We get a lot of questions about the best way to get a better WiFi signal for smartphones and tablets.
“If I put a USB wireless adapter in the USB port on my laptop in my bedroom (router is in the dining room) and it will help my internet speed even with my iPad and iPhone used in my bedroom?”
I’ve had similar questions about USB long-distance WiFi antennas that plug into PCs and laptops.
The answer to both of these questions is “no,” but let’s look at why the answer is no and if there is anything that can help with the issue.
A better WiFi adapter or an antenna for your PC won’t help with the problem because neither of these items broadcast WiFi. They receive signals. They can improve signal reception for the device they’re plugged into. But since they aren’t broadcasting a signal, there’s nothing they can do for other devices.
Right now, they don’t make anything to plug into mobile devices to increase reception of WiFi. That would sort of defeat the point of being a mobile device. For better signal strength for phones and tablets, you need to boost the signal output coming from the router.
If a router is in the basement or blocked by walls or metal furniture, it can interfere with the signal. But if yours is centrally located and there doesn’t seem to be anything physical interfering with the signal, you could try a range extender. You can buy another router to turn into a WiFi extender or try a plug-in model like the D-link model shown below. It fits right into any available electric outlet.
Click here for an article that explains more about setting up extenders.