Extend your Wi-Fi network

Tips and tricks to boost your wireless network range at home or in the office.

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Add a Wireless Repeater

Another way to significantly increase your Wi-Fi coverage (often by up to 40 percent) is to add a wireless repeater or range extender. You should place this repeater at the outer (but good) range of your existing routers coverage and it should repeat the network signals between the existing router and any Wi-Fi computers and devices that wirelessly connect to the repeater. The problem with this approach is that it significantly reduces the network speeds for those Wi-Fi computers and devices connecting via the repeater. Nevertheless, this performance reduction may be acceptable if you only plan to do basic Web browsing on those computers; you won't have much fun transferring large file transfers or streaming video between your computers on the network.

Wire Additional Wireless Access Points

The most reliablebut usually the most difficultway to extend your Wi-Fi coverage by double or more is to wire in additional wireless access points (APs). This method is similar to using HomePlug or MoCA adapters, but it usually offers better connection speeds and performance. However, it requires running an ethernet cable from the router to each additional AP. So if your home or building isnt already wired with ethernet jacks, this can be quite an involved project.

When shopping for an AP, keep in mind it is different from a wireless router. You only need one router in a home or building, so purchase an AP instead of a router when you want to extend your Wi-Fi coverage. The router is basically the network controller, and it hooks up to your Internet modem or is integrated with it. An AP doesnt include any network control capabilities; it connects to the back of a router to simply provide additional wireless access. Good luck!

This story, "Extend your Wi-Fi network" was originally published by PCWorld.

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