Helpdesk Challenge – How to boost your home wi-fi signal

If you’re experiencing problems with the wi-fi signal in your home, you may have been told to buy a wi-fi range extender or new souped-up wireless router. There’s no need to spend a pretty penny just yet, we’ve collated five tips to help you achieve a more reliable home internet connection. From your router’s positioning to upgrading its antenna, here’s our guide to boosting your wi-fi signal.

Wireless router buying guide – our expert tips

1) Check the position of your router

Moving your router slightly away from its current position may help, but it’s more likely a wholesale change is in order. This means placing the device away from nearby sources of radio interference and obstructions, such as large objects and thick walls. Electronic devices like TVs, cordless phones and microwaves also emit radio signals and can use the same frequency range.

2) Fit a microfilter to your ADSL socket

If you’re signed up to ADSL broadband, not a faster fibre optic connection, your router has to be connected to and positioned by a telephone point – the main socket is best. Make sure you’ve fitted microfilters at sockets that have any equipment connected (unless fitted with an ADSL faceplate). These cost around £2 each, and prevent connection issues caused by broadband and voice signals interfering with each other.

3) Change the wireless channel or frequency band

If it’s not possible to position your wi-fi router away from potential sources of interference, then consider changing its wi-fi channel to one that’s less congested – this also avoids any competition with neighbouring wireless networks. Having done this, don’t forget to amend the wireless settings of any PCs and devices on your network so they use the same channel.

4) Try the tin foil approach

You could buy a longer directional antenna for your router, which will typically give a better signal that can reach through your home. That said, not all wi-fi routers support longer antennas and there’s a much cheaper solution available using tin foil. Simply place a sheet of the aluminium stuff behind your router so that it reflects your wi-fi signal in the appropriate direction.

5) Turn an old router into a repeater

If you’ve got an unused wi-fi router lying around, you could turn it into a range-boosting wi-fi repeater. This should extend the wireless signal to the darkest corners of your home, but you’ll likely experience slower network speeds. It’s a complicated process, so we’ve explained it separately in our improve your wi-fi signal with an extra router blog.

More on this

Wireless router Best Buys – the top test lab performers
Home networking guide – our verdict on how to set up a wireless home network
Which? Computing Helpdesk – all our computing advice in one place

4 replies

  1. Hi my router is upstairs and my master socket is downstairs. When I use FaceTime I keep getting cut of ( it keeps saying poor signal connection) would a wifi signal booster help to stop this and what make would you recommend . Thanks Jackie .

  2. hi i am running out of data space on laptop that what it keeps saying,and everything that i have that needs a password is permanently there so anyone can open it please help as i do not know what date i can delete and what data i shouldnt delete HELP PLEASE

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