Here’s a handy browser tool to help you chose the best channel –http://tools.meraki.com/stumbler#q=
Tip: If you live in the country like I do with no-one around you, you might consider turning off WiFi encryption/protection and leave it open. Open networks are faster.
You could buy a repeater and use it to bounce your existing signal further or re-commission an old router and convert it to a repeater by re-flashing the firmware with DD-WRT.
Here’s a few funky DIY boosting projects you could try too: