How to Extend Your Wi-Fi Range: Simple Tips and Smart Solutions

Fezile Biyela
Internet Provider Comparisons

We live in a highly digital age where a good connection to your smart device is vital. Indeed, a strong, reliable Wi-Fi connection isn’t just convenient; it’s necessary. Whether it’s for working or schooling remotely, managing your home and smart home integration, or streaming games or videos for entertainment, Wi-Fi plays a key role in our daily lives. And when that connection is weak or unreliable, it causes disruption and frustration. That’s why many of us seek to learn how to extend Wi-Fi range. 

This article delves into the answers with simple and advanced solutions to extend range to enhance your online experience.

Limitations of Your Wi-Fi Range

Wireless networking technology, known more commonly as Wi-Fi, allows us to connect to the internet with no need for physical cables. No longer needing to drag a cord behind us or set up computers directly next to an ethernet (or phone) line provides significant freedom. And once you’ve experienced that freedom, you never want to go back. That said, Wi-Fi range isn’t limitless. Several factors can interfere with the strength and reach of Wi-Fi. 

For example, physical barriers like walls, floors, furniture, and other large objects can obstruct signals. In some locations, you may notice great signal strength in one area, but if you move just a couple of feet, you lose connection altogether.

Other devices, such as microwaves and cordless phones, can also disrupt frequencies used for Wi-Fi. And, of course, if you are far away from the Wi-Fi router, you’ll find your signal is weaker.

Simple Solutions for How to Extend Wi-Fi Range

Many people immediately look at more complex or expensive options to help boost signal strength. However, sometimes starting with simple, basic, low-tech solutions can give your signal the boost you need. Some low-tech options for how to extend Wi-Fi range, include: 

  • Move your router to ensure it’s in a central, elevated location that’s away from large objects or other forms of interference. In other words, avoid setting your router up in one corner of the basement.
  • Adjust your antennas so they get wider reach. Adjust them vertically to improve horizontal reach and horizontally to improve vertical reach. 
  • Decrease interference by moving your router away from electronic devices like your microwave, TV, Bluetooth headphones, keyboards, etc., or baby monitors and other radios. You could also try changing the channel or frequency to see if that improves your connection by limiting interference. 
  • Look around your neighborhood, as numerous networks located close together (such as in apartment or condo buildings) can affect your Wi-Fi. If you live in your own home, having more than one network may also interfere. Again, changing the channel or frequency may help, as can ensuring your devices are using Wi-Fi 5 or 6 (rather than older technologies). If it’s in your own home, you can set up different networks (such as for guests) using the same router or access point using a primary network. 
  • Update your firmware regularly to ensure performance and security.
  • Review your internet plan to make sure it provides the bandwidth you need. You may need to upgrade if you’re on a plan that’s too restricted, perhaps due to budget constraints.

More Advanced Solutions to Extend Wi-Fi Range

Often, basic adjustments are all you need. But not always. Sometimes you may need more advanced solutions. This could include a Wi-Fi extender to amplify your existing signal. These devices can cost between $20 and $100. You want to research the device well, though, to ensure it’s compatible with your specific router and doesn’t reduce bandwidth significantly. 

You could also look at powerline extenders, which use your existing electrical wiring. Depending on the quality of your home’s wiring, these can provide a stable connection throughout the home for around $40 to $100. Simply plug one adaptor in near your router, connecting it via an Ethernet cable. Then plug in another adapter in an outlet close to where you need internet access. 

If you have a larger space or home, you may want to consider using a mesh system, which can be more expensive (between $100 and $500). These take more technical know-how to set up but can provide seamless coverage even in a large space. Then, connect directly into your modem, and then, via a series of satellite modules (aka nodes), they can spread out the Wi-Fi coverage.

If you need a more robust solution, you can look into high-gain antennas, which enhance the signal strength, though their range is also limited. They can cost anywhere from $15 to $100, depending on the device. 

Finally, for large homes or businesses, wireless access points can provide a stable signal for multiple devices through an ethernet connection. They typically cost between $60 and $200. 

How to Extend Wi-Fi Range in Rural Areas

Living in more remote locations offers big benefits (from decreased traffic, congestion, and pollution) to greater access to the wonders of nature. They can also provide more room to spread out. However, many rural areas offer limited infrastructure and options for Wi-Fi. 

If you are in such an area, in addition to the above options, you may want to consider:

  • Wi-Fi Repeater/Extenders can be placed between your router and the area (such as an outbuilding or garage) where you need the signal to reach. They take the existing signal and rebroadcast it to cover more area. 
  • Outdoor Wi-Fi access points are specifically designed for large properties. They’re weather-resistant and can help cover large areas to ensure you have signal. 

How to Extend Wi-Fi Range Takeaway

It’s important to first understand your specific needs and environment. That will help you determine which Wi-Fi range extender solution is right for you. Start with the simplest, most cost-effective solution and then move on to more advanced options if necessary. 

If you’re unsure about the best approach or if the process seems too complex, a professional may be able to customize a solution to meet your specific needs and environment. So don’t hesitate to ask for additional help or resources. 

Written by:
Fezile Biyela
Digital Writer

Hi, I’m Fez. A chai-drinking, worship-singing, and words-loving copywriter. I’m a digital native obsessed with staying connected with the world around me. That’s why you’re seeing me here – helping you stay connected. Happy reading!

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