Losing internet connection or experiencing unstable signal can be frustrating, especially if you depend on it for work or school. But investing in top-tier internet isn’t a solution everyone can accommodate.
Read on and find out different ways to extend your Wi-Fi range for free.
How Can I Make My Wi-Fi Reach Further for Free?
Improving Wi-Fi range for free is possible, but it might require some trial-and-error before finding the right solution. Here are your choices.
1. Find a better location for your Wi-Fi router
What is the cheapest way to extend Wi-Fi? Move it—you won’t spend a dime.
Map the Wi-Fi router’s location relative to the rooms in the house, including living spaces where wireless internet connection is particularly poor.
Ideally, the router should be central in the home, allowing multiple devices to connect at nearly equal distances.
Position the router high above the floor to ensure an unobstructed path to connected devices, and refrain from boxing the router or placing it in a storage cabinet.
Keeping it away from frequency-using appliances, microwaves, and large metal objects can also aid in improving the Wi-Fi’s reach for free.
2. Disconnect least-used devices
Ease the load on the Wi-Fi router by identifying the devices that must always be linked to the internet and those that only need Wi-Fi occasionally.
Gaming consoles, phones, and even smart TV’s can easily be disconnected from Wi-Fi when the internet isn’t being used, which can help improve connection speeds on other devices. If using a phone with an unlimited mobile data plan, consider using the data more frequently.
3. Switch to the 2.4 GHz channel
Although this channel is slower than 5 GHz frequencies, the 2.4 GHz system has a more extensive reach and can better penetrate walls, solid objects, and other obstructions.
4. Restart your Wi-Fi router
Unplug the Wi-Fi router from the electrical outlet for at least half a minute. Re-establish power and turn it back on. Alternatively, try pressing the reset button on the device.
5. Try updating your firmware
An outdated firmware can reduce the Wi-Fi router’s connection capabilities. Updating it to the latest version may help improve signal reception and range.
How Far Will a Wi-Fi Extender Reach?
Some brands can boost Wi-Fi signals up to 2,500 feet, though the range actually achievable usually differs drastically in real life because of all the obstructions and interferences in a home.
Ideal Wi-Fi signal transmission scenarios are few and far between, so consumers should take claims with a pinch of salt, since there’s no home on earth that actually experiences zero environmental interference.
Is there a monthly fee for a Wi-Fi extender?
Fees for Wi-Fi extenders depend on the internet service provider, but third-party Wi-Fi extenders do not have monthly fees.
Fees are more likely to be incurred if getting a Wi-Fi extender directly from the ISP. For example, AT&T charges an extra $10 monthly for up to three AirTies 4971 Wi-Fi extenders. These may be more reliable since the products are purpose-built to work alongside the Wi-Fi routers offered by the ISP.
How to Extend Wi-Fi Range without Extenders
Extending Wi-Fi range without an extender is a possibility, so consider attempting the following before investing in one:
- Install higher-gain Wi-Fi router antennas – Check the Wi-Fi router for the possibility of antenna replacement. This method does have a few caveats, like FCC limits and client device signal reception strength.
- Add more access points – Extra routers and a large Ethernet cable should create more reliable access points for internet devices.
- Use mesh networks – A collection of Wi-Fi routers and other connectivity devices work together to form a single large network within the home in a mesh network. It allows users to access the internet from anywhere in the home and worry less about signal dropouts.
Best Wi-Fi Booster Apps
Extending the Wi-Fi range in your home requires analyzing existing data connection parameters to identify potential troubleshooting areas.
You don’t need to be a network engineer to diagnose and boost wireless internet connections. The following apps are all you need.
This neat app fixes Wi-Fi and cellular network connectivity issues to make mobile internet experiences more engaging and exciting.
Developed by Supersonic Software, Connection Stabilizer Booster keeps data connection active even when not in use, automatically reconnects devices to the network when dropped, and force connects technologies in adverse network conditions.
Algor’s entry into the world of Wi-Fi booster apps is the WiFi Analyzer, which allows users to identify the best wireless internet channels to connect.
The app also offers insightful information on increasing internet connection stability while minimizing signal interferences.
This Wi-Fi booster app is one of the most powerful and is available for free. You can visualize, troubleshoot, plan, audit, and manage your wireless networks with its easy-to-use interface.
Deploying your Wi-Fi network is also a cinch. Advanced users will love the Survey Tool, perfect for laying out wireless zones.
Turning your Android device into a Wi-Fi analytics system is easy with this NETGEAR offering. Like NetSpot, it analyzes and monitors home wireless internet networks and troubleshoots connections on the fly.
The user interface is a cinch to navigate, while its handy tools are perfect for optimizing Wi-Fi in the home.
Available on PC, Mac, Android, and iOS platforms, this Genie doesn’t grant three wishes. Instead, it empowers users to monitor, repair, and manage home Wi-Fi networks from a single, easy-to-use control interface.
Unfortunately, it only works on NETGEAR internet devices.
Although less robust than other platforms, WiFiman’s wireless internet connection speed tests and discovery are almost second to none.
You can use the information to modify the home Wi-Fi router’s settings and location to boost internet connections.
Why is Wi-Fi Signal So Weak in My House?
The key to strengthening Wi-Fi signals in the home is to identify why the signal is so weak in the first place. These are the prime suspects when it comes to weak Wi-Fi in the house.
Most wireless internet (Wi-Fi) router manufacturers limit their indoor range to 100 feet to compensate for the device’s low-power signal transmission, although materials in the home are likely to significantly limit this (see below).
Brands could remove the cap, but the resulting high-power broadcast might interfere with other home wireless technologies.
All radio waves, including Wi-Fi signals, have to penetrate the materials and objects around them.
A home has plenty of obstructions. The wall separating the living room from the kitchen, for example, might contain metal lath and plaster that impacts Wi-Fi signal transmission.
Thick, cemented walls can also reduce or block Wi-Fi signal transmission.
3. Competing Wi-Fi networks
Unfortunately, having too many Wi-Fi-dependent technologies connecting to a single Wi-Fi router can cause significant signal transmission issues.
4. Other wireless devices
Non-Wi-Fi gadgets can also interfere with wireless internet signal transmission, especially appliances (or devices) running on the same bandwidth as the Wi-Fi router.
For example, microwaves, radios, and cordless phones can disrupt wireless internet transmission.
How to get strong WiFi signal in every room?
Installing a Wi-Fi range extender, mesh system, or an extra router can strengthen the Wi-Fi signal in every room. For best results, map the home and identify the location of each Wi-Fi-dependent gadget. Place the extender or Wi-Fi mesh centrally.
What is the difference between a Wi-Fi booster and a Wi-Fi extender?
You’ll be surprised to learn these terms Wi-Fi booster and Wi-Fi extender mean the same thing. You might also hear people talk about a Wi-Fi repeater, which is, again, the same device.
How to boost WiFi signal through walls?
Boost Wi-Fi signals through walls by switching to 2.4 GHz because it penetrates obstructions better than 5 GHz. However, 5 GHz is the way to go if you need fast internet speeds and minimal interferences.
How to boost WiFi signal with aluminum foil?
If you’re wondering how to boost Wi-Fi signal with aluminum foil, here’s how.
- Unroll about a foot of ordinary kitchen aluminum foil and cut. You can also use longer foil.
- Place the aluminum foil over an empty two-liter plastic bottle and wrap it to create the curvature the reflector needs.
- Gently remove the foil from the bottle and position it behind the Wi-Fi router’s antenna.
- Position the aluminum foil disk’s open end in the signal’s direction.
You can also check out this YouTube video from Byte My Bits.
How to improve WiFi signal upstairs?
Distance and obstructions (i.e., floor separating upstairs rooms from the room where the Wi-Fi router is) can reduce Wi-Fi signal strength on the upper floors. So, is there any device to increase Wi-Fi range upstairs? Yes, there is. A Wi-Fi extender or booster can help address your concern about a poor Wi-Fi signal upstairs.
Restarting and relocating your Wi-Fi router to achieve the best possible signal across all rooms in the home are the most cost-effective solutions for extending the Wi-Fi range.
If this doesn’t work, you can always set up a Wi-Fi extender or a mesh network to help improve it.