Wireless routers use RF frequencies to communicate with other wireless devices. Minimizing interference from other RF devices can improve your WiFi network performance.
- Cordless Phones
When in use, a 2.4GHz cordless phone can cause a drop in your WiFi network’s performance. You could also experience a decline in the phone’s sound quality. Using a 900MHz or 5GHz cordless phone can help you avoid signal degradation.
- Microwave Ovens
WiFi performance can be adversely affected when transmitting within 10-15 feet of a running microwave. Setting your router to channel 1 can help reduce interference.
Because they can reflect radio signals, metallic items within your household can reduce WiFi performance. Common household sources include metal studs, nails and foil-backed insulation.
Extending WiFi Range
Aside from minimizing interference, there are several considerations that could extend your WiFi network’s range.
- Location, Location, Location
Placing your wireless router or access point in a centralized location in your home will help increase the range of your network. Also, avoid placing your router behind high-density materials like concrete or brick, as radio signals cannot easily penetrate these.
- Replace Router Antenna
Most WiFi routers use omni-directional antennas, meaning the signal is broadcast in every direction. If your router is not centralized in your home, you may be wasting WiFi range. If compatible with your router, upgrade to a hi-gain antenna, which will focus the signal in one direction. Then aim the antenna in the direction you need it most.
- Install Wireless Repeaters
A wireless repeater will extend your WiFi range without additional wiring. Simply place the repeater within the router’s range for an immediate increase in signal strength. Linksys and D-Link offer such products.
- Add WiFi Access Points
If your home is already wired, adding additional WiFi access points where you are experiencing “dead spots” is one of the best ways to increase range. You’ll need to connect each access point to your main router with ethernet cable.