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Extend Your Wireless Internet Range

Linksys WRT54GS
Linksys WRT54GS Wireless-G Broadband Router

Wireless internet is one of the greatest technical advances in recent years. The ability to access the wealth of information on the internet while resuming daily activities has become a common luxury for many businesses and homes. No longer confined to a desktop, wireless internet users can access the internet anywhere within the wireless router's signal range. The following suggestions can further increase the freedom and mobility of wireless internet by extending wireless internet range.

1. Reposition the router.

Even the most expensive wireless routers can give a weak signal if they are not placed in the correct location. Typically, most wireless internet users place routers underneath the computer desk or in the corner of the room. While this may prevent damage to the router from foot traffic, it can hinder the range of the wireless signal. Most routers provide stronger signals when placed in an area free from large obstructions such as furniture or walls. Placing the router in the center of a room is a common suggestion when struggling with a poor wireless signal. Getting the router off the floor can also improve signal range, and many computer professionals recommend routers be placed on an open shelf or table.

2. Eliminate sources of interference.

A poor wireless signal may be caused by interference from other objects within the home or building. Wireless users should keep the router away from microwaves, cordless phones, and other objects that may interfere with the wireless signal. Wireless range can be greatly reduced in an office building or apartment complex where there are multiple internet routers. If there is a known source of interference or a neighboring wireless network, consider placing additional routers as far away from these devices as possible.

3. Enable security features.

People using wireless internet in the home may fail to enable important security features when setting up their wireless router. These security features include creating passwords that allow only selected computers to access the wireless network. Without these settings in place, neighbors may detect your wireless signal and connect their devices. If there are multiple machines on the same network, wireless signal and range can be greatly reduced. Simply enabling security features on the router can improve wireless internet range simply by preserving the signal for a selected device.

4. Upgrade wireless routers.

As technology improves and advances, wireless internet routers become more sophisticated and efficient. A router that is several years old may pale in comparison to a current model, and simply purchasing a new router can provide an office or home with a considerable increase in wireless internet range. Newer models may also have increased security features that can detect and limit unwanted additional devices from connecting to the network.

5. Purchase a hi-gain antenna.

Most wireless internet routers have a standard antenna that broadcasts the wireless signal in all directions. While this may seem like a good idea, much of the signal may be wasted when broadcast in a direction without wireless devices. Switching to a hi-gain antenna will boost a wireless signal by concentrating it in a chosen direction. The user can direct the entire signal to a desired location and increase the signal strength in this location without consuming more power.

In today's high speed environment, businesses, home offices, and schools must provide wireless internet to keep up with communication and information exchange. Increasing the signal range of a wireless internet router can facilitate more internet connections and help computer users get more out of their equipment. Corporate network managers, business owners, and parents at home can use these simple, inexpensive steps to increase the signal from their wireless internet router.