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How to Expand a Wireless Network

So you’ve set up a wireless network, but the signal won’t reach through the house. What’s the point of being wireless if you can’t wander very far?


  • Step 1: Reposition your router Strategically reposition your wireless router. Distance it from cordless phones, microwaves, baby monitors, large metal objects, and brick and plaster walls, all of which can disrupt the signal.
  • TIP: If you still get interference, open your router’s setup utility on your computer and change the channel, or radio frequency, the router is broadcasting on. Try channels one, six, and 11.
  • Step 2: Enable interference robustness If you’re using a Mac and a wireless router from Apple, enable the feature 'use interference robustness' on your computer. It might slow down your network, but your signal should be stronger.
  • Step 3: Add a signal booster Add a wireless signal booster, or amplifier, which will connect to your router and strengthen your signal.
  • Step 4: Replace your antenna Replace your wireless router’s antenna with a more powerful one. There are two kinds of antennas: omni-directional, which extends a network in all directions, and directional, which extends it in a limited arc.
  • TIP: Balance convenience and security. A network becomes less secure as you expand the physical area from which it can be accessed. Directional antennas are a good way to prevent extending your network in unwanted directions.
  • Step 5: Set up a range expander Set up a range expander, or repeater, which--when placed on the edge of your network--will re-broadcast the signal to spots that were previously dead. Now go enjoy your wireless freedom!
  • FACT: Seventy-two percent of wireless users check email daily, compared to 31 percent of all internet users.

You Will Need

  • A signal booster
  • A new antenna
  • A range expander
  • or repeater

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