3 hacks to improve your WiFi strength

Being too far away from your wireless router is a problem. (Pixabay pic)

Now that Malaysia is offering faster, cheaper internet, perhaps it is time to upgrade your old system. Or maybe you just need to fix poor signal problems with your WiFi at home.

Regardless of how much you’re paying and how fast your service is supposed to be, signal problems get in the way of your internet experience, causing dropped Skype calls, interrupted downloads, stuttered streaming, and frustrating surfing.

The cause of your bad WiFi signal can be any of the following:

1. You’re too far away

Simply, you’re too far away from your wireless router. Most basic, low-powered routers only have a short signal range of about 30 metres or so. The further away you are, the weaker your connection.

Your device might not even detect your WiFi if you’re outside of the effective signal range.

2. Your house is a fortress

Certain construction materials can block your WiFi signal. (Pixabay pic)

Barriers within your home will weaken or even cut off the effective signal of your wireless router. Construction materials like stone, metal mesh, and plaster will dampen the signal, causing blind spots in areas in your house.

3. You’re experiencing interference

Certain home devices can interfere with your wifi signal. (Pixabay pic)

The more WiFis in your area, the busier the airspace, and the higher the chances of interference that will weaken your wireless signal.

Most other home WiFis will be operating within the same frequency as your own, which will cause this issue.

Other wireless devices like cordless phones and even microwaves use the same frequency and will get in the way of your WiFi when active.

4. You have parasites

Parasites could be using up your broadband. (Pixabay pic)

Quite simply, other people are secretly piggybacking off your WiFi. Of course, the more people using your signal, the slower your internet connection gets.

They might even be hogging the bandwidth with their usage or high volume downloads.

Fixing these problems and boosting your signal is simple. 

1. Smart placement

Experiment with placing to get the best WiFi signal. (Pixabay pic)

Placing your router strategically and free of physical obstruction can dramatically improve your WiFi connection.

Instead of stashing it in a corner, on the floor or behind the TV just to get it out of sight, follow the VOICE principal:

  • Have its antenna pointing Vertically. WiFi signals are transmitted through the sides of your router’s antenna, so having them upright maximises the coverage.
  • Stay away from Obstructions like behind a TV or furniture, metal objects, thick walls or fixtures.
  • Stay away from Interference such as other electronics or other routers. Besides trying to figure out where your neighbour puts their router, you can configure your own to operate on a different channel to eliminate interference.
  • Be in a Central position, to ensure even and maximum coverage of the effective signal.
  • Be in an Elevated position, such as on top of a cupboard, to get the best signal. Apparently, WiFi signals also travel better downwards and sideways.

2. Boost power

There are many hacks to boost wifi strength. (Pixabay pic)

You can purchase a more powerful router or set up separate boosters and repeaters to juice up the signal to get past your home’s structural barriers, or you can try homemade hacks to give your signal more power.

There are various software that can boost your router’s power, as well as physical hacks that look wacky but apparently work.

This includes extending the wireless antenna with copper wires, and using tinfoil or a metal kitchen strainer to create a makeshift booster.

3. Secure your internet

Ensure a strong password to deflect freeloaders. (Pixabay pic)

Slough off those parasitic users by ensuring your WiFi is password protected. This will eliminate the freeloaders enjoying your internet.

If you do get a more powerful wireless router, you can configure the distance and area of coverage to only include your home as well as set a limit on the number of devices that can connect to and use the signal.

This article first appeared in Kaodim.

One of Southeast Asia’s fastest growing local services platform, Kaodim connects users to dependable and professional local service providers – fast and hassle-free. With the Kaodim app, users can access professional services for home renovation, office cleaning, and much more.