How to Extend Your Home Wi-Fi Signal

How to Extend Your Home Wi-Fi SignalWireless networking in our homes and workplaces has become the new normal for the way we connect to the Internet. No longer are we limited to a wired connection and we now enjoy the freedom to roam our homes and offices with the Internet at our fingertips. One of the problems that many of us have experienced is the limited range that our wireless router provides. This article will attempt to help you rectify the situation and increase the range of your Wi-Fi connection.

One of the simplest ways to strengthen your wireless signal is to use a wireless range extender (aka repeater) to your wireless network. A repeater needs to be placed within range of your current router and will increase the range of your current Wi-Fi signal. I bought a Netgear Universal Wi-Fi Range Extender (refurbished) at Amazon for $39.99. the main reason I bought this unit was because it plugs directly into a free electrical outlet. This product did extend and improve my Wi-Fi signal to the master bedroom at the rear of our home.

There are some wireless router firmwares that you can try if your current router is supported. At DD-WRT firmware or Tomato firmware, you may be able to increase your router’s transmitting strength. However, not all versions of routers are supported, so check the list before trying to install either firmware.

Another trick to increase the transmission signal is to add a better antenna. I have done this on my D-Link router and it did work. I purchased the D-Link 2.4 GHz Omni-directional 7 dBi Indoor Antenna, also from Amazon, to increase the coverage in my home and to include my outside deck and it did work. You are most likely wondering why I needed an antenna and a range expander. I bought the antenna to expand the signal for my laptop systems. But now that my wife and I have tablet computers, we needed these to function in the bedroom as well.

You can also try a free software solution to determine where in your home or office a signal can be obtained. The free program is called inSSIDer, and it is very useful to locate the strongest signal in a particular location. The program can also assist you in determining the best placement of an antenna to obtain the best signal transmission rate.

Trying any of these methods should help you to increase the Wi-Fi coverage in your home and office.

Comments welcome.

Image Source: inSSIDer

Article Written by

I have been writing for LockerGnome since relocating to Missouri seven years ago, where I continue to be a technology enthusiast who enjoys playing with the newest and latest gadgets.

  • http://www.techmansworld.com/ Michael Hazell

    Affiliate codes are tacked onto the Amazon link. I thought you guys didn’t do affiliate advertising…

    • http://chris.pirillo.com/ Chris Pirillo

      Says who?

      • http://www.techmansworld.com/ Michael Hazell

        Something on your promotions page I believe. At first I thought it was one of Disqus’ new technologies that they were launching but it’s an actual lockergnome tagged link. I am assuming you guys get a cut from any potential purchase?

    • http://chris.pirillo.com/ Chris Pirillo

      Says who?

  • FGP

    Hi Chris, one (maybe two) question for you.. If I use and extender, how bad will the speed drop would be?
    Could I use airplay if my apple tv and say iphone are connected to the extender rather than the main router?
    thanks!!

    • Dane Reynolds

      Hey, I read your question and thought of my network setup.

      I’m in the UK so naturally my WiFi sucks… but I recently had to add an extender.

      And there isn’t ‘much’ of a difference, let me try and draw a picture for you

      “router’- ‘extender’-'network switch’ (Xbox, laptop, NAS, sky).

      Even with all this with the extender it all works fine.
      One other thing you could try is an access point.

  • dwick_OR

    Another option that has worked well for me was to set up a wireless client-bridge with a 2nd router. Routers these days can often be had for less than stand-alone repeaters or range extenders – although you’ll want to research beforehand as not all routers necessarily support this mode. DD-WRT on the secondary router did the trick for me (the DD-WRT website has an excellent Wiki) Not only did the client-bridge extend the range of my wireless network, it allowed me to wire in a couple desktop PCs into the secondary router (NOTE: for best results, assign static IP addresses to systems connected to the secondary router)

  • Linda Blair

    You two need computer so you can function in the bedroom??? What, you have to watch a video to show you how to function?