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How to Boost Wi-Fi

Learn how to boost Wi-Fi from computer expert Yoav Erez in this Howcast video about wireless network technology.

Transcript

So a lot of people ask me, "How do I get my Wi-Fi to work faster or to have more range?" And there are actually a few things you can do to increase the powere of your Wi-Fi or to boost it a little bit. The first thing I would do is really try to look for a better driver for your network card. You can't really do this on Macs, but on PCs if you go to the manufacturer of the laptop or whoever made your wireless adapter, you will find drivers there. And these drivers are updated every few months. Sometimes newer drivers can definitely give you more speed and more range.

The other thing you can do is change the channel of your wireless network. So if you go to the setup page of your wireless router, you will see that every router has a channel that it broadcasts on. And if you live in an area that has a lot of wireless networks around, some of them might be using the same channel that you are. So it would be a good trick to go to the wireless setup page and try to change the channel to a different channel. You can experiment with that by just changing it and seeing if it gets any better, or you can use your phone to download an app that actually kind of scans the air around you and tells you which networks are using which channels exactly.

Another thing you can do is use an access point. So if you have the energy to do it, you can actually wire an access point from your router to another place at the house, and you'll kind of get a second hotspot which will give you more range and connects you to the same network so you can share stuff between all your computers. Another idea, if you don't want to wire anything is to use range extender like this one. This range extender actually has two radio antennas in it, not just one, so it can use one of them to connect to the existing network, and then use the second one to create a new network that will connect to the existing network.

Another thing you can do is get a better wireless adapter for your computer. Your computer might be old, or it might have been cheap, and they people who built it just put a crappy wireless adapter in it. So you can buy a better wireless adapter, like this one for example, that has newer standards, more speed, and more range. They come in all different shapes and forms, but I like this one because it's a USB adapter, and it's really easy to use. You can just plug it in right here to the USB port, and voila, we have a new wireless adapter that should be much faster and much better.

Other than that, there's also upgrading the firmware. If you go to your router setup page, there's always an option to upgrade the software that runs on the router. You can find newer software on the website of the manufacturer, download it, and then install it on the router, and that usually fixes bugs, enhances speed, and makes the whole thing a lot more stable. And that's how you boost your network.

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