How To Extend Your WiFi Range?

When your home wireless network goes down without notice, it’s inconvenient. Wireless black spots and downtime can be caused by a variety of problems, including clogged infrastructure, faulty routers, and even thick walls. However, excellent Wi-Fi connections do not need to be difficult to find. Want to know more about extending your WiFi range? Then read our in-depth guide explaining everything about this topic.

Ben Grindlow

Ben Grindlow is the founder of ProXPN, a company that provides reviews about VPN products and services. Ben's interest in cybersecurity and privacy led him to start ProXPN, which has become one of the most well-respected VPN providers in the world. Ben is passionate about his work, and he is constantly exploring new ways to improve ProXPN's in-depth guides.

Last updated: 9:09AM 6/17/2022

ProXPN Expert Picks

4.9/5
3.5/5
4.9/5
3.5/5
4.9/5
3.5/5

Table of Contents

World's leading & most secure VPN provider

🔥 Save 60%! 🔥

Since people have begun to work at home more, reliable Wi-Fi in every area of the house has become more and more of a priority. Since the invention of the wireless network, this has been a problem and while there has frequently been an upgrade of technology to help with this, the latest Wi-Fi standard has actually made this problem worse due to the higher frequency used to avoid interference.

There are many factors that determine your wifi range, from the type of router to the number of walls in your home, and there are just as many options to extend the range. Some of these involve buying new hardware such as a range extender, while others are much cheaper to try.

Networking services are complicated but support is available. Hopefully, this article will deliver answers to some of your questions concerning how to push your Wi-Fi range to its limit.

Free ways to extend your range

While new hardware, such as a range extender or a new router, would absolutely fix your wi-fi coverage, it is worth trying a few home ‘hacks’ before you go and buy potentially expensive equipment.

The location of the router

The first thing you should do is to try moving the existing router. If you have an external antenna, it may be helpful to change its position, but this is unlikely to be the case unless you are using a router with beamforming. Failing that, you can physically move the router to another location.

A lot of things can cause interference with the signals from the router, and moving it can prevent this. Many routers are placed somewhere out of the way, but in reality, the router should be in a central location, preferably away from walls that could cause disrupt the signal. I good rule of thumb is to try to maintain a line of sight on your router for the best connection.

You should also avoid devices such as microwave ovens or baby monitors as these can cause interference and so weaken the signal. While this does not technically allow you to transmit the signal for a greater distance, it will confer many of the same benefits.

Unfortunately, depending on the location of your access point, this may not be possible. But there are still several other things you can try!

Update your firmware

Technology is constantly improving, but not all of these improvements are dependent on hardware. Software also has a part to play. If you have an old router, the firmware could be out of date. Installing updates on your existing router may help increase its performance and allow for a more reliable wireless network.

Ideally, you want your router to be running 802.11ac or 802.11ax, and you can find out by looking in the connection section of the product description. If it does not have these listed, you should install an update.

Aluminum foil

Perhaps one of the most ‘out there’ suggestions is to put aluminum foil behind your wifi router. It may seem ridiculous, but doing this reflects the wireless signal off the foil and so increases the signal strength from the router and improves wifi coverage.

Increase your data transfer speed

Although not technically increasing your wifi range, maximizing the speed of your wi-fi can help you make the most of even a weak signal. There are several ways to do this.

Change your Wi-Fi channel

Changing your Wi-Fi channel can have a huge impact on your internet speed. Different Wi-Fi standards can use a different number of channels with the most common standard – IEEE 802.11ac – using up to eight channels, although most home users will only use around 3.

That said if you live in a highly-populated area, and a large number of your neighbors are using the same channel as you, albeit on other networks, this can cause a large amount of interference on your network, thereby reducing your rate of data transfer.

To configure your wifi router, you should navigate to your router’s settings. This is normally done by typing in your router’s IP address and you will have to sign in. Once you sign in, you should be able to adjust multiple settings including this one.

Keep devices on your network to a minimum

How many devices do you have at home? How many of these are connected to the internet? The chances are, there are more than you think. Other devices connecting to the router, even if it is just your phone to update your emails, can produce a lot of traffic on the network and slow down your data transfer rate. Don’t sign devices onto your network unless you actually need them to connect to the web.

Not only will disconnecting devices from the web when you are not using them help your bandwidth and speed, but it will also improve the battery life of these devices.

Consider using the 5Ghz frequency

While the 5Ghz frequency does have more of an issue passing through objects and so may not be suitable in all cases, it is both faster and has less traffic than the more common 2 GHz. If obstacles are not an issue that could affect your Wi-Fi, then if you have an 802.11ac- or 802.11ax-compatible router, using the 5Ghz frequency band may be the solution for you.

Upgrade your equipment

If all else fails, it’s possible to dramatically boost your wifi coverage by purchasing new equipment. There are a few different options that may be able to help you.

Get a new wireless router

If your wifi router is old, it may be worth replacing it. Modern routers have far superior performance than older versions. Some routers even have more than one antenna that allows them to use beamforming technology to shape the signals to better suit your home.

Get WiFi Extenders

One of the cheapest ways to extend your wifi range is to get a Wifi or range extender. While you can install these using long ethernet cables, the simplest way to do this is via a power line. This type tends to come in a pair; simply plug one in close to your router, and another in the area where users are finding it difficult to connect. Once you pair the devices, these will boost your wifi coverage in this area. Some versions even come with the ability to plug in an ethernet cable so you don’t have to rely solely on wireless networks. You can even add more of these if you have more than one location that has poor wifi coverage

While the advantage of these is obvious, they are not always an option. Whether they are suitable or not depends on the type of power line in your home.

On top of this, they tend to mean slower speeds as your bandwidth is shared by the extender and all of the devices connected to it. That said, if the main problem you are facing for coverage is the distance from the router, then this may be the perfect option to increase the range of your network.

Get WiFi Repeaters

A Wi-Fi repeater is a device that is capable of extending the range of your Wi-Fi by essentially giving you a second Wi-Fi router. In fact, a repeater contains two routers. It uses half of its antennae to receive the transmission from the Wi-Fi router. This signal is then transferred to the other half of the antennae, which boosts the signal.

This will essentially create a second Wi-Fi network in your home. While this increases your coverage, your computer will not automatically switch from one to the other unless you go completely out of range.

Installing this is easy. Simply plug it in then connect to it from your computer. You can then input the password for your wifi and the repeater will start broadcasting the network.

Do not place this in the area users are having trouble connecting, however. It should be placed in an area where your laptop can connect, but not where it is at full strength. It will only work once it is connected to your home network and must, therefore, be able to reach the router.

Conclusion

Our society runs on the services that the web offers. Whether you use your home network to run a fortune five hundred company or simply to watch cat videos on Youtube, you rely on good coverage within your home.

There are many ways to extend your wi-fi range. Which one will work best for you depends on the type of property you live in, the area in which you live, exactly what you use the internet for, and how much money you have to spend.

New hardware can deliver great coverage and will generally need less maintenance than old hardware but can be expensive. There are several free options that can save you money and still deliver high-quality networking services.

If you follow the tips in this article, you should be able to watch videos on Youtube from anywhere in your home in no time.

Frequently asked questions

Here are the top six ways to extend your Wi-Fi network:

  1. Move your current router to a better location.
  2. Purchase a new, improved router.
  3. If you don’t already have one, buy a Wi-Fi mesh kit.
  4. Purchase a Wi-Fi extender/booster if necessary.
  5. Purchase a Wi-Fi powerline networking adapter set.
  6. Select the 2.4 GHz option instead of 5 GHz.

A router can broadcast a signal within a 150-foot radius (depending on the sort of router you have). Boosters, extenders, and repeaters may extend your Wi-Fi signal up to 2,500 feet.

Wi-Fi extenders can, in fact, improve the range of your wireless network. However, their efficacy is limited by a variety of factors, including the speed of the internet connection that enters your home, the distance to your router, the areas of your property requiring WiFi coverage, and the needs of your family when it comes to WiFi.

You’ll also want to think about how the various stories are covered if you live in a multistory home. The ideal position for a two-story house will be either near the ceiling on the first floor or near the floor on the second, ensuring consistent coverage from top to bottom.

There are a few options to choose from, starting at $30 and going all the way up to $140. What exactly did we discover? WiFi extenders can, in fact, expand your wireless network’s range.

Protect your digital privacy and stay safe on the internet

Curious about our privacy experts' picks?