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I moved into a new place and my old Wi-Fi router just doesn't have the range to get into all the rooms. I've been investigating a lot of options and I'm wondering what other folks have done here. Moving the current location of my primary Wi-Fi router is not an option thanks to our cable provider and our landlord.

  • Buy a bigger, beefier router (seems expensive). If so, should I go for one of those draft 802.11n ones to avoid microwave/other Wi-Fi router interference?
  • Set up a router with DD-WRT as a repeater
  • Leech the neighbors' open Wi-Fi access point.

Alright, I was kidding about the last one but I'm genuinely curious as to what my best option is.

7 Answers 7

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Before you buy something, try making your own parabolic reflector using paper and foil.

Aim it at the areas that are having difficulty. It will compromise signal slightly on the other side of the dish, so pick the more important side. I'm using 2 right now, and one of them delivers a signal across a parking lot and into a separate building.

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You could use DD-WRT as a repeater, but I've read that if you only have 1 antenna, it will have to use that for both sending and receiving, cutting your speed in half.

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  • 1
    Also, if DD-WRT is on your router, you can increase the default signal strength or pick a channel others aren't using like 11.
    – hyperslug
    Aug 4, 2009 at 7:38
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    you ARE a superuser
    – bobobobo
    Aug 4, 2009 at 11:55
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    No matter how many antennas your router has, if it only has 1 radio (very common even if it has more than one antenna), it will cut your speed in half. The only way to avoid it is to use 2 radios in 2 different channels (both radios can, of course, share the same antenna).
    – CesarB
    Sep 12, 2009 at 2:26
  • @CesarB, good catch; it should be radio, not antenna.
    – hyperslug
    Sep 12, 2009 at 15:25
  • @cesarB, so how do one know how many radios his/her router has? Is it a 2.4Ghz-only router counts as one radio, while a 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz SIMULTANEOUS router count as two radio? Or are you talking about something completely different?
    – RayLuo
    Nov 11, 2018 at 8:56
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You could try some boosting tricks,

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Use an appropriate antenna. The gain (pun intended :-) ) of using a slightly better antenna almost always is greater than even adding an amplifier or more powerful transceiver. Find an antenna with a radiation pattern that matches your environment and you'll be amazed at the difference over the rubber duck/dummy load that your device comes with!

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  • The default antennas on cheap WLAN APs indeed are not the best omnidirectional antennas you can get.
    – Zds
    Aug 9, 2011 at 21:26
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I have used the Hawking Range Extenders in the past with great success. The Hi-Gain WiFi Signal Booster works quite well too. You can also grab a high gain omni-directional antenna if you truly want to dominate the neighbors' wireless. :)

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You might consider using some landlord-friendly powerline network adapters to extend your wired network out to the remote rooms, and then you can install another WAP there on another radio channel with the same SSID and security settings so that any connected devices can roam freely between the two WAPs seamlessly.

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There are a few cheap ways you can try to get a better range.

I've solved it by buying a powerful linksys model router which covers my house and exterior. A nice way to solve your problem would be to buy another router and connect it to a network cable and put the router in a accespoint mode.

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If an antenna doesn't do it, a MIMO router worked for me.

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