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Best Practices for Extending the Range of Your Wireless Network

Having a stable Internet connection in your home or office is about so much more than just easily visiting your favorite websites. It’s how we communicate and collaborate with others. It’s how we keep in touch with those who matter most to us. It’s what allows all of our devices access to the Internet, regardless of where we’re using them or what we’re trying to do.

If you’ve recently set up a network in your own home but are running into connectivity issues, there are a few key tips that you’ll definitely want to take advantage of moving forward. 

How to Extend the Range of Your Wireless Network: Breaking Things Down

One of the most important things to understand about extending the range of your wireless network is that router placement is of paramount importance.

The Wi-Fi signal being broadcast by your router doesn’t go out into your home or office in a straight line. Instead, it is transmitted in a circle around the device itself. The farther away you get from the router, the weaker (and thus slower) the signal will be.

Therefore, rather than putting that router in a closet on one side of your house (and therefore experiencing signal degradation problems on the other), try to place your router in a centralized location. Doing so can help make sure that the entire environment is covered, including any basements or second floor spaces that you might be dealing with.

If you have a particularly large home and are experiencing network issues, investing in a mesh Wi-Fi system would likely be the best bet for you. Here, you’ll still have a primary router that is responsible for bringing your Internet connection into your home and broadcasting it to all of your devices. However, you’ll also have one to two satellite routers that you can place in strategic locations for maximum coverage.

So if you’re experiencing issues in your master bedroom on the second floor, you can place one of the satellite routers in that space. It will pick up the connection from the primary router and amplify it, making sure that all devices in the area have equal coverage. Many popular hardware manufacturers offer mesh Wi-Fi hardware, with Netgear and Google being just two examples.

In the event that you need to employ a series of Wi-Fi extenders throughout your home (which are different from mesh Wi-Fi), there are a few things you’ll likely want to keep in mind. An extender simply takes a signal and "boosts" it in terms of range – but you’re still dealing with the fact that the farther you get from the primary router, the slower your connection will be. For the best results, you’ll likely want to contact your Internet service provider and increase the speed of your connection before network extenders are employed. That way, you can still make sure that the devices that are the farthest away from the network have a stable connection to function as intended.