Whether you’re working from home or providing internet to your clients, you might face signal issues at some point. This is especially true if your location has many floors. Therefore, you must know how to boost WiFi signals through walls.
Your first thought when facing connectivity issues might be to change the WiFi brand or router you’re using. But oftentimes, that is not the right solution.
WiFi signals travel through airwaves and can sometimes struggle to penetrate thick walls, especially concrete ones.
However, there’s no reason to worry yet because there are hacks to overcome this issue. The best way to approach this guide is to experiment with each of the suggestions and find the best for you.
The Basics: Can WiFi Go Through Walls?
As mentioned, walls cause a hindrance to WiFi signals. But wireless technology is constantly evolving. Therefore, experts routinely hear the question, “Can WiFi go through walls?” If that’s the same thing going through your mind, here’s the answer.
Yes, internet signals can penetrate through walls because of the wavelength related to the WiFi frequency. However, the signal strength weakens depending on the material of the wall.
If you have concrete walls, you might be out of luck in saving your WiFi signal. Since this material is the thickest, it affects the signal strength the most.
Brick and masonry walls are somewhat lenient and don’t take away as much strength as concrete. In contrast, metal walls work even better than the previous three.
Another material that walls have is wood and sheetrock. These are the best types of walls when it comes to signal strength. They aren’t very dense, and hence, you don’t lose too much connectivity.
But a room also has windows in it, so what about glass? Well, a window with a single glass pane won’t have an adverse effect on the signal. However, if you’ve coated your windows with insulating materials or if they have two panes, the signals will get weak.
How To Boost WiFi Signals Through Walls: 5 Ways That Are Simple Yet Effective
While too many walls aren’t ideal for WiFi connectivity, any location can’t go without them. And not just walls but other objects and appliances also interfere with WiFi and make it weak. Now, using Ethernet instead of WiFi is definitely an option here.
But you might not want a bunch of cables lying around the location and causing everyone to trip.
Plus, Ethernet cables aren’t feasible in some cases, such as IoT devices. For these reasons, you must learn how to boost WiFi signals through walls. The following sections will discuss five hacks that can help.
Use a Mesh Network for Boosting WiFi Signal Through Thick Walls
The first trick for boosting the WiFi signal through thick walls is to use a mesh network. These networks connect various access points to behave as one. Each point acts as a separate WiFi router. This way, you don’t rely on a single router to provide WiFi throughout the location. Here’s how it works.
Your internet modem has one mesh router directly connected to it. This device wirelessly shares its network with the access points sitting closest to it.
In return, these nodes share their network with the ones in close proximity to them. This way, they create a mesh network that can provide internet access more effectively than a single modem.
While there are multiple routers, the name and password for the complete network remains the same.
When your device has WiFi turned on, it connects to the closest node. This way, the signals will pass through walls, and you’ll have the same signal strength throughout the location.
However, everything good comes with a catch, and mesh systems have one too. If you’re a gamer, you might have difficulty with a mesh WiFi network since it doesn’t provide the optimal speed.
A Powerline Adapter Covers More Space
Some people choose to run Ethernet cables through their walls. This helps them get internet access throughout their location and avoid tripping hazards. However, that isn’t really necessary and can cost a lot.
This next trick to boost WiFi signals through walls is a powerline adapter. To be honest, it’s the best of both worlds. You get the benefits of a wired connection without having to tackle bunches of wires.
A powerline adapter uses your location’s existing wiring to provide internet access throughout. Now, because the wires are already inside your walls, there’s no question about the signals passing through.
When you purchase a powerline adapter, you’ll get two separate adapters. To put this trick into action, plug the first adapter into an outlet close to your router. Then, connect the router to the adapter using an Ethernet cable.
Now comes the second adapter that you must connect to an outlet near your devices. Then, plug the devices directly into the adapter.
When your computer connects to the internet, it will transmit a signal to the adapter you connected to the router. This adapter will pass the signal through your location’s electrical wiring to the second adapter. In return, that adapter will transmit the signal to the router.
However, remember that the wiring can interfere with the signals. Therefore, you must have a properly designed wiring system. Otherwise, the signal will lose its strength, and the powerline adapter will be a waste of time and money.
Do WiFi Extenders Work Through Walls?
A WiFi extender is another device commonly used to boost signals in dead zones. It’s a popular way to increase signal reach because it is cheaper than mesh networks and powerline adapters.
Due to these reasons, people often ask, “Do WiFi extenders work through walls?” Well, the answer is yes, they do. Extenders that also go by the names of repeaters and boosters are quite effective in extending a WiFi network’s range. Here’s how.
WiFi extenders take the signal from your WiFi router and repeat it to cover a larger area. The main point to remember here is that extenders don’t have a signal of their own. Instead, they take the existing signal and expand its range.
Therefore, the strength you get from the extender will have less bandwidth than the existing signal. Moreover, if your existing signal is already weak, the extender may not be able to pass it through the wall. Here’s how to set it up.
First, find the Ethernet port on your router and connect one end of the cable. Plug the other end into your WiFi extender. Now, plug the extender into the power outlet, and it’ll start up on its own.
Next, it’s time to set up the extender. Here, it’s a good idea to check the manual or contact support since different companies have different processes. You can also opt for a wireless extender, but remember to plug it near the existing router for optimal signal strength.
However, it isn’t one of the best methods since only a limited number of devices can connect to extenders.
If you’re looking for an alternative for powerline adapters, MoCA adapters might be your best shot. They are one of the best methods to boost WiFi through walls.
Similar to powerline adapters, they also use your location’s internal wiring. But it replaces electrical wires with coaxial ones.
Now, plugging these adapters into an outlet isn’t enough. You must also connect coaxial cables to each adapter along with connecting them to your device.
Another difference between MoCA and powerline adapters is that they don’t have a speed limit. Even if you have a high-speed internet plan, it can still effectively boost the signal through walls. However, you might not like the price tag on these adapters since they are much more expensive.
But maybe your router has become outdated, and you don’t need to buy expensive solutions. If you don’t want to make such a big investment, you can try to upgrade your router and its firmware.
Switch Your Router to the Right Frequency
If nothing else works or you don’t want to use the more expensive solutions, try changing your router’s frequency.
There are two GHz frequencies, 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. Some routers come with a single frequency, while others, like WiFi 6, provide you the option to choose. Now, the thing to remember here is that 2.4 GHz is best if you want the largest WiFi range. On the other hand, 5 GHz is best if you want the highest speed.
You don’t have to be highly technical to change your router’s frequency. In fact, it’s quite easy.
Just head over to your device’s WiFi settings and initiate a search for available networks. You’ll spot your WiFi’s name, usually followed by “2.4G” or “5G.” Then, simply connect to the one of your choice.
However, remember that only routers using the 802.11ax, 802.11ac, and a few 802.11n standards offer this feature. Without one of these, you won’t be able to take advantage of dual frequencies, no matter how much you’d like to.
In this case, you might have to change your router. If you’re doing that, you might as well buy a mesh WiFi system, which gives good range and speed.
Boost WiFi Through Walls and Enjoy the Best Speeds
In conclusion, walls and other obstacles absorb WiFi signals and lower speeds. Plus, since wireless signals are radio waves and appliances like microwaves use the same waves, they can also cause interference.
However, at this point, you should know how to boost WiFi signals through walls. To apply the solutions of the article, you can do it yourself or with a professional. In any case, it will be worth the hassle.
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