How You Can Boost Your Wi-Fi Signal Through Walls to Every Room
Ready to elevate your home internet experience with a router that fits your specific needs? Choose MCSnet and lease to own a high-speed router for only $4.95/month—complete with a full two-year warranty, or purchase outright for $99.95 + GST and enjoy a one-year warranty.
A weak Wi-Fi connection in certain spots of your home can be frustrating.
Whether you’re working from home, streaming movies or shows, or trying to stay connected with loved ones, a strong Wi-Fi signal is vital. But what can you do when your Wi-Fi signal weakens as you move further from your router?
There’s good news, though – there are some simple things you can do today to strengthen your Wi-Fi signal. Whether you prefer a do-it-yourself approach or are open to investing in additional technology, there are options to suit every budget.
In this guide, we’ll explore the reasons behind weak Wi-Fi signals and provide you with actionable steps to boost your internet. Let’s dive in and discover how to improve your Wi-Fi signal strength.
Why Strong Wi-Fi Through Walls Matters
Walls, quite literally, can stand as barriers between us and seamless connectivity. Whether they’re made from concrete, stone, or even just drywall, walls can disrupt our Wi-Fi signal. The denser the material, the more resistance the wall poses to radio waves, leading to a weakened Wi-Fi signal.
The Importance of Strong Wi-Fi in Homes
In today’s world, our homes are not just places for us to live, but are also our offices, entertainment hubs, and learning environments. This shift has made strong Wi-Fi through walls an absolute necessity. Here are some circumstances where boosting your internet in your home may be crucial.
Working from home
With the rise of remote work, many of us rely on home offices to stay productive. A reliable Wi-Fi connection is non-negotiable in these spaces. You need to be able to ensure that important video conferences, emails, and collaborative work tools function smoothly.
Living in a multi-story home
In multi-story homes, the challenge of maintaining a strong Wi-Fi signal becomes even more evident. As you add more walls and floors, your Wi-Fi signal faces more obstacles, impacting your internet experience.
Smart home connectivity
If you have smart home features, you need a strong Wi-Fi signal in all corners of your home. From smart thermostats and lighting systems to security cameras, a reliable signal ensures that these systems work as intended.
Now that we’ve recapped the significance of strong Wi-Fi and the challenges posed by walls, let’s explore some practical solutions you can implement today to enhance your internet signal strength without breaking the bank.
DIY Ways to Strengthen Your Wi-Fi Signal
To optimize your home Wi-Fi signal, here are some do-it-yourself (DIY) methods. These steps will help you assess and enhance your Wi-Fi connectivity without the need for expensive upgrades.
Check Your Wired Internet Connection
Before diving into Wi-Fi signal improvements, it’s crucial to establish a baseline by checking your wired internet connection. A reliable wired connection provides a reference point for assessing Wi-Fi performance. If you’re not techie enough to use and understand Wi-Fi signal visualization software, here is how to do it easily:
Step 1: Connect a device directly to your router using an Ethernet cable. This eliminates any potential Wi-Fi-related issues.
Step 3: Document your wired connection speed. This will serve as a benchmark for future comparisons.
To simplify this process for you, we’ve prepared a troubleshooting guide to help you diagnose any potential issues.
Determine Areas with Weak Signal
Next, we need to identify areas in your home with a weak internet signal. To do so, simply walk around your home with a device connected to your Wi-Fi network. Pay attention to signal strength indicators on your device. If you lose bars on your signal indicator, you know you’re losing Wi-Fi performance in that area.
Run a speed test in each of these weak signal areas to see how far off your benchmark speed you are, and to establish a baseline for future comparisons.
To assist you in tracking your signal strength, here’s a guide to test your signal strength. After identifying areas with weak signals, it’s time to take some simple steps to fix this issue.
Change Router Location
The placement of your router plays a pivotal role in signal strength; make sure your router is located in a central location within your home. This minimizes the impact of walls and obstacles on signal strength.
As we mentioned earlier, walls, especially those made of denser materials like concrete, can significantly weaken Wi-Fi signals. By centralizing your router, you reduce the number of barriers the signal has to overcome.
Another factor to keep in mind when considering router location is an area free of any objects or obstructions that may block the signal. This can be furniture, decor, or any other object (especially metal) that is standing between your router and your device.
If your router is already located centrally within your home, there’s another simple step you can take, and it involves a product you likely have in your kitchen right now: aluminum foil.
Using Aluminum Foil to Boost Signal
Surprisingly, aluminum foil can serve as a budget-friendly Wi-Fi signal booster. Because of its reflective properties, aluminum foil can reflect and localize your Wi-Fi signal in a specific direction. By strategically placing some foil behind your router, you can direct the signal toward the dead zones in your home.
Be cautious, though: When using aluminum foil, try to avoid overheating your router. Ensure that the foil does not touch any electrical components and is used solely to reflect the signal.
Update Router Firmware
Just like you need to regularly update your cell phone or tablet, you also should regularly update your router firmware. Keeping your firmware up-to-date is crucial for top performance and security.
Check your router manufacturer’s website for the latest firmware version. Follow their step-by-step guide to download and install the update.
Change Your Wi-Fi Frequency
Most modern routers offer two frequency options: 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz.
The main difference between these two frequencies lies in their signal coverage range and speed capabilities. The 2.4 GHz band offers a broader coverage area but at a lower maximum speed. The 5 GHz band provides less coverage but boasts higher throughput potential.
If your device is far from your router, opt to join the 2.4 GHz band (it should specify 2.4 GHz in the network name). However, if you are near your router and prefer superior performance and speed, join the 5 GHz band.
As an additional note, the 5 GHz band is better at cutting through network clutter and interference, optimizing network performance. This makes it the ideal choice for gamers to reduce game lag and ensure a smoother overall experience.
Unauthorized access to your Wi-Fi network can not only slow it down, but also poses some serious security risks. Unauthorized users can consume your bandwidth, leading to slower speeds. Additionally, these users can get access to your sensitive information like passwords, credit card information you’ve filled in online, etc.
To address this issue, begin by ensuring that your Wi-Fi is password-protected with a password that’s not easy to guess. To identify any unauthorized users, access your router’s settings and view connected devices. Identify any unfamiliar devices and disconnect them from your network.
Control Quality of Service
Quality of Service (QoS) settings on your router can prioritize certain types of traffic over others. This can be beneficial for maintaining a strong connection when multiple devices are in use.
QoS settings allow you to direct more bandwidth to essential tasks. For example, you can set your QoS to prioritize video conferencing when working from home to ensure a smoother experience.
Adjust Your Antenna
Finally, consider adjusting or upgrading your router’s antennas. Different antennas can impact your signal range and direction.
Some routers come with detachable antennas, allowing you to replace or add antennas for better coverage. Check your router manufacturer’s website for information on how to add or replace your router antennas.
By exploring these DIY methods, you can take proactive steps to strengthen your Wi-Fi signal without breaking the bank. If you’ve taken the steps in this section and are still struggling with poor Wi-Fi signal, it may be time to explore some paid solutions. In the next section, we’ll highlight some solutions that are a bit more costly, but also more effective.
Paid Methods to Boost Your Wi-Fi Signal
While DIY solutions can work wonders, there are times when investing in internet speed boosters is necessary. In this section, we’ll explore paid methods that can significantly boost your Wi-Fi signal strength.
Use a Mesh Network to Boost the Wi-Fi Signal
One of the best ways to boost your Wi-Fi signal is to invest in a mesh network. A mesh network is designed to eliminate dead zones and provide seamless coverage throughout your home.
Unlike traditional routers, which rely on a single access point, mesh networks consist of multiple wireless access points. These access points work together to create a unified Wi-Fi network, giving you strong Wi-Fi in every corner of your home.
Several reputable brands offer wireless access points to make up your home mesh network, including Google, Eero, and Asus. These systems come in various configurations to suit different needs and budgets. Here are some options depending on your budget:
Before we dive into the wireless access point install and setup, it’s important to differentiate a wireless access point from a traditional router.
WAP (Wireless Access Point)
Takes data signal from the internet connection outside your home and converts it into a Wi-Fi signal that your devices can use Creates its own network within a home or businessProvides a layer of security between the network outside of your home and your device
Takes data signal from within your home, sent from your router, and amplifies it within a spaceOperates under the router; doesn’t create its own networkDoesn’t provide security features; data is shared under the router
Now that we’ve clearly defined the difference between your router and WAP, let’s talk about setup and install.
Wireless access point install and setup
Whether you’re hiring a professional or have opted to set up your own WAP, here is what that process looks like.
Step 1: Connect your WAP and router
Using an Ethernet cable, connect the WAP to your router. You can either run the cable through your walls or tape the cable to your floorboard so it’s not a tripping hazard.
Step 2: Configure settings
You can generally access the WAP’s settings by entering the IP address into a browser. Refer to your WAP manufacturer’s manual for specific instructions.
Step 3: Test the connection
Using your device, connect to the network (if you’re not already connected). You should see full bars, especially if you’re in close proximity to the WAP. If not, try to configure the settings or refer to the Troubleshooting section of the manufacturer’s manual.
You’ve successfully set up your Wireless Access Point! Repeat as necessary if you’re setting up a mesh network with several WAPs in your home.
Now, let’s turn our attention to another powerful tool to boost Wi-Fi in your home: the powerline adapter.
Use a Powerline Adapter
Powerline adapters are plugin devices that use your home’s electrical wiring infrastructure to transmit data signals wirelessly. So long, ethernet cables! They consist of two adapters: one connected to your router and the other placed in the room where you need an enhanced Wi-Fi signal.
Powerline adapters are particularly useful when extending Wi-Fi to rooms that are far from your router. They provide a stable and high-speed connection by using your home’s existing electrical wiring.
Though they come at a cost, these paid solutions can significantly improve your Wi-Fi signal strength. Whether you opt for a mesh network with wireless access points or a powerline adapter, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying reliable internet throughout your home.
When it comes to your home Wi-Fi, you should never have to settle for areas of reduced signal. If you’ve been dealing with this issue, you should now feel equipped to tackle your Wi-Fi woes with the strategies we’ve outlined above.
Before investing in a paid solution, try some easy DIY solutions. Simple steps like changing your router’s location, reflecting the signal with aluminum foil, updating your router’s firmware, and changing your frequency can all help the issue. If all else fails, you can invest in a paid solution. Setting up a mesh network with wireless access points or getting a powerline adapter will help ensure your internet signal is consistent.
To make things even easier, we’ve prepared a downloadable one-page summary guide for quick reference. With these methods and tips in your toolkit, you can overcome your Wi-Fi woes and enjoy seamless internet connectivity in every corner of your home.
If you’re looking for affordable residential internet in rural Alberta, look no further. We offer free equipment installation on a 2-year contract, enhanced tech support, and even a free MCSnet router on select plans. To improve your Wi-Fi signal, lease or purchase our Wi-Fi router.
Do Wi-Fi Signal Boosters Actually Work?
Yes, Wi-Fi signal boosters work. By amplifying and extending your existing Wi-Fi signal, signal boosters help your internet reach areas with weak or no coverage.
What Does A Wi-Fi Signal Look Like?
You can see a 3D visualization of Wi-Fi on our Support Pages and learn more about where to place your router for the best signal strength.
This is a 3D visualization of wifi strength in a 36cm x 36cm x 18cm space (approx 1ft x 1ft). The green and blue areas are where the signal is strongest, and the empty areas are where the signal is weaker. This shows how moving about 2.5 inches can get a completely different signal strength.
This depends on what you’re doing. A good minimum guideline is that you need 1-5 Mbps for checking email and browsing the web, 15-25 Mbps for streaming HD video, 40-100 Mbps for streaming 4K video and playing online games, and 200+ Mbps for streaming 4K video, playing online games, and downloading large files. These download speeds are per device.
How Much Does a Wi-Fi Signal Booster Cost?
Powerline adapters generally start at $100 and range up to $200. Wireless access points can start around $100 per node and climb to around $600.
What Materials Block Wi-Fi Signals?
While most materials can block Wi-Fi signals, you should pay particular attention to metal, electronic devices, concrete, brick, furniture made of wood, and even water.
Rhonda joined MCSnet in 2019 to lead the rebranding and marketing for the local internet service provider. She has since been promoted to the senior leadership team and as the Chief Marketing Officer, she oversees all marketing, sales, business development, and donations for the company. As a former newspaper editor, MLA assistant, and school board trustee, Rhonda understands the importance of communities and building relationships. Rhonda also owns a small business with her husband and has lived in the St. Paul area for over 27 years. She has two sons aged 20 and 17.
Sign up for one or both of our email communications and SMS notifications for service updates, offers, community initiatives, and more!
Switch to low data mode for a stripped-down version of our website. We designed this setting for users who haven't made the leap to MCSnet yet. If you're ready to ramp up your internet speed, get started with us today.
Thanks for visiting! We hope that you have found what you needed on our website. If not, please feel free to contact us using this form and we will get back to you within one business day. Tech support hours are 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM, 7 days a week.