There’s a good chance you’re reading this post through your Wi-Fi signal, which is a type of wireless network, that is, wireless networks. And if so, chances are that every now and then, when you need it most, it won’t work as well as you’d like.
But there are some very simple steps you can take to strengthen your apartment’s Wi-Fi signal, so you can increase your signal range and increase your connection speed! Not bad, huh!
We often think of Wi-Fi networks as virtual signs that fill all our everyday spaces. In fact, they are very physical signals that can be blocked or spread across walls, other electronic devices, and even people.
That’s why sometimes your Wi-Fi signal doesn’t work very well in some places in your apartment.
As proof of that fact, take a look at the Wi-Fi map that physics student Jason Cole made of his apartment:
Physics student Jason Cole Wi-Fi map.
Notice how strong the Wi-Fi signal is in the room and how the distance and walls make it lose strength.
Here are some tips on how to improve your apartment’s Wi-Fi today!
Here are nine tips for boosting your Wi-Fi signal.
1. Place your router in the center of your apartment
A router sends signals in all directions, so placing it in a corner of your apartment, or near a window, means that a significant amount of your signal is wasted.
It is almost never possible to place the router in the center of the apartment, but testing this hypothesis, see how the same study proved that the more to the center, the better.
The central positioning of the router to improve the Wi-Fi signal.
You can only have a network connection at a farther point, with the help of long network cables which can be quite cheap, so you have more freedom to move your router.
2. Get your router off the ground
The ground is a place that bars Wi-Fi signals.
There are two reasons why it’s not good to have your router directly on the ground.
One is that most routers are designed to transmit signals slightly downward as they travel across their antenna.
Also, they cannot easily penetrate some solid materials such as metal, concrete, and cement. Consider this especially if you live in a duplex apartment.
As a result, experts recommend placing your router slightly above the floor – perhaps on a desk or bookcase.
3. Put the router in the place where you usually use the internet
Regardless of where you place your router, the signal will be stronger in the room it is in. So you can (and should) place it in a location that is relatively close to the center of your apartment and that is a region that you frequently use devices connected to the Wi-Fi signal.
Your Netflix even thanks!
4. Keep your router outdoors for better Wi-Fi signal distribution
Position your router in a location where the signal can pass freely.
Because the signal from the router can be absorbed by many objects, so you have to keep it out in the open, with minimal stuff around. In other words, don’t hide it in a booth or put it in the middle of a bunch of electronics.
The signal travels best in open air. So, do this simple test: make sure you can see the router from afar and from many different angles. If yes, everything is great!
5. Keep the router away from other electronic devices
All kinds of electronic devices can interfere with your router’s signal: microwaves, TVs, cordless phones – essentially anything that generates an electromagnetic signal or has a motor. That’s why placing the router between electronics in your apartment is not a good idea.
Large metal objects (such as a refrigerator) and water (such as an aquarium) can also block the signal and should be avoided.
6. Position one antenna vertically and one horizontally
Because the router’s signal spreads in the direction perpendicular to the antennas, then conventional wisdom shows that vertically oriented antennas will transmit the signal horizontally.
Adjusting the position of the antennas can improve your Wi-Fi signal.
This is true, but you can do better by positioning your device’s antennas in an “L” shape to boost the signal. Most notebooks have internal antennas horizontally, but on a phone or tablet, they might be positioned differently depending on how you’re holding them.
By placing one router’s antenna in a vertical position, and another in a horizontal position, you can cover all of your bases, while still spreading the signal as widely as possible in your apartment.
7. Measure signal strength
There are a number of apps, such as Cloudcheck or Amped Wi-Fi Analytics, that allow you to map the Wi-Fi signal throughout your apartment and find out where it is weak. This can give you some clues as to how to best position your router.
This is more valid if you have a large apartment with several rooms. If not, do item #1 and everything will be fine.
8. Configure the router software
In some cases, there are adjustments in the router’s software that you can make to improve your Wi-Fi network by lowering frequencies that can cause interference.
To configure the software, you usually need to type a specific IP address into your browser (see the bottom of the router or look on the vendor’s website). Once you’re in the settings, there are two useful things you can try.
One is changing the channel the router operates on. This is not a problem for newer routers, but older ones can often experience interference with each other (especially in condominiums with many apartments), and changing the frequency channel is one way to solve it. These older routers operated on different frequencies numbered 1-14 and channels 1, 6, and 11 are generally better because they overlap at least one other channel, causing less interference. The default is usually channel 6, and if you’re having signal issues, try each one until you find the best channel.
Another option is to update the router’s software (which is called firmware). This won’t be possible for all routers, but for some older ones, manufacturers release free firmware updates over time, and these can improve performance. Search for news for your model of your router.
9. If all else fails, buy a nice new router
If you’re still experiencing network issues that haven’t been resolved by one of these tips, buying a new router can make a huge difference because the technology for transmitting signals has changed so much over the years.
As you saw in item #4, your router should be more exposed. So, let it be a beautiful one that matches your apartment!
The router will be exposed, so it can be used in a harmonious way with the rest of the home decor.
Finally, to increase the range of your router, you can buy a repeater. Signal repeaters are devices that pick up the signal and retransmit it. This won’t increase your total bandwidth, but it will extend your signal range, which is super useful, almost mandatory in very large apartments, like the 180º Onze Ibirapuera.