Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Increasing the range of your WiFi router without changing

Increasing the range of your WiFi router without changing

The WiFi routers today, and especially those who give operators are valid for a large majority of households in terms of signal strength and coverage is concerned. However, as soon as we have a fairly large flat, with lots of physical obstacles between the router and we, or simply live in a multi-storey, these same routers can give us many problems to use them all areas of the house. Later we will explain how to set up, for the most extreme cases, signal repeaters that handle amplify our signal at distances where a single router may 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 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 noting the quality of the signal we are getting at each location.
For this task we have plenty of possibilities. From look at the indicator signal and link speed to show us the details of the Windows network connection, to support us in earnings as WirelessNetView . This program, less than 100 Kbytes, shows a list of detected wireless networks around us with interesting information about them. We have only to look at the SSID of our WiFi network and go noting how Rocks percentage of signal strength that reaches every part of the house.
The speed did not matter to quantify now, knowing that as you signal quality degrades so does the speed, and not always linear. Based on a 40-30% signal quality working standards g / n, speed will suffer constant oscillations and stability of the connection will be compromised by the constant packet forwarding to correct the errors.
WiFi coverage

Step 2. Potential sources of interference

Once we have the coverage map of our home and we clearly detected placements are most problematic, we have to look at the results for possible fatal points. If the worst affected areas are those farthest from the WiFi router it is clear that this issue away we have to solve 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 interference that are disturbing signal our WiFi 2.4 GHz. The microwave affecting the frequency band 2.4 GHz (so that are in the kitchen and are used only a small part of the time), as well as the Bluetooth devices that have WiFi enabled close and even the 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 cordless phone 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 frequency inhibitors that are installed in that kind of places. The same if we are very near repeaters telephony , generating energy or surrounded by many other points WiFi located in the neighborhood. These are extreme cases, but are given, and in those situations it is virtually impossible to optimize the signal due to 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 your settings, and following techniques involving change its location or install new antennas. Focusing on the settings, and while not a panacea, some WiFi routers allow adjusting the transmission power of the wireless module from the configuration interface. 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 of the router (Gateway getting in the browser and using the username / password specified by the user), and checked out the wireless configuration option similar to Transmit Power .
WiFi coverage

Step 4. relay mode

The following setting can help us to scratch a few meters to our coverage is the type of wireless transmission . On the one hand, we can ask directly activate the 802.11b mode , but without reaching that extreme, it is interesting to make the router work alone in the way that we really need, even at the cost of compatibility with older standards. For example, if all our devices support 802.11n, which we activate only in the configuration of the router.
Another interesting setting requires check if your device offers dual band . It is still rare, and only found on some models, but our unit (and laptops we use) allows the transmission in the 5 GHz instead of the usual 2.4 GHz, we will carry us at 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 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 under very specific conditions, and the potential for things to get worse are quite high, so our recommendation is not to change its parameters.
WiFi coverage

802.11b, a standard even with a lot of potential

When we look back and remember how a few years ago were using WiFi 802.11b networks at 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 you can give more coverage than wireless g / n standard with a single router and the same transmission power and antennae, albeit at the cost of sacrificing the throughput . In fact, while for internal transfers from computer to computer 11 Mbps maximum offering stay really short, if you only use the WiFi to browse the Internet and your router gets somewhat short of coverage or offers an unstable connection, one of the first solutions we 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 signal range in places where the 802.11g / n standard may not arrive well .

Selects the optimum means

Step 5. Locate the occupied channels

We mentioned earlier 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 highly saturated radio channel our signal may have trouble getting through the house, making a simple change of 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. To do this, we recommend the utility inSSIDer . Once installed, it will show a list of all wireless networks detected by a long list of advanced data such as broadcast channels each of nearby WiFi routers.
WiFi coverage

Step 6. Choose the best way

If we connect to the configuration interface of our router in the options WiFi network , with basic values ​​such as the name of the SSID , we should find a section called Wireless Channel in which we can select the broadcast channel in our network. In many models this option is marked in automatic to be the router to detect without the least congested channel and act accordingly. However, I Do not trust this feature, as the 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 of access and all or most of the channels access 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.
WiFi coverage

The best location for your router

Step 7. When you change your position

In Step 1 we drew the plane of our home and we recorded the situation room by room. Well, if we return to 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 , which means that the signal sent 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, we will be sending half our signal to neighbor and struggling to reach 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 pass to place the router in an intermediate plant so that the signal reaches both below and above, although 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 having to choose a location centered in our home, it is also important to select the location and the materials that surround the router if coverage is a sensitive issue. A good position can be top of a cabinet , because little is aesthetically see the cables, and quality are raising the emitter 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 more than a few interior architects, a slimmer appearance but is the best way to degrade the signal of our WiFi equipment.
Finally, we must take into account the obstacles that surround the router , because a typical wall brick can attenuate the signal between 3 and 6 dB by thickness and internal material. Therefore, the more free from obstacles are, the better. Of course, external antennas should always be at 90 degrees to the ground, and we should never leave them lying down or folded.
WiFi coverage

Consider the option of switching the antennas

Step 9. What will achieve by changing the antenna?

If all this has not solved our coverage problem , before reaching a final solution (mount a repeater), we can consider the installation of higher gain antennas . It is an increasingly common option, as currently access points feature (not removable) or worse, internal fixed 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. Still, if your router allows the removal of antennas and connect other series, what we will get is amplifying the transmission power and change the way in which the radio signal is distributed.
The amplification is shown in dBi and 8-10 dBi value and be achieving more than tangible results. It is not an expensive expansion (from 10 to 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 the new screw.
WiFi router antenna

Step 10. Choose the ideal antenna for your home

On the Internet we can find many online stores that sell us antennas for WiFi hotspots ( www.maswifi.com , www.comprawifi.com , www.muchowifi.com , etc.). When choosing a need to look at the level of amplification (8 dBi on), and, above all, of its kind. The more interested we are omnidirectional , which distribute the signal 360 degrees, but we also have the directional (yagi, panel, satellite, etc.), which send the signal in a particular direction. For a house, where we are interested in the signal reaches all places except specific installations, we flee from the latter and always seek an omnidirectional.
WiFi opening
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