It can be a very frustrating affair having to deal with poor Wi-Fi signal strength. What is there to like about spending longer time on something that could have been done in the twinkle of an eye? A variety of factors can contribute to cause slow Wi-Fi connection on your notebook. Here are some ideas to try if you are in search of ways to improve your laptop’s Wi-Fi quality.
Distance is one of the major reasons why you may have poor network signal on your laptop. Wireless routers have ranges their signals can travel. For example, a router on the 802.11 b/g standard could have a 32-meter range. You may have poor signal issues if you are outside or on the extreme of the range. Therefore, one way you can improve your laptop’s Wi-Fi will be to move closer to the router.
Deal with interference
Wireless connection speeds can be adversely affected by signals from other electronics and wireless networks, especially in the case of where you live in a thickly-populated area. Physical obstructions, such as walls, could also present a challenge. You can deal with signals from other wireless networks by switching to the less commonly used 5GHz frequency, if you have a dual-band router. You can also improve your laptop’s Wi-Fi quality by placing huge furniture along your home’s exterior walls. Reducing the number of mirrors in your home or office will help as well as these can reflect Wi-Fi signals.
Modern routers are designed to use multiple channels to communicate to devices. You are allowed to switch from one channel to another as you desire. If your router is on the same channel as other wireless networks in your area, slow connection results due to congestion. You can view what channels neighboring networks are using on a Windows computer. All you need do is type netsh wlan show all, according to PCMag. Select a channel that is less congested and set it following instructions provided in the manual for your router.
If it happens that you are not able to connect to a router, it is possible the integrated Wi-Fi adapter in your laptop is bad or incompatible. The obvious solution in this case will be for you to replace the adapter. However, the only way you can do this will be by buying a USB wireless adapter since your laptop’s adapter is built-in.
Update driver and/or firmware
It is possible that outdated driver is at the root of your slow Wi-Fi connection issue. Keeping your wireless network adapter regularly updated will be helpful. You can directly check for updates on manufacturer’s website or go through Windows Update in the case of a Windows computer. It may well be that it is your router that requires an update. So you will do well to check for and install latest firmware.
Poor Wi-Fi signal may be the result of some uninvited guests gate-crashing your party. To guard against this, make sure your wireless network is not open to everyone. Don’t put the name of your network out there for everyone to see. Uncheck the “Enable SSID Broadcast” option on the admin page of your access point to make your network undiscoverable to free riders. Put security algorithms into work as well. Wireless Protected Access (WAP/WAP2) is the far superior security algorithm, compared to Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP). Do not forget to use a password that will be hard for hackers to crack.
Introduce a repeater
A wireless repeater, also known as a wireless range extender, will be useful if you use your laptop in an area far from your Wi-Fi access point. Its function is to amplify signal over a wider area to ensure better reception. A repeater is also useful where there are physical obstructions. It is placed midway between a router and the area where signal quality requires improvement or where you use your laptop. It is recommended that a wireless extender be placed at a point where signal from a router is at least at 80% strength level.
One or several of these ideas may be all you need to give your laptop’s Wi-Fi strength the much-desired boost. You should note that the number of devices connected to a wireless network also impacts negatively on connection speeds. If you are still not able to improve signal quality with all these tips, it may well be that your router is obsolete and requires an upgrade in form of more modern hardware.