How to Boost a Linksys Wireless Router Signal: 5 Steps
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The signal strength of a Linksys router is dependent on not only the raw power output of the router, but also the noise in the area that might cause interference with the signal. All wireless routers use radio waves to send and receive data. The bandwidth of those radio waves might interfere with other routers in your area or with other wireless devices. For example, 2.4 GHz home wireless land-line phones can interfere with some routers, causing the signal to have less range.

Steps

  1. 1
    Bandwidth Mambo:Routers that use the 802.11b/g standards function on the 2.4 GHz bandwidth. Routers that use the 802.11n standard are often called "dual-band" because they can connect to 802.11b/g devices through the 2.4 GHz bandwidth as well as 802.11n devices through the 5 GHz bandwidth. While the 5 GHz spectrum has a shorter range, it does have higher data rates and less interference. If you have all 802.11n devices connecting to your Linksys router you can eliminate the 2.4 GHz signal altogether. Log in to the router by typing 192.168.1.1 into the address bar of a browser on a computer connected to the router. Leave the username field blank and type "admin" for the password. On the Wireless tab you can choose the broadcast mode as either dual-band, 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz.
  2. 2
    Channel Cha-Cha: Within the bandwidth that Wi-Fi routers use are separate channels. This allows multiple wireless networks to be in the same area without completely interfering with each other. For 802.11b/g there are the channels 1 to 11. But each channel overlaps some with the channels on either side of it, so channel 2 will overlap with 1 and 3 the most, a little less with 4, less with 5, still less with 6 and not at all with 7. The rule is that there is no interference between channels that are at least 5 numbers apart. So, if you start with 1, it won't interfere with channel 6, which won't interfere with channel 11. If you need three, separate Wi-Fi networks in the same building, you should choose non-overlapping channels. Log in to your Linksys router, select the Wireless tab and choose the channel you want from the drop-down menu. If you don't know what to choose, pick 1 or 11, as most routers will default to 6. If you have a program on your computer or mobile device, you can do a survey of the area to see what the other Wi-Fi networks are using
  3. 3
    Antenna Tango: The antennas on the back of your Linksys router can be replaced to help improve the signal (see link in Resources). Linksys makes high-gain antenna kits that can replace the standard antennas on your router. The antennas simply twist on to the posts similar to the way a coaxial cable attaches to a cable modem. Twist off the original antennas and replace them with the high-gain ones to increase the signal. Another simple method for improving the signal is to put a backplate behind the router so that it's not wasting signal that's broadcasting into the neighbor's yard. Any metal surface will reflect wireless signals, so even a piece of cardboard covered in tinfoil will help to reduce lost signal. If you need something even more potent, you can make signal boosting dishes out of card stock, cover them with foil and then slide the dishes over your Linksys router's antennas
  4. 4
    Range Extender Rumba:The simple solution to boosting the Wi-Fi signal is to get a device designed to do just that. Linksys and other manufacturers make wireless range extenders that you can plug in to your network to send the signal to every corner of your building. The Linksys wizard that comes with Linksys' range extender will even tell you where to put it for the best coverage and it can connect to your network and other devices with Wi-Fi Protected Setup that just requires you to press a button to make it all play nicely together.
  5. 5
    DD-WRT Dance Revolution: The venerable and rock-solid Linksys WRT54G was the first popular router to use the DD-WRT software. DD-WRT is third-party software that can be loaded onto your router to allow you to change settings like boosting the signal power. While DD-WRT is powerful, it's also risky to put third-party software on your router. The tutorials on the website (see link in Resources) give clear instructions and also a detailed list of which Linksys routers will work with the software. If your router isn't listed, don't try to use it -- it can completely break your router and will void your warranty. But if you're into do-it-yourself modifications, the DD-WRT software can dramatically boost the performance and features of your router.

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Categories: Wi Fi

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