How to Catch Wifi Signal from Long Distance? Considering how dependent we are on technology and the internet, receiving a decent WiFi signal can make or break our day. But technology – it is as fickle as it is essential. All of us have been the victims of a poor signal at one point or another, and it is never fun. Imagine taking a few steps away from the router and losing the signal – it is something we can relate to.
We all are aware that being close to the router will help us receive a better signal. But it isn’t always feasible to stay close to it. It is this very problem that we seek to address in this article. If you have been thinking – how to catch a WiFi signal from a long distance – we are going to delve deep into the subject and give you a range of solutions to try and fix your issue.
How Wi-Fi Signals Work
We all use Wi-Fi in our lives, for work, and for entertainment. It has become an essential part of modern life. A problem with Wi-Fi could mean an interruption to the Zoom call or the YouTube video you were just watching. If the Wi-Fi signal isn’t optimal, and you’re left wondering how to receive a Wi-Fi signal from a long distance. In order to understand the solution, we need to understand what Wi-Fi is and how it works.
WI-FI is short for Wireless Fidelity, and also goes by Wireless Local Area Network or WLAN. WiFi uses radio frequencies to send signals from one device to another. While phones and radios also use radio frequencies, the frequencies used by WiFi are much higher and are measured in Gigahertz. The most common frequencies used by Wi-Fi are 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz.
Wi-Fi is used for providing internet access to any of the devices connected to its network. It attained widespread use because it allowed people to use fast internet wirelessly. Wi-Fi works with the help of a router – the router converts data to radio waves and other devices receive this data and decode it. This is an extremely fast process and allows people to communicate in real-time.
What is their Range
As we all might have experienced, there are times when we are simply not able to receive any kind of Wi-Fi signal. When we are out of the range of Wi-Fi signals, our connection might be poor or non-existent. So, this brings us to the question, what is the range of a decent Wi-Fi network?
The range of a Wi-Fi network can vary according to the setup. Most homes do not have a large range, while businesses that are dependent on the internet build networks to have sustainably fast signals and cover a large area. The range can also depend on the bandwidth that is in use. The general estimates of the range are 150 feet to 300 feet, but newer routers can cover greater distances.
The Wi-Fi signal your device uses is also dependent on the distance from the router, the wireless standard, and whether there are walls or structures reducing the signals.
How to Catch Wifi Signal from Long Distance
If you are having trouble with your Wi-Fi signal, and feel that your network is too slow, you can try the following options to give it a boost:
Place the Router in a Good Spot
The placement of your router is fundamental to receiving a good signal. If you are using your home network, you need to be aware of the fact that walls and structures have a huge impact on how the Wi-Fi signal is distributed. Routers, in order to distribute the signal properly, need to be in an open space. Other electrical appliances, especially microwaves can impact the Wi-Fi signal, so your router needs to be placed far away from one.
Since they have fairly limited coverage, you need to either remain close to the router or use devices that boost the signal.
Check for Problems in your Wired Internet Connection
There are times when there is nothing wrong with your router, and the reason you are receiving little to no signal is that there is something wrong with your wired internet connection. If you want to receive a proper signal, even when you’re far away from the router, you need to check your wired internet speed. You can connect your modem directly to your computer and check its speed. If the speeds are shown are below what was advertised, you may need to contact your internet service provider to work towards a solution.
Update the Firmware of your Router
Like all electronics, your router runs on some kind of software as well. The manufacturer of your router can have updates for it, that are needed in order for your router to function properly. The installation process can range from easy to tedious, because how the router gets updated ultimately depends on the manufacturer. If you are having trouble getting a Wi-Fi signal, especially if you are far from the router, you should check if your router-id up to date on its firmware.
Upgrade Old Hardware
Technology keeps changing at a rapid pace, and when it comes to networking gear, things are no different. If your internet is sluggish, and you receive poor signal the moment you step away from the router, you might have to consider getting an upgrade. Older routers use older standards that have lower bandwidth and smaller ranges. Getting a new one would then solve the issue.
Modern routers usually operate on two frequencies – 5GHz bandwidth and 2.4GHz bandwidth. If you have a dual-band router, using the 5GHz band can boost your speeds. Unfortunately, the 5GHz band cannot reach as far as the 2.4GHz. So if you’re looking for a better range over speed, 2.4GHz is the way to go.
The speed of your network is affected by all the electronics around it, and that extends to not just your appliances, but those of your neighbors. People who live in apartments or in areas that are densely populated can face more problems with their signals since there will be a huge number of electronics and other Wi-Fi networks in the range. So if you want your Wi-Fi to have a larger range so that you can use it from far away, you may want to consider changing the channel.
Most routers choose the channel automatically, but if that particular channel is congested, you can change to a less congested one.
Deny Access to Unknown Devices
Sometimes, the problem with your Wi-Fi range could be because of other devices using your internet. This is quite common if you have an open network, or a weak security system using WEP. If unknown devices are hogging your internet, then you need to deny them access and then secure the network with a sturdier system such as WPA2.
Replace Antenna/ Get an External Antenna
Antennas are an essential component of routers, they send out and receive the signals. Routers can come with an internal antenna or an external one. If your router only has an internal antenna, then adding an external one will boost the speed and the range of your signal. There are two kinds of external antennas available – Omnidirectional antennas and Directional antennas.
Omnidirectional antennas send out signals in all directions while Directional antennas only send out the signals in one direction. Choosing an external antenna can depend on your needs, whether you want to cover a weak spot (directional antennas) or want a stronger signal and larger range overall (omnidirectional antennas).
Use Range Extender
The range of a router depends on quite a number of things – how old it is, what bandwidth it uses if it is in an open space and the standard of the router. But even with all the factors considered, the range cannot be extended beyond a certain threshold. If your living space is much larger than what the range of the router can cover, investing in a range extender can solve that particular issue for you. A range extender works by receiving a signal from your router and then it rebroadcasts it. They are an inexpensive solution that will help you receive a Wi-Fi signal from far away.
Invest in a Wireless Network Adapter
Wireless adapters have been usually used by computers and laptops that do not have a Wi-Fi adapter built into them. It is a device that is plugged into a laptop or computer to allow them to connect to a wireless network. If you are wondering how to catch a Wi-Fi signal from a long distance using a wireless adapter, the answer is pretty simple. It allows you to connect to multiple Wi-Fi networks and even picks up signals that are beyond the capability of your in-built Wi-Fi adapter.
There can be a lot of factors contributing to a poor range from your router. It is important that you understand what your issue might be and then solve it.
Meet Eriksson Ray. I’m the co-founder of TenWitch.com. Our website is dedicated to the coverage of product reviews, buyer’s guides, best lists, etc. We can help you to choose a new modem/router or troubleshooting your Internet connection.