Tag Archives: range

Poor wifi signals? Is it interference? (Quick fix)

I was recently very bewildered since the wifi singal range on my router was still very poor even after adding a huge 9DBi antenna to it. I couldn’t understand why, but then I did some research and found some rather interesting information.

It would appear that if you use a cordless phone, you may be aware that most common cordless phones run at a frequency band of about 2.4GHz. Sound familiar?

Well, you may also be aware that both 802.11b and 802.11g wifi signals (as well as some 802.11n) both run 2.4GHz.

What a coincidence. Anyway, what that means is that if your router and cordless phone base are close together (ie less than 50cm apart), they can interfere with each other and therefore reduce signal range quite dramatically.

This was the problem I seemed to be having. So I move my router so it was about 100cm (the further the better, ideally) from the phone base, and the signal range increased hugely. It also put an end to the regular connection drops I got while using wifi.

So, a simple thought, but it really does make a difference. It’s not just cordless phones, but anything near a router that runs at a frequency of 2.4GHz or 5GHz. Bare it in mind.

Together with my 9DBi antenna, I now get fantasic wifi signal that I’m really pleased with. It made a huge difference, so definitely consider it before blaming a router or router antenna.

Review: 9DBi Wireless Router Antenna

I managed to dig out some money lately to buy a few gadgets and bits of kit, so you’ll probably see a few reviews on various items in the next few days. But first of all, I’ve got this 9DBi wireless router antenna.

I bought it simply because the little antenna that came with my D-Link DSL-2640B doesn’t quite cut it in my house. For some reason, the signal it emits just isn’t powerful enough to cover the whole of my small house, so I decided it was time for an upgrade.

After a quick search around on eBay, I found this. It is really a pretty good deal at just £6.99 so if you are having signal problems, I suggest you get one.

Most routers generally come with either built in antennas or removable ones. You are lucky if you have a removable one, because you can upgrade it. Sadly, built in antennas aren’t replaceable so you’ll just have to live with the poor signal range or just buy a new router.

If you do have a removable antenna on your router, you’ll be glad to know that you can use a wide range of different antennas. The most common type of antenna that is fitted to most routers by default is omnidirectional. This means that they broadcast in all directions – great if your router is in the center of your house but not so great if its in the corner of the house since a good 30-40% of your wireless power will be wasted going through the wall out of your house. You can get antennas that point in one direction, but these are less common and more expensive. Unless you’re really desperate, I’d suggest you stick to omnidirectional.

Another thing you’ll need to understand is the rating of the antenna. Most routers come with an antenna of about 3-5DBi which is fine for a small modern house. However you can get antennas up to about 9DBi which are much more powerful. Bare in mind they are much bigger than 3DBi antennas and you won’t be impressed if you want don’t like the look of your gadgets. F0r example, the one I now have (see eBay link above) is 37.5cm high so it will be quite hard to hide.

They are definitely worth the upgrade though. I am very impressed with mine, as the signal range is much better and I get much fewer disconnections which is good. The only thing I’m a little puzzled about is that my router says to lower the transmit power of the router if I install a high gain antenna – but why should I, doesn’t that just defeat the point of buying a more powerful antenna? Little odd.

Anyway, so yes, if you do experience wireless signal issues try getting a new antenna. Check that you can replace your antenna before you buy one for obvious reasons. If you can, you might find this makes a big difference.