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How to get a stronger Wi-Fi signal

stronger wifiWireless networks can provide a very rewarding experience. Because no one likes to carry his/her device around while having it connected to a long wire, isn't it? And yet, there are times when the Wi-Fi signal is too weak, making the connection reset over and over, providing Internet download speeds that remind us of the old dial-up network connections, or leading to lots of other problems.

This is bad news indeed, but fortunately there are several solutions that can help you get a stronger wireless signal without breaking the bank. Here are the most effective ones, according to George Hardesty, a Data Alliance representative.

"The process begins by analyzing the existing hardware equipment – mostly, the router. For best results, you should place it in a central location of your house, away from any walls and obstructions, and as close to the ceiling as possible.

The next step is to upgrade your router's firmware. Most manufacturers offer patches regularly, fixing security bugs, adding new features to their products, and increasing data transfer speeds. Modern routers can be updated easily, by firing up their dedicated mobile apps. If you own an older router, you can still update it by visiting its maker's website, and then downloading and installing the firmware manually.

Your neighbors utilize wireless networks as well, and their routers are probably using the default Wi-Fi channels. So, ensure that your network uses the least crowded wireless channel which is available. It's easy to determine it by making use of one of the many Wi-Fi analyzer apps that can be installed on your smart phone. By picking the least crowded channel for your router, wireless signal strength can increase a lot.

If these methods don't provide the expected results, it may be time to purchase a modern router, which can make use of the 802.11ac Wave 2 protocol. While Wave 1 routers have significantly improved signal strength, Wave 2 devices are much better, because they also include MU-MIMO features which have the potential to double wireless data transfer speeds. This is possible because with Wave 2 devices, channel width has been increased from 80 MHz to 160 MHz.

New routers also offer additional features that may come in handy, as well as bug fixes that will prevent villains from getting access to your Wi-Fi network. It is true that the first products which utilize the newest 802.11ax wireless standard should be released within a year or so, but if you need a better signal today, 802.11ac Wave 2 is your best bet.

Sometimes you may have problems with a single device, which utilizes an outdated Wi-Fi adapter. Maybe you have grown attached to the laptop you've gotten as a birthday present several years ago, for example. Or maybe you aren't ready to purchase a new one, because your money is better spent elsewhere. In this case, you should purchase a modern Wi-Fi adapter for your old laptop. These dongles aren't expensive, and often times perform much better in comparison with the original wireless modules.

Of course, if you have a large home, or if dead Wi-Fi zones are a serious problem, you may need to invest some money into a wireless mesh network. This system consists of a few routers that are able to communicate with each other seamlessly, and thus increase Wi-Fi signal range way beyond the limits of a single router. It's definitely the best solution for people who can't get a strong wireless signal."

As you can see, there are several effective methods that will help increase wireless signal strength. Start by applying the first methods, which don't require a financial investment, and then, if they don't work as expected, move on to the ones that may cost some money, but are guaranteed to deliver much better results.