How to Setup a Wifi Signal Booster
After a hard day’s work, one of the things we commonly do to relax is to sit on our favorite couch while browsing through our social media accounts. While the living room is an excellent place to connect to the wifi because routers are strategically placed there, the signal slows down as we move further away from the living room.
Often, we can identify dead spots within our households, especially for large homes. While the router is usually the main problem when it comes to slow internet speeds, there are also several factors at play here. One of the main factors that slow down the internet is the far proximity from the router.
Thankfully, there are individual devices that help enhance and improve the wifi signal coverage within a household. One of the most useful tools includes the wifi signal booster or extender. These devices help fill in dead spots in the house by rebroadcasting the wifi signal from the router. With these devices, you get to enjoy faster, stable and more reliable wifi signals regardless of where you are located in the house.
There are several wifi signal boosters to choose from; each come with their own set of features as well as a combination of hardware components. However, most of these wifi signal boosters come with the same installation process.
In this article, we will teach you how to set up a Wifi signal booster. After reading this article, you will learn seven new and established ways of getting the most out of your wifi signal booster. Without further ado, let’s start.
Placement of Wifi Signal Booster
One of the things that you should make sure is to place your wifi signal correctly in your house. It is one of the most useful and practical ways of achieving the best reception and coverage of the wifi signal.
Before you decide where to put the wifi signal booster, you need to keep a floorplan or a sketch of where your router is placed. You also need to roam around and check which areas have a dead spot but have an existing AC outlet. To check dead spots in the house, you merely need to test using your smartphone. Roam around the house and check the wifi signal on your smartphone, the more bars present, this means that the wifi signal in the spot is excellent. If there are no bars lit up on the wifi logo, this means that the area is a dead spot.
Once you already have determined the wifi dead spots in your household, plug in your wifi signal booster and watch the magic happen. After installing the wifi signal booster, check using your smartphone if there are any changes in the wifi signal.
Checking the Signal
Aside from checking using the wifi signal logo on the smartphone, you can also determine the wifi signal using speed test applications. One of the most used and well-established speed testers is Ookla’s Speedtest.net. It helps users check the wifi signal in the area by connecting to a server. It shows the download and upload speeds of the wifi network, within the vicinity.
It is worth noting though that the speed on the area where the wifi signal booster is placed will not have the same wifi signal level as the area where the main router is set. Nevertheless, the presence of wifi from the once dead spot in the household is a huge step forward.
If ever you have a difficult time in locating an excellent spot for your wifi signal extender, you might need to consider using an AC extension cord to sufficiently amplify the capability of the wifi signal booster to pick up the internet signal. In most cases, the wifi signal booster works better when it is placed in high places such as on top of bookshelves or drawers.
If the wifi signal booster is equipped with an external antenna that can be removed, the wifi reception can be amplified by swapping it with a higher gain antenna. Changing the antennas is also a good remedy for improving the sensitivity of the device. In addition to this, you can also use wifi reflectors or make do it yourself glass with the use of aluminum foil and an empty can of soda. The wifi reflectors help redirect the wifi signal to where it should go or where you intend it to go.
Two Floor Houses
The case becomes even more difficult when you have two floors in your household. The distance from the router poses a problem whenever setting up a wifi signal booster. With this, you need to consider the added height and all the material from the first-floor ceiling whenever setting up your wifi signal booster. This is because these things can absorb the wifi signal and thus dampen the wifi signal when it reaches your device.
Thankfully, there is a workaround for these cases. One of the most straightforward means of enhancing the wifi signal reception of the booster is to place it in an area that is similar to where the main router is set on the first floor. This means that when the router is situated near the living room window of the first floor, the wifi signal booster should be placed on the area that is on top of the router.
Blocking the Wifi Signal Booster
One of the factors that may affect the performance of the wifi signal booster is the presence of objects or appliances that may either reflect or absorb the wifi signal. Among the examples of objects that reflect the wifi signal include mirrors and large scraps of metal — examples of objects that can incorporate wifi signal include concrete walls, closets, and drawers. Also, radio frequency signals may also interfere with the wifi signal. Some of these objects and appliances that emit radio frequency signals include microwave ovens, refrigerators, and newborn monitors.
Setting up Wifi Profile
Aside from determining the best placement of the wifi signal booster, one of the things you also need to make sure is setting up the profile of the wifi from the wifi signal booster. The first thing you need to think about is whether you want to keep the same name for the wifi network as well as the encryption password or choose to use a new one.
When you want to use the same wifi name and password, the connection from the router and wifi signal booster is more seamless and hassle-free. Moreover, there is no need to input a different password whenever you want to connect from the router and then to the extender. This is also more convenient as you don’t need to re-login and connect to the printers and storage devices that are connected to the router. However, this can pose a problem within the areas that are in the scope of the router and the wifi signal booster, especially in areas where their signals overlap. If ever, you experience this problem, you can opt for a different network name for the wifi signal booster.
In most cases, wifi signal boosters come with their software that is highly optimized for the usage of the device. This makes the installation and setup of the wifi signal booster even more convenient and hassle-free. However, in most cases, the software bundled in wifi signal boosters do not function properly and can also dampen the wifi signal coverage and reception.
Thankfully, there are third-party applications that you can download and use for different operating system platforms. Whether you are using Android or iOS-based systems, there are wifi signal booster applications for you.
These third-party applications reveal the current internet speed as well as the wifi signal booster’s signal strength which are more accurate compared to those bundled with the wifi signal boosters. One of the most popular third-party apps is the Home Wifi Alert. However, there are still some disadvantages to the use of these third-party applications. In some cases, the form may report a negative dBm level whenever revealing the signal strength.
Also, some Wifi signal booster third-party applications come with a load of bloatware and annoying ads. These ads are almost impossible to do away with this as they are included in the form. Moreover, you cannot work with two bands simultaneously.
Updating Your Firmware
When using a wifi signal booster, aside from maintaining the hardware and other components of the extender, you should also check whether the software is working correctly. One of the simplest and most efficient ways of checking the status of the software is by updating the firmware.
If you have some difficulty in connecting with the wifi signal booster, chances are your firmware is not updated. Even if you have a hassle-free and prosperous installation of the wifi signal booster, you will still face some problems if the software is not up to date. Moreover, updating your firmware is a necessary step to keep the system secure and away from malware.
To update your firmware, you need to navigate to the admin site, the same one you went to during the login setup. Next, input your login details and then check whether there are current updates for the firmware. The process may be different among wifi signal boosters, but the principle is somewhat similar.