How to Fix Poor WiFi Signal Strength

Introduction

Router emitting wireless signals.
If your wireless device is experiencing slow browsing speeds, inability to stream content or loss of connectivity due to poor wireless reception it can be quite frustrating. This guide will present some solutions that may resolve these type of issues.

1 Range Check

The device needs to be within a reasonable range of the router in order to connect and have the best connection speeds.

  • In general, in most homes, you can be up to 30 feet from your router for a decent connection.
  • From 30' to 50' away, the speeds will be slower, and may drop occasionally, but it should be usable.
  • Greater than 50' away, and the signal will most likely be too weak to overcome interference. The speeds will be slow, and the connection may be sporadic.

The above numbers are approximates only. Optimal range may vary based on router make and model.

? Is the device within a reasonable range of the router?

  1. Yes
  2. No

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Router emitting wireless signals.
If your wireless device is experiencing slow browsing speeds, inability to stream content or loss of connectivity due to poor wireless reception it can be quite frustrating. This guide will present some solutions that may resolve these type of issues.

The device needs to be within a reasonable range of the router in order to connect and have the best connection speeds.

  • In general, in most homes, you can be up to 30 feet from your router for a decent connection.
  • From 30' to 50' away, the speeds will be slower, and may drop occasionally, but it should be usable.
  • Greater than 50' away, and the signal will most likely be too weak to overcome interference. The speeds will be slow, and the connection may be sporadic.

The above numbers are approximates only. Optimal range may vary based on router make and model.

If you haven't already, please try power cycling the device you're working with.

  1. Turn off your device.
    Power
  2. Wait ten seconds.
    Wait 10 seconds
  3. Turn your device on again.
    Power
  1. Unplug the power cord from your router.
    Router with unplugged power cable
  2. Ensure that all the lights went off.
  3. Wait ten seconds.
    Wait 10 seconds
  4. Plug the power cord back into your router.
  5. Wait up to a minute for the connections to be re-established.
    Wait 60 Seconds

A busy network can affect connectivity. If other people or unattended devices on your network are streaming video or audio, downloading content, heavily using the internet while you are trying to use it at the same time, your device may have trouble establishing a connection, maintaining a stable connection or may just have slow network performance.

To reduce network usage you may want to turn off or disconnect from the network any devices that may be heavily using up the network.

Wireless signal interference can cause performance issues such as slow or intermittent connections and even complete disconnects. This type of interference can be caused by the presence of:

  • Electromagnetic fields created by other electronic devices such as: Wi-Fi or Bluetooth capable devices, cordless phones, baby monitors, remote controlled toys, microwave ovens, seasonal lighting, or even garage door openers.
  • Structural materials in walls, floors, furnishings or other large objects. The potential for structural materials in your home to absorb wireless signal and cause signal loss or undesirable behavior is as follows:

    Interference Potential Type of Material
    Low Synthetic material, wood, glass
    Medium Brick, marble, water
    High Concrete, plaster
    Very High Metal

To reduce wireless signal interference caused by other electronic devices:

  1. Turn off temporarily any of the above devices and check if the issue persists.
  2. If it does, consider moving the affected device or any of the other devices further from the affected device.
  3. Alternately, if possible, you can select different wireless channels in the devices' configuration. Consult the devices' manufacturers documentation for details on how to make those changes.

To reduce wireless signal interference caused by other objects or structures:

  1. Move the affected device or any obstacles if possible and check if the issue persists.
  2. If the device is in a cabinet or closet, consider taking it out.

Check if other devices on the same network are having the same connectivity issue. This applies to situations when:

  • You are unable to connect to a Wi-Fi network:
    • Try connecting to the same Wi-Fi network with other devices.
  • You have no internet access or you have slow or intermittent connectivity:
    • Try loading webpages, watching online videos, listening to online music or playing an online game with other devices connected to the same network, preferably through an Ethernet connection.

Paperclip inserted in reset button pinhole
Resetting a router to factory defaults is the process through which all configured settings on it are reverted back to their original values set by the manufacturer. This can be done if you're no longer able to login to the router's administrative console due to losing or forgetting the login credentials, to potentially fix a malfunctioning router, or if you wish to sell or give it away.

All personal information and customized data will be wiped during this process, the router will need to be reconfigured to the state it was in prior to resetting it back to defaults.
  • Ensure you know what the default router login credentials are.
  • If the wireless connection settings were customized, they will need to be duplicated, otherwise all wireless devices will have to be reconnected manually.
  • If you only have wireless devices and you're unable to hardwire a computer to the router to reconfigure it, ensure you know what the default wireless credentials are.
The following procedures will vary depending on the brand and model of your router. ISP-provided (Internet Service Provider) routers may block or restrict access to these types of operations altogether. Depending on your circumstances, it may be necessary to reach out for additional assistance.

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Clicking this button will open a new guide that will provide you with steps to resolve your issue.

Your device may need to be relocated in closer proximity of the router to get a stronger wireless signal.

Your router may need to be relocated to a more centralized location in order to provide better coverage for all your devices.

Good Placement

A house, separated into rooms detailing how placing Wi-Fi in the center of a house will provide better coverage to reach all devices. Diagram.

Bad Placement

A house, separated into rooms detailing how placing Wi-Fi in the corner of the house can cause some devices to not have a Wi-Fi signal. Diagram.

If the wireless signal is not reaching the device and moving the router or device in closer proximity is not possible or doesn't resolve the issue, the best option for wireless connectivity is to get a range extender.
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