It’s been labeled as one of the four horsemen of the modern apocalypse: no WiFi signal. Unfortunately, unless you’re dealing with a small home or office with little resistance to radio signals in the walls and floors, this issue can cause serious problems with your productivity. However, there is a range of tools available to help you boost the signal throughout your structure to make sure you don’t have any dead zones that are difficult to deal with.
The IT Consulting team at HRCT has put together a quick look at how WiFi boosters and repeaters can improve your network coverage.
How Do WiFi Boosters and Repeaters Improve WiFi Network?
Though both boosters and repeaters are fairly simple and inexpensive technology, understanding the difference can make a big difference in how well your new devices improve network coverage. In general, WiFi routers have a limited range, especially when they’re used in structures that have multiple floors or thick walls.
Difference in Devices
A wireless repeater extends that range by receiving a signal from the original router and rebroadcasting it into a larger area. It forms an extension of the main network, so the WiFi signal from your router can reach a longer distance or around obstructions, such as a metal warehouse wall.
An access point allows devices to connect to a router. Though many routers have a built-in access point, other types need to have a separate connection. These access points are typically wired in using a network cable to the network switch, modem, or router.
A WiFi booster takes a weak signal and amplifies its signal strength to allow it to reach further into an area. This allows you to use a single network rather than the separate-but-similar network approach used in a wireless repeater without the complexity of multiple networks, providing an easier transition from one zone to the next.
Survey Your Area
Before you buy any device, start by surveying your structure and determine where the signal is strong, the points at which it weakens and where it disappears altogether. This will allow you to determine the best placement of repeaters, access points, or boosters to improve reception. Use an analyzer app such as NetSpot, OpenSignal, or a similar tool. Determine if any electronics are creating interference, such as a microwave or radio. Play with your router or modem location to determine if that will help improve your reception. Once you’ve maximized reception, determine where to place your new technology to get the best results for the lowest cost.
Setting Up New Tech
To start, you’ll need to pick a location that won’t block signals from your router. Follow the directions for the specific technology that you’re implementing and refer to the manufacturer’s installation manual if there are any issues that need troubleshooting. If you need to change options or access more advanced settings in your router, you can connect using either the IP address the manual provides or either 192.168.0.1 or 192.168.1.1, which are universal presets for most routers. Don’t forget to upgrade any security measures to prevent unauthorized access in your new broadcast zone.
By using these devices to improve your overall network coverage and quality, you can quickly go from working around dead zones within your structure to having free access to your network wherever you need it. If you need help determining the best way to boost the signal throughout your structure or need help determining the best equipment for your situation, our experienced professionals can help. Please feel free to contact your managed IT services company today with any questions, for further details or to get a quote on our products and services.
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