A Cheap and Effective Way to Increase Your Wireless Internet Speed
You’ll see a lot of tips on how to speed up your Wi-Fi connection, but honestly fiddling around with your router, Windows network settings, etc. won’t do much good. And there are dozens of software “optimizing programs” that promise to speed up your internet connection. Optimizers may speed up your connection by a few Kbps, i.e. but you’ll barely notice the difference.
Honestly, your Wi-Fi speed is determined –for the most part — by your Internet Service Provider (ISP), and the distance and number of walls between your Wi-Fi router and your connected device.
It’s best to place your Wi-Fi router (or router/modem combo) in a central location in your home. But sometimes that’s not so easy to do. In my case, for instance, the cable installer put the cable connection where I was using it on a desktop ten plus years ago. I no longer use desktops. I have two laptops, a tablet, and a smartphone – and they’re all connected via Wi-Fi.
I could call the cable company – who is charging me too much already- and pay them to move the cable and router — or I could try to move the cable myself. Neither one of these options was attractive to me. So, I bought a Wi-Fi Extender, also called a Wi-Fi repeater or Wi-Fi booster. Whatever you want to call it, this device takes your Wi-Fi signal, amplifies it, and then sends it out again from a different location.
Most Wi-Fi extenders are inexpensive, and some are downright cheap. They can be especially useful in larger homes or places where there are a lot of walls or other obstructions between the router and your devices.
Most Wi-Fi extenders plug into an electrical socket so you can place it anywhere in your home and most take less than five minutes to set up. WIFI extenders start at $15 and up. It’s important to remember: You can’t judge quality by price. My extender cost $39 and increased my Internet speed in my living room from 25-30 Mbps to 75-80 Mbps. My living room is fifty feet (and four walls) away from my router. At the router, my Internet speed is100 Mbps.
Here’s some helpful information from Best Buy:
Because even the best Wi-Fi extender can only rebroadcast the signal up to the quality it receives, where it’s placed in proximity to your router is key to the effectiveness of your wireless booster. Figuring out where your Wi-Fi extender needs to be placed will help you decide between a freestanding wireless extender that can sit on a desk and one that you plug in or mount. The ideal location for your Wi-Fi extender is halfway between your wireless router and where you’ll be using your streaming media device.
A Wi-Fi extender can be beneficial in many cases. For instance, an extender can improve your streaming quality for watching movies and shows in various rooms of the house or outside on the deck. If you’re a gamer, you know what a nightmare network lag can be, so you may want to consider installing a Wi-Fi extender to push the range of the signal to your PlayStation 4 or other gaming device in order to ensure the best experience possible. Or maybe you want a Wi-Fi amplifier to get optimal use out of your wireless speakers, whether they’re located downstairs in the entertainment room, outside by the pool, surrounding the patio, or all of the above.
Remember that a Wi-Fi extender cannot make your connection faster than your ISP provides. For example, if you have a 50 Mbps connection from your provider, your connection will never be faster than 50 Mbps. But an extender can extend the Wi-Fi signal and provide you with speeds at or near the speed at the source (your router) farther away from the router.
A Wi-Fi extender is an inexpensive way to eliminate “dead zones” in your home to help boost the Wi-Fi signal and increase the Internet speed available to connected devices located distant from the Wi-Fi router.