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Improve Your Wireless Network

Friday, June 1st, 2007 by | Filed Under: System Tune-Up Help

As cool and handy as the concept of a wireless network is, it can very rapidly get frustrating. This happens primarily because of signal strength issues, which in turn, affects your browsing and downloading speeds. And before you know it, you just simply aren’t getting as fast of a speed in the bedroom as you are in the living room. Well, today I will take you through an informative and useful article about improving your home wireless network. Here we go!

1.) First, keeping the wireless router in a central place is a good idea. If you have four computers in two different rooms, placing the router somewhere in the middle ensures equal flow to both sides. On the other hand, you could stick the router under a corner table in room one and wait forever for a Web site to load when you use the PC in the other room. Whichever you prefer!

2.) Contrary to popular belief, a wireless signal is not just sent from the router to the computer. It is also sent back from the computer to the router. So, even if the computer is able to receive the signal easily, it, at times, is not able to send them back as smoothly. That is mainly because of the incompetence of the wireless network adapter inside the PC. Replacing the internal wireless adapter with a USB version (which has an external antenna) can improve this to a great extent.

3.) Sometimes, the area that needs the wireless access is too vast for the wireless router to cover the whole effectively. Hence, the signal strength problem arises again. To combat this, you can use wireless repeaters. Wireless repeaters extend your wireless network further, without you having to install another router. The repeater simply intercepts the signal from the wireless router and extends it further, thus increasing the range of the strong signal.

4.) Wireless routers can operate on different channels, much like radio stations. Now, by radio, I don’t mean Internet radio, but the regular good ol’ radio. Sometimes, you can hear one radio station clearer than another. Similar is the case with the wireless routers. The channels they operate on in the U.S. are channels 1, 6 and 11. At times, one channel is clearer than the other, so in case of problems, it’s a good idea to change the channels every once in awhile in the wireless router settings.

5.) Wireless routers use the 2.4 GHz frequencies, which means that if you have other wireless electronics in your home that use the same frequency, there’s going to be a clash. Although the router will function normally, it might have to work harder to send/receive the signal. Hence, it’s a good idea to buy wireless electronics that use other frequency ranges.

6.) As with most applications, it’s very important to constantly update the firmware for your router and the drivers for your wireless network adapter. This will usually improve the performance, as well as, the reliability.

7.) Most of the wireless networks are type 802.11b, but what most people don’t realize is that 802.11g is about five times faster. If you are using an 802.11b and in spite of following the above advice, your speed still doesn’t improve, then as a last option, consider upgrading to an 802.11g. This essentially means upgrading the router and the network adapter to 802.11g equipment as well. That’s certainly bound to show a considerable improvement in your network speed.

Now, go on and give these a try. You never know what they could do for you and the wireless access you love so much!

~ Yogesh Bakshi

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