Amplify the wireless signal of your router


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It's easy to amplify the wireless signal of your router! However, before you continue: it might be better for your health to reduce the signal somewhat.

There are three things you can do to amplify the signal:
1. change the settings of your router;
2. do a simple addition to the antenna of your router;
3. deploy a second router.

Note: don't buy a so-called repeater! Because with a repeater you unavoidably lose half your bandwidth, as the repeater has to receive and transmit the bandwidth simultaneously. It's technically an inferior solution.

Deploying a second router is technically a far better approach than deploying a repeater, because with a second router you do preserve your entire bandwidth.


Select the best channel

1. A wireless signal deteriorates when there are other wireless routers in the vicinity, that transmit on the same channel.

The solution is then, to select another channel. You can set that in the configuration of your router, which is usually accessible as a "web page" that you can view in your web browser (Firefox, Chrome, ....).

For most routers (amongst which Linksys devices) this "web page" is located at "web address" 192.168.1.1, but for your router this can be otherwise. See the manual of your router. Lost your manual? Then visit the website of the manufacturer of your router; usually you can download a copy there.

First check which channels are being used by the wireless routers in your vicinity. In Android you can use the app Wifi Analyzer for that and in Windows you can use inSSIDer for that (in Linux I haven't found an adequate alternative yet).

Now choose for your router the channel that's least in use. Only the channels 1, 6 and 11 hardly overlap amongst each other, so choose one of those three.

Usually this will cause a noticeable signal improvement.

Make a simple antenna reflector

2. You can make a Windsurfer antenna reflector in accordance with the model of Freeantennas.com.

According to Freeantennas you'll achieve a signal amplification of 9 dBi inside your house, but a 9 dBi increase is probably exaggerated. In my case I got a signal amplification of around 10 % (I haven't measured it in dBi). However this may be, it's definitely worthwhile....

The only disadvantage is, that you have to be careful to aim the signal optimally with the reflector: you no longer have the same signal quality in all directions, but only a strong signal in one direction.

Costs: practically zero. Needed time: about 15 minutes.

The things you need:
- printer
- one sheet of photo paper
- pair of scissors
- sharp hobby knife
- tin foil (like they sell in the supermarket)
- glue (general purpose)
- pencil
- scotch tape

The templates:

https://sites.google.com/site/easylinuxtipsproject/amplify-signal/windsurfer-sjabloon.jpg?attredirects=0

a. Download the image above: click it twice to enlarge it maximally. Then right-click with your mouse on it and choose "Save as...".

b. Open the downloaded image in an image editor like Gimp or gThumb, and change the size of it (scale it) according to your wishes. Make sure that the square on the image stays a square: the dimensions should remain the same.

c. Print the image on photo paper (that's somewhat thicker than normal paper).

d. Now cut out the two templates from the paper.

e. In the rectangular template (the actual reflector), open the six slots with the hobby knife. In the "rounded" template, cut open the crosses along the lines.

f. Glue tin foil to the back side of the rectangular template (not to the other, "rounded" one!)

g. Now cut again through the six slots in the rectangular template, in order to open them in the tin foil as well.

h. Assemble the reflector, by putting the six tabs of the "rounded" template through the six slots of the rectangular template. Take care not to damage the tin foil!

i. Then fold the tabs on the back of the reflector and make them stick with scotch tape.

(continued in the column on the right)


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j. Now carefully put the pencil through the cross-hairs of the "rounded" template, in order to widen the gaps. Then gently push the antenna of your router through them. You should get this result:


k. You're done! After aiming the reflector, you should experience a noticeable increase of the wireless signal. As I said I've done it myself as well, and it works for me: the indoor signal is about 10 % stronger.

This template originates from www.freeantennas.com.

Tip: improve the security of your wireless connection as well.


Deploy a second router

3. Sometimes it's useful to put a second router in your house. In order to improve wireless connectivity throughout the house.

You can read how to do that on this page.

Want more?

4. Do you want more tips and tweaks? There's a lot more of them on this website! Like this one: replace Windows XP by an easy free Linux.


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