WiFi Signal Booster Options

by on October 13, 2009

Q: Is there a way to boost my WiFi reception for my devices like my laptop and iPod Touch?

A: There are a few things you can do to boost your WiFi signal. The first is a free option you can try which works without buying a WiFi booster so we suggest you start there. It might be possible for you to move your wireless router to a central location in your house or office. By moving your router to a more central location you should be able to cover more of your home or office, which might allow you get signals in spots you were unable to before.

If you have already moved your router to a central location and that did not fix the problem or if moving your router is not an option then the next step is to see if your wireless router has the option of adding a WiFi Booster Antenna like this WiFi Booster Antenna for Linksys wireless routers. Some wireless routers do not support changing or adding WiFi booster antennas though so you have to check out what your specific router supports.

Your next step would be to get a device to boost the signal. Your options here would be to get a WiFi access point or a WiFi signal booster. A WiFi signal booster, sometimes called a HiGain signal booster, is the easier of the two to setup. The reason it is easier to setup is it does not require any changes to your existing network. You just plug it in and go in most cases.

The WiFi access point can either be a WiFi router, usually the same router you have, that is setup to be an access point or it can be a device that is just an access point. A WiFi Access point is setup to work with your router by transferring data from the access point to your router over the network. It is different from the WiFi booster in that the booster just boosts the signal coming from your devices and coming from your router. The access point is actually part of the network and it receives the signal, makes sure it is from a device on the network, and then it sends the signal out again.

You will need to be careful when getting a WiFi access point though because not all WiFi access points play well with all wireless routers. The setup process is more complicated than the other options because you have to access the wireless router to give it the address of the wireless access point so that the access point is allowed to access the network.

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