Best Method To Increase Wireless Router Range

Wireless connection problems usually arise because of old or not compatible drivers. In our practice, the most common case of a wireless connection problem includes a problematic or dropping connection on a laptop. The most common symptom is that it will work for a couple of minutes and then the connection will drop.

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Another problem that we had was with some of the Fujitsu Siemens laptops. First, the BIOS setting for the wireless set was OFF. To remedy this problem, it is necessary to go to the BIOS and set it to ON. Secondly, sometimes in the laptop, the wireless card does not work even if the drivers are installed. It is necessary to install all the drivers that are related to the wireless card. It is called connection assistant. The drivers must be downloaded from the Fujitsu Siemens web site.

Another factor to consider is that the wireless channels sometimes get polluted. This is especially noticeable in big cities where wireless routers are close to each other and wireless channels can interfere. The problem with this is that routers are set to default channels like for instance, on channel 11 or channel 2. If there are a few routers on the same channel, they will of course interfere with each other. The result of this is a short router range or it is impossible to connect to the router in some rooms.

There is a way to solve this using the program NetSurveyor. This software helps visualize wireless network channels; the image of the channel list is below.

Figure 1: NetSurveyor showing the signal quality.

If there is a situation like this, that on one channel stacked a few routers, the best solution is to get away from them and choose channels to the right or to the left.
This is measurement data that is collected on the laptop. Here is the channel and signal quality:

1 – 22, 19, 24, 25.
2 - 21, 18, 19, 23, 24.
3- 19, 18
4 - The router was currently on this channel so I skipped it.
5 - 14, 19, 16, 14.
6 - 17, 21, 19, 17.
7 - 18, 19, 23, 21.
8 - 24, 25, 23, 23.
9 - 27, 25, 27, 25, 28, 27.
10 - 25, 28, 27, 25.
11 - 28, 27, 25, 28, 29
12 - 28, 29, 30, 28, 29.
13 – 27, 28, 29, 27.

As the data shows, the best channels to use are 11, 12 and 13. After we set the router to channel 12, there is a noticeable improvement.

It also needs to be mentioned that older WiFi cards do not support WPA encryption. The laptop will connect to the router, but will not be able to make an authorization with the password. It can look like a wireless card or router problem, but it is simply that older cards don’t work with WPA.

Also, some Intel wireless laptop cards do not work properly if the drivers are old. Some symptoms could be working for a couple of days and then on the third day, the connection will start to drop. The only solution is to go to the Intel’s website and download the latest drivers for the card. There is probably a bug or something in the hardware that is full of problems.

If it is hard to find the necessary drivers for the wireless card, I would recommend a very good driver software called DRPSU. We never had any issues using it.

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