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Purchasing a range booster can help you address many of the Wi-Fi signal problems in your home, but if your router or access point isn't producing a strong signal at all, you may not be able to experience the full benefits of your extender. There are quite a few problems that could be causing a poor wireless signal. Those same problems may also affect your internet booster's ability to perform at its best.
Where you place your router has an impact on the strength of your Wi-Fi signal to your devices and even to your range extender. If the router has an antenna, you should always make sure the antenna points in a vertical direction. The same goes for your booster. The wireless signal transmitted by these devices broadcasts from the sides of the antenna, not the top. If the devices are positioned in a way that the antenna is horizontal, the signal is most likely shooting into the ceiling and ground instead of throughout your home.
Keep both your router and wireless booster away from obstructions. They shouldn't be placed by thick walls, next to other electronics or behind pieces of furniture that can block them from sending a good signal out. While many boosters are designed to overcome the interference with 2.4GHz frequency bands, they can still use the help.
It's also important to place your extender in a central location in your home or office to give it the ability to increase the range of your router's wireless signal in all directions. You also place it in an elevated position, as Wi-Fi signals travel down and over much more easily than they do up. While it's not recommended that you place the extender or router on a metal desk, you can place them on any wooden object without hurting your Wi-Fi signal.
Wi-Fi signals don't travel well through water. Any water source in your home or office could be causing your poor wireless signal. Water is very dense, and it reduces your signal considerably. While you probably can't do much about the plumbing in your walls, you can take steps to remove other things that may be interfering with your signal, like aquariums, fountains and even flower pots. Removing these from the area where your router and extender are located, or even placing them above the space where your device sits can prevent the water source from interfering with your signal.
If you notice the signal dropping when you're standing between the Wi-Fi amplifier and your device, consider for a moment what substance makes up the majority of your body: water. Switch furniture around if necessary to avoid placing yourself between the booster and the device you're trying to connect with.
We mentioned the importance of WPA and WPA2 protection, but there's still a chance someone else is using your Wi-Fi if you're experiencing a weak signal. To check this, turn off all of the devices that use the internet. Wait a few moments, and then look to see if the light that indicates the Wi-Fi is being used is still blinking. If it is, you may have problems with some freeloading neighbors.
To resolve this issue, you'll want to go into both your router and your booster and change the settings. If you're using an extender instead of a Wi-Fi repeater, you may have the option of creating new SSIDs and setting new passwords for these. Some even let you hide these new SSIDs, so your further range isn't being taken advantage of by those who are not authorized to be on your network. Hiding these SSIDs means you'll have to manually input their names and passwords into your devices, however.
Both your router and wireless could have power-saving settings, which are often set up as your default settings when you first turn them on. The goal with this configuration is to reduce its power consumption slightly, help you save a bit on your electric bill and help the environment a little bit. Unfortunately, this comes at the cost of your bandwidth. If you're experiencing some Wi-Fi weak signal problems, take a look at your settings. Look for wording like "Eco Mode" or "Transmission Power." If your wireless signal is more valuable to you than saving on power, turn these modes off. Keep in mind these devices may also feature an automatic transmission router booster, a setting that will reduce the power produced by your router or extender during certain periods of time. You can change this setting as well if you want full power all the time.
Overuse of 2.4GHz
The best option to fix this problem is to choose a dual-band Wi-Fi amplifier that operates on 2.4GHz and 5GHz. This gives you the option of switching over to 5GHz when things get a bit crowded. Keep in mind that it may not work with all devices. Some manufacturers made the decision to only include 2.4GHz receivers in gaming consoles and smartphones. Replacing them costs quite a bit. The best option is to turn on both frequencies on your extender and use the 5GHz for your desktop and laptop computer. Use the 2.4GHz for your smartphones and gaming consoles to gain the ability to achieve fast speeds when searching the internet, opening mail or watching videos on your computer.