If you live in a smaller house, you may have never even thought about an extender because you may not need it.
Maybe, though, you now live in a bigger home and don’t have internet access to your entire house, making a Wi-Fi extender is something you would love to try out.
Of course, it’s annoying to walk through your house and have your phone or tablet disconnect from internet because your router is all the way back in the living room. Or say you have guests and give them the extra room in the basement, they probably won’t have any internet access over there.
Therefore, getting a Wi-Fi extender is a good move.
Luckily, you don’t need fancy skills or tons of tech knowledge in order to set up your Wi-Fi extender. We’ll show you how to set up and optimize an extender to get the entire network running smoothly.
But first, let’s talk about what exactly a Wi-Fi extender is.
What’s a Wi-Fi extender?
There’s no need to get too technical in explaining what this is and how it works, we’ll explain it in a few simple words. (check here out list of best wi-fi extender)
A Wi-Fi extender is a device that helps you get better signal in parts of your house that have poor or no Wi-Fi signal at all. There are many models on the market and you can choose one depending on the size of your house or strength of your internet.
Extenders are set up around the house between the router and the dead zones, kind of like a relay station.
Now that you’ve learned what exactly a Wi-Fi extender is, let’s quickly guide you through how to set up and optimize it.
1/ Where to place the Wi-Fi extender
Placement of your Wi-Fi extender is crucial in order for it to work properly, so you have to give this step some extra attention.
Naturally, if you have a larger home, you might have to do a bit of experimenting and move the Wi-Fi extender around until you find the perfect place for it.
- First, you should start with a plan. Sketch the location of your Wi-Fi router, AC outlets, and all the zones that don’t get any Wi-Fi signal.
- Now try to find an outlet that’s about halfway between where you don’t have Wi-Fi signal and the Wi-Fi router. That’s exactly where you want to plug in the Wi-Fi extender.
- Now all you have to do is link it with your Wi-Fi router using the directions that came the Wi-Fi extender. Of course, after you set up the extender, we suggest you go to the dead zones to check if they now have some Wi-Fi signal.
- If you still don’t have any internet there, you should bring the extender closer, and continue to do so until you finally have access to the internet.
2/ Find what works the best
If you’re having trouble finding the perfect location for the Wi-Fi extender, you might have to use an AC extension cord. For example, sometimes the best place for this device is on the top of a bookshelf, so you’ll need to improvise a little.
If your Wi-Fi extender features antennas that are removable, it’s best to replace them with amplified antennas. No doubt, this will boost their sensitivity and provide better signal.
You can also use a Wi-Fi reflector. You can even make one by using aluminum foil or an empty soda can, for example. This will direct all the Wi-Fi to exactly where you want it to go.
If your dead zones are on the floor above, why not put the router on top of a bookshelf or closet shelf. The key here is to find whatever works best in order to get signal to those zones.
3/ Lower or upper floor of larger home
If your house has at least 2 floors, you have decisions to make when it comes to how you’ll set up your Wi-Fi. If your Wi-Fi router is downstairs, there’s going to be a lot of building material between the floors that will interrupt the Wi-Fi.
Things such as extra height, steel, wood, plaster and all kinds of building materials can weaken your Wi-Fi signal. To fix this issue, simply move your Wi-Fi extender closer to your Wi-Fi router. You can also place them exactly above one another in order to achieve a stronger signal.
Logically, if you don’t have internet access on the floor above, think strategically! For example, try to place your Wi-Fi extender somewhere near your staircase. This way, the extender will pick up on that signal and help take it upstairs. Of course, the same goes for basements or other out of the way areas.
As we said, you might have to move the extender many times until you find the perfect place. Don’t lose hope though, there could be other things in a way of your signal that don’t have to do with the distance between router and extender.
So, if you think you’ve placed it well, but you still don’t get internet in dead zones, check below for some other things that could be causing an interruption.
4/ Think about what’s in the way
Whenever someone says that they’ve done everything, but Wi-Fi still won’t reach dead zones, we ask them if there are mirrors anywhere in the way of the signal.
No doubt mirrors and any large metals objects can deflect your Wi-Fi signal. Other than that, there are some objects that can absorb the signal, such as masonry supports, walls, and closets.
Furthermore, stray radio signals can also disrupt Wi-Fi extenders, as well as cordless phones, microwaves, baby monitors, and refrigerators. Our suggestion is to either move those objects out the way, or simply move the router and extender away from them.
Of course, this isn’t all that easy, because theoretically, you’ll have to reorganize your furniture around your Wi-Fi router and Wi-Fi extender.
However, if you don’t hate the idea of it, and if you have ways of making this happen, we suggest you try it. Simply, Wi-Fi signal will always be better and stronger if there’s nothing on its way.
5/ Name it, change it, or keep it
When you set up your extender, you should decide whether you’re going to use the network name and password or create another one. Logically, if you use the same password, you’ll be able to go from Wi-Fi router to extender without having to re-log in all the time.
In addition, you’ll also be able to connect with a printer or whatever else is networked on your Wi-Fi signal. However, using the same log in information can cause some problems in the areas where signals overlap.
This doesn’t necessarily happen all the time, but if it does, make sure to use a different network name for the Wi-Fi extender. Keep in mind, don’t use a very simple name that’s easy to guess.
Try to think of something unique that doesn’t really describe you. Using information that describes you is easy for other people to guess which means they’ll have easy access to your Wi-Fi without you even knowing it.
Of course, that’s something you want to avoid.
6/ Use Apps for help
In today’s modern world, there’s an app for everything, even rebroadcasting. Therefore, the extender you have probably came with software for optimizing, set up its position, and enhancing its overall performance.
However, that software doesn’t always have the quality of apps made for Wi-Fi analyzation. There are a few apps that we think are the best for you to use in this case.
In our opinion, Home Wi-Fi alert is probably the best app you can use for this. It’s completely free for both Android and iOS, and it works on phones as well as tablets. The app shows your Wi-Fi speed and the overall signal strength of your device far better than other apps rated with five stars.
However, keep in mind that Home Wi-Fi Alert reports a negative dBm signal strength level. That means, a lower negative number actually means stronger signal. Nothing complicated, really, but it could be a bit confusing. Finally, Home Wi-Fi Alert helps you optimize and set up your Wi-Fi extender.
It features quite a lot of ads that some find very annoying. Also, you won’t be able to work with 5GHz and 2.4 GHz signals at the same time.
7/ Consider Mesh
If you still have a dead zone that has no internet signal, even with the help of Wi-Fi extender, you should give up on the router completely. That is, of course, if you really need internet access at that part of your house.
Instead, consider getting a mesh networking kit. The key with these devices is that they’re made to work as a router and extender. In addition, they have a very long range, so they’ll probably reach to all those dead zones that you’ve been trying to cover.
We are sure that you can now easily set up and optimize your own Wi-Fi extender. You learned about what the best position is, what to do, and what not to do.
Now, all you have to do is go buy the Wi-Fi extender you want, if you haven’t already. If you did, simply follow these steps and tips in order to set up the extender and cover your entire house with Wi-Fi signal. As you can see, it’s nothing hard to do, and it doesn’t take much time.
Sure, it can take a while to find the perfect spot, but once you do that, the rest is a breeze. Luckily, now you can go from one room to another without having to worry about losing internet connection.
In addition, you can also have guests in any part of your home, and you can be sure they’ll also have internet access. Place your extender, remove whatever is in the way of the signal, and enjoy Wi-Fi across your entire house.
Have you ever used Wi-Fi extenders? What’s your experience with Wi-Fi signal in your house? Are you having trouble with signal in some places of your home?
Please, feel free to join the conversation in the comment section down below.