In today’s fast-paced world, having a strong and reliable WiFi signal is crucial for staying connected and productive. However, weak or intermittent WiFi signals can be frustrating and slow down your work, especially when working on a laptop. These days, a fast and reliable Wi-Fi signal is akin to basic utilities like electricity, water or gas — an essential, whether you’re still working from home or just need an optimal experience for all your wireless devices.
Thankfully, there are several easy and effective ways to boost your laptop’s WiFi signal strength in no time. In this article, we’ll explore some of the best ways to enhance your laptop’s WiFi signal strength and improve your online experience.
Understand the Basics of WiFi Signal Strength
WiFi signals are a type of electromagnetic (EM) wavelengths that are transmitted in the air called radio waves. For this reason, WiFi signals are also known as RF (Radio Frequency) signals.
Wi-Fi signal strength is tricky. The most accurate way to express it is with milliwatts (mW), but you end up with tons of decimal places due to Wi-Fi’s super-low transmit power, making it difficult to read. For example, -40 dBm is 0.0001 mW, and the zeros just get more intense the more the signal strength drops.
RSSI (Received Signal Strength Indicator) is a common measurement, but most Wi-Fi adapter vendors handle it differently, as it isn’t standardised. Some adapters use a scale of 0-60, and others 0-255.
Ultimately, the easiest and most consistent way to express signal strength is with dBm, which stands for decibels relative to a milliwatt. Since RSSIis handled differently by most Wi-Fi adapters, it’s usually converted to dBm to make it consistent and human-readable.
mW – milliwatts (1 mW = 0 dBm)
RSSI – Received Signal Strength Indicator (usually 0-60 or 0-255)
dBm – Decibels in relation to a milliwatt (usually -30 to -100)
So what signal strength should you shoot for?
For simple, low-throughput tasks like sending emails, browsing the web, or scanning barcodes, -70 dBm is a good signal strength. For higher-throughput applications like voice over IP or streaming video, -67 dBm is better, and some engineers recommend -65 dBm if you plan to support mobile devices like iPhones and Android tablets.
Locate Your Router and Optimise Its Placement
The placement of your WiFi router can significantly impact the strength and range of your wireless signal. To get the most out of your router and optimise its placement, follow these tips:
Put your Router near the centre of your house – A router sends out signals in all directions, so putting it in a corner of your house or apartment — or near a window — means that a significant amount of its signal is wasted.
You might only have a network connection in one spot, but long network cables can be pretty cheap, and moving your router can dramatically improve performance.
Keep your router away from electronic devices – Electronic devices such as televisions, microwaves, and cordless phones can interfere with your WiFi signal. Keep your router away from these devices to reduce interference and improve signal strength.
Lift your router up off the ground – There are two reasons why it’s not ideal to have your router directly on the floor.
One is that most are designed to broadcast signals slightly downward as they travel from its antenna. Additionally, they can’t easily penetrate some solid materials — metal, concrete, and cement — which may be present in your floors.
As a result, experts recommend having your router at least a few feet off the ground — perhaps on a table or bookshelf.
Use a WiFi signal booster or extender – If you have a large home or office, a WiFi signal booster or extender can help amplify the signal and extend its range. These devices work by receiving and rebroadcasting your router’s signal, providing stronger coverage in hard-to-reach areas.
Configure the Router’s Software –In some cases, there are software tweaks you make to improve your wifi network.
To configure the software, you usually need to enter a specific IP address in your web browser (look on the bottom of the router or just search for your router’s brand name to figure out what that is). Once you’re in the settings, there are two useful things you can try.
One is changing the channel that the router operates on. This is less of an issue for newer routers, but older ones can often cause interference with each other (especially in crowded urban areas with lots of networks), and changing the frequency channel is a way to solve it.Another option is upgrading the router’s software (which is actually called firmware).
Invest in a High-Quality WiFi Antenna
Cellular antennas come in many different varieties with every combination of features your project could need. It can be a daunting task to choose what antenna your project needs.
If you drive a Ferrari, you don’t try to save money buying tires at Wal-Mart….The same goes for your cellular antenna. It is the only part that is “touching” the network.
Lets see the benefits of a High Quality Antenna
- Maximum Reliability
- Low Power Usage
- Better coverage means faster data speeds
- Better antennas need not be expensive
Adjust Your Laptop’s WiFi Settings
Adjusting your laptop’s WiFi settings can help improve its signal strength and performance. Here are some tips to optimise your laptop’s WiFi settings:
- Switch to a 5 GHz network
- Change the wireless channel
- Disable power saving mode
- Update your laptop’s drivers
- Reset your network settings
Eliminate Interference with Other Devices and Networks
Eliminating interference with other devices and networks is an essential part of maintaining a stable and reliable network connection. Interference can cause disruptions, slow down speeds, and even lead to complete loss of connectivity.
- We can do so by connecting the Wifi router to a less busy channel.
- We can move our router away from other electronic devices.Electronic devices like cordless phones, baby monitors, and microwave ovens can interfere with our wireless network.
- We can also remove physical obstructions between our computer and the router.
- Update the routers firmware
- Buy an upgraded router
- Disable unused devices
Use WiFi Range Extenders for Extended Coverage
A Wi-Fi range extender is a device between a base router, or wireless local area network (LAN) access point, and a client computer or device that is outside the signal range or blocked by a signal barrier. The extender works as a wireless relay or repeater by receiving access point signals, which are retransmitted to the client.
This term is also known as range expander.
We can add a wireless range extender or additional antennas. If it’s not possible to be within 50 to 100 feet of your router and/or there are physical obstructions, you can use a range extender to rebroadcast your router’s Wi-Fi signal in other parts of your home or office.
Consider Upgrading Your Router or Modem
Router or modem allows you to connect to the internet. If you are experiencing slow and unreliable internet connection then it’s time to consider upgrading your modem or your router.
Let’s discuss why you should upgrade your modem or router
Faster Speeds: If your current router or modem is age-old, it may not be able to handle the speeds offered by your internet service provider. Upgrading to a newer router or modem that supports the latest standards can improve your internet speeds, resulting in faster downloads and seamless streaming.
Improved Range: Older routers or modems may not provide enough coverage, especially in larger homes or buildings. Upgrading to a newer model with better range can ensure that your internet signal reaches every corner of your home or office allowing you to connect from anywhere.
Better Security: Older routers or modems may not support the latest security protocols, leaving your network vulnerable to hacking or other security breaches.
Future-Proofing: Upgrading your router or modem to the latest standards ensures that your network is future-proofed, allowing you to take advantage of new technologies as they become available. This can save you the hassle and expense of having to upgrade again in the near future.
Troubleshoot Your WiFi Signal Issues
Wireless networks have become more critical in our daily lives, but can you imagine this: one day you connect to your WiFi as usual, but your WiFi is not working anymore, and you lose the access to the Internet. Isn’t it a horrible thing?
The WiFi not working issue includes: WiFi connection failed or WiFi not showing up. Sometimes it’s difficult to locate the cause. However, you can easily fix WiFi not working without paying much time and patience!
Follow the steps below to troubleshoot :
- Check your router
- Restart your router
- Check your WiFi signal strength
- Check for other interferences
- Change the channel
- Update firmware
- Upgrade your router
- Turn off Windows Firewall
- Reset network settings
In conclusion, improving your laptop’s WiFi signal strength is essential for ensuring a smooth browsing experience. By following the tips discussed above, you can significantly increase your WiFi signal strength without much hassle. A strong and stable WiFi connection can make a world of difference in your online activities, whether it’s for work, entertainment, or communication. So, don’t let a weak signal hold you back and try out these easy and simple solutions today to enjoy faster and more reliable internet connectivity.