Current WiFi routers, and especially those who give operators, are valid for a large majority of households in terms of signal strength and coverage is concerned. However, just to have a fairly large flat, with many physical obstacles between the router and us, or simply live in one of several plants, these same routers can give us many problems to use in all areas of the house. Later we will explain how to assemble, for the most extreme cases, signal repeaters in charge of amplifying our signal at distances where a single router might never come. However, there are cases where coverage problems do not require complicate us so much, and just apply some simple solutions can improve the quality of the signal to go further and cover areas that we did not reach before.
Here we show you some tips and tricks to improve the quality of our WiFi signal without having more than a router or invest large amounts of money.
Correctly diagnosed the problem
Step 1. Analyze the situation well
Although it seems a bit ridiculous when we have problems with our WiFi network coverage is important to study exactly how it is affecting us and, above all, what are the most critical places. It is interesting to draw a map of our house and go visiting each of the rooms with our laptop to scoring the quality of the signal we are getting at each location.
For this task we have plenty of possibilities. From look at the signal indicator and link speed that show the details of the Windows network connection, to support us in earnings as WirelessNetView. This program, less than 100 Kbytes, shows a list of wireless networks detected around us with interesting information about them. We have only to look at the SSID of our WiFi network and go noting how varies the percentage of signal strength that reaches every part of the house.
The speed quantify now we do not care because we know that as the signal quality does not degrade speed and not always linear. Based on a 40-30% signal quality work standards g / n, speed suffer constant oscillations and stability of the connection will be compromised by constant packet forwarding to correct errors produced.
Step 2. Potential sources of interference
Once we have the coverage map of our home and we clearly detected which locations are the most problematic, we must look at the results for possible fateful points. If the worst affected areas are those that are furthest from the WiFi router is clear that distance is an issue that must be solved by expanding or improving the signal. However, we must be vigilant to detect figures out of the ordinary.
For example, if we see an area of the house the signal goes further in one direction than the other, or is specifically very bad in a room that is relatively close to the router. This kind of strange behavior may be due to external effects that are disturbing the signal of 2.4 GHz our WiFi. Microwaves affect the frequency band of 2.4 GHz (lucky you are in the kitchen and used only a fraction of the time), as well as those who have activated Bluetooth devices nearby WiFi and even cordless phones digital (DECT). Indeed, the latter are a common source of problems (curiously more certain brands such as Panasonic), should keep them as far away as we can from the router. Thus, a DECT wireless connected by the router can be the cause of instability and cuts, especially when the handset is in use.
Finally, and depending on where we reside, we can be influenced by external factors. If our house is located next to a government building, we may have problems with WiFi signals by inhibitors of frequencies that are installed in that kind of place. The same if we are very near repeaters telephony, power generators or surrounded by many other points WiFi located in the neighborhood. These are extreme cases, but are given, and in these situations is virtually impossible to optimize the signal because of external factors. There is only change band or technology. We shall see that changing the broadcast channel we can try to solve some of these scenarios effectively.
Setting the Router
Step 3. Transmission power
After analyzing the problem, we will begin to improve as far as possible the scope of our router, beginning with its settings, and following techniques involving change its location or install new antennas. Focusing on the settings, and while not a panacea, some WiFi routers can adjust the transmission power of the wireless module from its interface configuration. The usefulness of this adjustment is to reduce the signal strength when we are very close to the device. However, depending on the model, this value may come not set by default to 100% power, so change it can make us win some coverage so incredibly easy. To prove just have to access the web configuration router (gateway tucking in your browser and using the username / password specified by the user), and search the Wireless settings section similar to Transmit Power option.
Step 4. relay mode
The next setting that can help us to scratch a few meters to our coverage is the type of wireless transmission. First, we can ask directly activate 802.11b mode, but not go to that extreme, it is interesting to make the router work alone in the way that we really need, even at the cost of losing compatibility with older standards. For example, if all our devices support 802.11n, so we activate only in the router configuration.
Another interesting setting requires check if your device offers dual band. It is still rare, and only be found in some models, but if our unit (and laptops we use) allows transmission in the 5 GHz instead of the usual 2.4 GHz, we will charge us a stroke any quality problem signal produced by interference from other networks or systems operating at 2.4 GHz.
We also have other really advanced settings such as the Fragmentation Threshold or RTS Threshold, which allows us to act on the behavior of network-level packet data. However, changing these parameters will scratch improvements only in very specific conditions, and possibilities for things worse are quite high, so our recommendation is not to change its parameters.
802.11b standard even with great potential
When we look back and remember how a few years ago were using WiFi 802.11b networks with a speed of 11 Mbps, we pokes a slight smile as we realize how much we've evolved when compared with its 300 Mbps 802.11n. However, the 802.11b standard still used today more than we imagine despite its low rate of transfer.
There are several reasons for this, but one of them is that it allows more wireless coverage than g / n standard with a single router and same transmission power and antennae, albeit at the cost of the transfer fee. Indeed, while for internal transfers from computer to computer 11 Mbps maximum offering stay really short, if we only use WiFi to surf the Internet and our router remains somewhat short of coverage or offers an unstable connection, one of the first solutions you can try is to change the standard 802.11b. If our ADSL line is 10 Mbps or less, we should notice a decrease in performance and in return, yes improved stability and range of the signal in places where 802.11g / n standard may not arrived well .
Select the optimal means
Step 5. Locate the occupied channels
Before we mentioned that one of the sources of interference and poor performance of a WiFi access point may be the presence of other nearby wireless networks. If we find that we are operating in a radio channel highly saturated our signal may have trouble reaching the whole house, so that a simple change channel can help a lot.
In these cases the first thing to do is scan the airwaves and discover all these networks and channels they are using. For this, we recommend the inSSIDer utility. Once installed, it will show a list of all wireless networks detected with a long list of advanced data such as broadcast channels each of nearby WiFi routers.
Step 6. Choose the best means
If we connect to the configuration interface of your router in the options WiFi network, with basic values as the SSID name, should find a section called Wireless Channel in which we can select the broadcasting of our network. In many models this option is checked automatically to be the router to detect without the least congested channel and act accordingly. However, do not Lonely this function because its results in many models are quite disappointing. Therefore, it is best to manually select our channel according to the data we obtained in the previous step.
Channels that are in the WiFi routers in Europe ranging from 1 to 13, which are operating between 2,401 and 2,483 MHz. The problem is that each channel has a width of 22 MHz, so that in fact, some are step on others in certain frequencies. To keep things simple with complex explanations, we will say that the only channels that do not interfere with each other ever are 1, 7 and 13. They should be our first choice whenever we have several in use and seek some that are free. In the event that we are surrounded by points WiFi and all or most of the canals are occupied, we have to use a different strategy, identifying points farthest reach from our position (with lower transmission power) to use their channels in our area.
The best location for your router
Step 7. When should change its position
In Step 1 we drew the plane of our home and were checking the situation room by room. Well, if we return that plane and you look at the distribution of our house and the position currently occupied by the router, you may quickly jump to the view that is not in the correct location.
Keep in mind that the antennas included by default (802.11n MIMO is a special case) are fully omnidirectional, meaning that send the signal exactly the same in all directions. If we have the router in the living room, and this room is right at one end of the house, will be sending half of our neighbor signal and having trouble reaching the opposite end of our own home. In these cases, look for a new location to distribute more evenly the WiFi signal. Even if we live in a house with several floors, maybe a good solution passes place the router in an intermediate plant for the signal to reach both downstairs and upstairs, but considering that just below the router is where we probably have the worst signal quality.
Step 8. Place your router with precision
Apart from the above, and with choosing a location centered in our home, it is also important to select the site and the materials that surround the router if coverage is a sensitive issue. A good position may be the top of a cabinet, as little is aesthetically see the cables, and quality are raising the sender so that the signal is distributed in the best way possible. What always avoid is placing the equipment on the ground, inside furniture or cabinets only thing they'll do is attenuate the signal, and even in false ceilings. The latter, used by quite a few interior architects, offers a perfect aesthetic, but it is the best way to degrade the signal of our WiFi equipment.
Finally, we must consider the obstacles surrounding the router, since a typical brick wall can attenuate the signal between 3 and 6 dB according to their thickness and internal material. Therefore, the more free from obstacles are, the better. Yes, external antennas should always be at 90 degrees to the ground, and we must never let them lying down or folded.
Consider the option of changing the antennas
Step 9. What you will achieve by changing the antenna?
If all this has not solved our problem of coverage before reaching the final solution (mount a repeater), we can consider installing higher gain antennas. It is an increasingly rare option, as currently access points feature (not removable), or worse, fixed internal antennas. In these cases we have no choice to install higher gain antennas, unless we are very hands and dare to open the router and solder some wires. However, if our router allows easy disassembly of antennas and connecting other series, is what we will get the transmission power amplified and varying the manner in which the radio signal is split.
The amplification is shown in dBi, and with 8-10 dBi value and will be making more than tangible results. It is not an expensive expansion (from 10-15 euros antennas have reasonable quality), and the results can be more than surprising. For routers with detachable antennas, installation is as simple as unscrewing the old and screw the new one.
Antenna WiFi router
Step 10. Select the appropriate antenna for your home
On the Internet we can find many online stores that sell us antennas for WiFi access points (www.maswifi.com, www.comprawifi.com, www.muchowifi.com, etc.). When choosing a have to look at their level of amplification (8 dBi onwards), and, above all, of its kind. The most interest us are omnidirectional, which distribute the signal 360 degrees, but we also have directional (yagi, panel, satellite, etc.), which send the signal in a particular direction. For a home, where we are interested in the signal reaches all places except specific installations, flee from the latter and always look for an omnidirectional.