Top 15 Ways to Boost Your Wi-Fi Signal

Learn 15 effective ways to boost your Wi-Fi network and instantly improve its performance and reach.

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Would you like your Teams calls to always be crystal clear and your downloads blazingly fast? Then you need to learn how to boost Wi-Fi signals, and the 15 methods described below are here to help you do just that. So, grab yourself a cup of your favorite beverage — you're about to become a Wi-Fi optimization pro.

1. Select a Good Place for Your Router

Not all places are equally suitable for your router. To start with, you want to avoid placing your router close to metal objects and appliances that emit electromagnetic waves. Metal is the top disrupter of a Wi-Fi signal, and its presence close to a Wi-Fi router can easily create a large dead zone.

Other materials, including glass, wood, plastics, foam, and cardboard, can also disrupt a Wi-Fi signal but their influence of Wi-Fi signal strength tends to less severe. Keep in mind that many buildings use metal studs (rather than 2x4 wood) for the particle board mounting, and placing your router close to them would be a bad idea. When in doubt, use a handheld stud finder or at least a stud finder app on your smartphone.

Select a Good Place for Your Router

Strictly speaking, all household appliances emit electromagnetic waves to some degree, even fluorescent lightbulbs, circuit breakers, and electric razors. The biggest emitters of electromagnetic waves tend to be found in the kitchen, and they include stoves, microwave ovens, and dishwashers.

Other problematic appliances are washing machines, tumble dryers, televisions, cordless phones, and radiant heaters. If you have any of these appliances at home, keep your Wi-Fi router as far away from them as possible to boost Wi-Fi signal.

Ideally, you also want to keep a safe distance from electric wires. To cover an area with an even Wi-Fi signal, you should place your Wi-Fi router roughly in the center. You can slightly boost your wireless signal by elevating the router above the floor level.

Wi-Fi signals radiate outward in all directions, not just horizontally. When your router is on the floor, its ability to emit strong signals is severely limited. For the same reason, people who live in multi-store houses should always locate a Wi-Fi router near the ceiling on the first floor. This way, even the second floor will receive consistent coverage.

You can learn how much Wi-Fi interference there is in your environment by using NetSpot to create a Wi-Fi site survey that measures the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), which compares the strength of your Wi-Fi signal against any background noise and interference on the same channel. A higher SNR means a better, more reliable connection.

There’s also NetSpot for Android, which offers a great way to troubleshoot Wi-Fi coverage and select the best placement for your router with just a mobile device at hand. You can build Wi-Fi heatmaps directly on your mobile device (in-app purchase required for the heatmaps on device).

Perform WiFi Site Surveys on Android

Perform an in-depth visual analysis and troubleshoot your WiFi network with comprehensive color-coded heatmaps.
Perform WiFi Site Surveys on Android

2. Keep Your Router Updated

If you follow the news, you’ve heard about the growing number of large-scale malware attacks that are costing businesses and individuals alike billions every year. Many of these attacks wouldn’t be possible if all routers were kept updated. Once a malware infects a router, it can steal bandwidth and spread itself across the network to other devices.

But even without a presence of a dangerous malware, routers with old firmware perform worse than routers that are properly updated.

Keep Your Router Updated

To check if your router is running the newest firmware available:

  1. Launch a web browser on your computer or mobile device and connect to your router’s network.
Launch a web browser
  1. Enter the IP address of the router into the web browser.
    • If you don’t know what the IP address is, check if there is an information sticker somewhere on the router.
Enter the IP address
  1. Log in with admin username and password.
    • Again, if you don’t know what the right admin password is, look at the information sticker on the bottom or back of your router.
Log in with admin username and password
  1. Select an option called Firmware Update or Router Update.
    • Because there are many different routers, you may need to do some digging and detective work to find the right option.
Select an option called Firmware Update
  1. Wait until your router finds and installs the latest firmware.
    • Never interrupt the update. If it takes a long time and your router appears to be unresponsive, give it a few more minutes before you disconnect the router from power and turn it on again.
Wait until your router finds and installs the latest firmwar

3. Get a Stronger Antenna

Most Wi-Fi routers come with small, weak antennas. It’s not that manufacturers want to save every cent they can, but powerful Wi-Fi antennas tend to be hideously large. Compared to the antenna that came with your router, which probably is just a few inches tall and has around 4 dB gain, a 10-dB antenna can be anywhere between 10 to 15 inches tall.

But if you don’t mind the size, a new, powerful Wi-Fi antenna is a great way to boost Wi-Fi at home or office without buying a new router.

Get a Stronger Antenna

4. Cut Off Wi-Fi Leeches

An encrypted, password-protected Wi-Fi is a must in this day and age. With more people than ever relying on Wi-Fi, the hunger for open, fast Wi-Fi networks is real. Don’t think that your neighbors won’t use your wireless network just because they have their own — they will.

You should encrypt your Wi-Fi and protect it with a strong password that can’t be easily guessed. A strong password should:

  • Include a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, symbols, and numbers.
  • Don’t use common passwords, such as 123456, qwerty, and so on. You can find a list of the most common passwords here.
  • Make sure the password is at least 8 characters long. Short passwords can be easily guessed with brute force.
  • Don’t include any personal information in the password, such as your name, the name of your pet, or your telephone number.
  • Use a unique password and don’t write it on a piece of paper. If you can’t remember it, use a password manager.
Cut Off Wi-Fi Leeches

5. Buy a Wi-Fi Repeater/ Booster/ Extender

Even though they are referred to by many names, Wi-Fi boosters, repeaters, and extenders are basically the same thing.

Wi-Fi repeaters are relatively simple devices that take an existing signal from your Wi-Fi router and rebroadcast it as a new network. This new network is just an extension of your main network, and all data that go through it also go through the main network.

Wi-Fi boosters and extenders are very similar, but they also amplify the existing signal before rebroadcasting it to create a second network. Because Wi-Fi boosters typically have greater range than Wi-Fi repeaters, they make sense in situations where the original signal is very weak.


A good repeater or booster costs less than $100, and it can be installed in a few minutes by anyone since the installation process usually involves only the press of the WPS button. To help you choose the right Wi-Fi booster for your needs, we've compiled a list of the top Wi-Fi boosters on the market. Here are our top picks:

  1. TP-Link RE550 AC1900 WiFi Range Booster
  2. Linksys RE7000 Max-Stream AC1900+ Wi-Fi Range Booster
  3. Netgear Nighthawk X4 AC2200 WiFi Range Booster
  4. Netgear Nighthawk X6S EX8000 Tri-band WiFi Booster
  5. D-Link DAP-1610 AC1200 WiFi Booster

To achieve the best performance when using a Wi-Fi repeater or booster, it’s a good idea to use a Wi-Fi booster app like NetSpot to analyze existing Wi-Fi coverage and determine the optimal way to extend the existing Wi-Fi network.

NetSpot for Android
NetSpot for Android (survey banner)

6. Switch to a Different Wi-Fi Channel

Just like lanes on the highway, there are multiple Wi-Fi channels on which a Wi-Fi router can broadcast. Their exact number depends on which frequency band is used (with minor variations based on your geographical location due to local regulations).

Switch to a Different Wi-Fi Channel

Data transmitted in the 2.4 GHz frequency band is frequently slowed down by noisy traffic jams because most countries have four non-overlapping channels (1, 6, 11, and 14) in this part of the Wi-Fi network frequency spectrum, with each channel being just 20 MHz wide.

To make the problem even worse, many users leave their router set on the default channel, which is usually either Channel 1 or Channel 6.

This results in a Wi-Fi traffic jam as too many packets are trying to drive on the same line. The solution is simple: find out which channel is occupied the least and switch to it. This can be done with the help of NetSpot, a professional and easy-to-use Wi-Fi analysis and surveillance tool.

With a new channel selected, you need to tell your Wi-Fi router to use it:

  1. Log in to your router as admin.
Log in with admin username and password
  1. Go to Settings and look for Wireless Settings.
Go to Settings and open the Wireless Settings tab
  1. You should see an option called Channel. The chances are that it will be set to Auto.
You should see an option called Channel
  1. Select the desired channel.
Select the desired channel
  1. Save the new settings and wait for your router to restart.
Save the new settings

You can now verify that your router is broadcasting on the new channel using a Wi-Fi network analyzer like NetSpot.

Fortunately, wireless traffic jams occur far less often in the 5 GHz and 6 GHz bands. That’s because there are far more channels available, and their width can also be greater. In the 5 GHz band, there are 25 non-overlapping 20 MHz channels, and the 6 GHz band is home to 59 non-overlapping 20 MHz channels (or 7 super-wide 160 MHz channels).

What’s more, Wi-Fi routers that support the 5 GHz and 6 GHz bands tend to be smart enough to pick the most suitable channel automatically, so it’s seldom necessary to manually change it to a different one. But should you need to do so, the steps to follow will be the same as when changing channels in the 2.4 GHz band.

speed Test Icon
Find the best Wi-Fi channel with NetSpot

Use NetSpot to quickly find the least crowded Wi-Fi channels.

7. Control Bandwidth-Hungry Applications and Clients

It takes just one bandwidth-hungry application or a client to make download and upload speeds come to a crawl for everyone else on the same Wi-Fi network. Luckily, modern routers support services like QoS (Quality of Service), which allow users to prioritize certain applications over others.

Control Bandwidth-Hungry Applications and Clients
Log in to your router as admin
Go to Settings and open the Wireless Settings tab
Locate the QoS Settings
Configure your QoS rules
  1. Save the new settings and wait for your router to restart.
Save the new settings

8. Use the Latest Wi-Fi Technologies

The newest wireless technologies — IEEE 802.11ac (Wi-Fi 5) and 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E) — offer superior download and upload speeds as well as improved range compared to older Wi-Fi technologies, such as IEEE 802.11b, g, and others. To take advantage of the latest Wi-Fi technologies to boost home Wi-Fi, you need to make sure that both your home router and your Wi-Fi-enabled devices, such as smartphones and laptops, support them.

Latest Wi-Fi Technologies

When selecting a new Wi-Fi router with support for IEEE 802.11ac or, better yet, 802.11ax, don’t pick the most affordable model you can find. Unless your budget is very strict, it’s always worth spending extra to purchase a router with an excellent range and modern features such as MU-MIMO, Quality of Service, guest networks, gigabit Ethernet ports, and replaceable external antennas.

A good router should be able to serve you well for at least five years, which is approximately how long it usually takes for a major new Wi-Fi technology to become mainstream. One such technology is right around the corner, and its name is 802.11be (Wi-Fi 7). This upcoming amendment of the 802.11 IEEE standard is expected to be finalized in 2024, and it should make it possible for wireless connections to reach wired speeds.

We recommend the best Wi-Fi 6 routers from leading manufacturers, so all you need to do is pick one that fits your budget.

9. Switch to 5 GHz or 6 GHz

The 5 GHz wireless frequency and the recently introduced 6 GHz wireless frequency both provide faster data rates at shorter distances and are typically much less busy than the 2.4 GHz frequency band. If your router supports any of them, consider switching to it for an instant short-range speed boost.

Switch to 5 GHz or 6 GHz
Log in to your router as admin
Go to Settings and open the Wireless Settings tab
Change the 802.11 band from 2.4 GHz to 5 GHz
Save the new settings
  1. Restart your router to apply the new settings.

Note: All routers are different, and the steps you need to follow enabled 5 GHz or 6 GHz Wi-Fi on your router may be completely different from those described above.

One downside of the 5 GHz and 6 GHz wireless frequencies is that they don’t penetrate solid objects nearly as well as the 2.4 GHz wireless frequency. This can be a problem in office buildings and residential areas, so it’s advisable to always use 5 GHz and 6 GHz in conjunction with 2.4 GHz. That way, you can get the best of both worlds.

10. Don’t Forget to Reboot

The timeless IT advice, “If it doesn’t work, try switching it on and off", also applies to Wi-Fi routers. A simple reboot is often enough to considerably improve your Wi-Fi speeds. A reboot clears the router’s memory and allows updates to install.

Don’t Forget to Reboot

To reboot your router, either press the restart button located on the back (you may need a pointy object like a pen to get to it because many router manufacturers use recessed restart buttons) or simply disconnect the router from power and turn it on again.

If your router really starts installing an update during the reboot, be patient and don’t interrupt the update process by turning off your router. Depending on your router’s performance, the update process may take more than 10 minutes.

11. Measure Wired Internet Performance

If you’ve tried the 10 above-described tips for improving wireless internet performance without any success, then it’s time to shift your focus from your Wi-Fi and measure wired internet performance. To do that, you need an Ethernet cable and a laptop or desktop computer with an Ethernet port.

  1. Connect one end of the Ethernet cable to your modem.
  2. Connect the other end to your laptop or desktop computer.
  3. Open the following address in a web browser:
  4. Click the GO button to measure your wired internet performance.
  5. Compare the results with the speeds advertised by your internet service provider.
Measure Wired Internet Performance

We recommend you repeat the wired internet performance test several times, preferably at different times of the day. Compare the test results with your wireless internet performance, which you can easily measure using an app like NetSpot for Android and NetSpot for iOS.

Android speedtest

If both your wired and wireless speeds are lower than they should be, then your internet service provider is likely to blame, and you should send it the results of your tests and ask it to fix the problem.

If the provider fails to do so, then it’s probably time to switch to a different internet service provider because even the best tips on how to increase Wi-Fi signal won’t help you.

12. Set Up a Mesh Wi-Fi System

Sometimes, a single router — no matter how capable — can’t reliably cover the entire living space with a strong Wi-Fi signal. In such cases, it’s best to set up a mesh Wi-Fi system, which consists of the main router and multiple satellite units that together provide seamless Wi-Fi coverage.

Set Up a Mesh Wi-Fi System

If you're in the market for a mesh Wi-Fi system, there are several excellent options available. Here are some of our top recommendations:

  1. TP-Link Deco W7200
  2. Netgear Orbi WiFi 6E (RBKE963)
  3. Eero 6 Plus
  4. Google WiFi
  5. Luma
  6. LinkSys Velop

Mesh Wi-Fi systems are great because you can expand them depending on your needs. This means that you can start with just one main router and one satellite unit and upgrade only if your Wi-Fi is still not performing up to your expectations. For more information and recommendations, check out our article on the best Wi-Fi mesh network systems.

13. Change Your DNS Address

The Domain Name System (DNS) is responsible for converting domain names (such as into IP addresses ( By default, your modem is most likely configured to use your internet service provider’s DNS server, whose performance may not be the best.

The good news is that most modems let you change your DNS address, which is often the easiest way to boost Wi-Fi performance. There are many public DNS servers you can choose from, including Google’s DNS server ( or Cloudflare’s DNS server (

Change Your DNS Address

To help you pick the best DNS server, we recommend you download and run Domain Name Speed Benchmark. This free Windows application offers features designed to enable serious DNS performance investigation, and you can use it to find the fastest DNS server in your area with just a few clicks:

  1. Download and start Domain Name Speed Benchmark.
  2. Switch to the Nameservers tab.
  3. Click the Run Benchmark button.
  4. Go to the Conclusions tab after the benchmark completes.

Once you’ve picked the best DNS server available, you need to go to your modem’s settings and replace the default DNS address with the DNS address of the new server.

14. Purchase a Better Internet Plan

It’s easy to underestimate just how many devices these days connect to the internet via Wi-Fi. From computers and mobile phones to various smart home products and appliances, these Wi-Fi-connected devices consume a substantial amount of bandwidth, and not all internet plans can provide it.

Purchase a Better Internet Plan

If you’ve been paying for the same internet plan for the last 10 years, then you should look at what other options are available and considering consider upgrading. You might even be able to save some money since the prices of fast internet plans have gone down substantially since the early days of broadband internet.

15. Contact Your Internet Service Provider

Last but not least, consider contacting your internet service provider and asking for help. If the ISP truly cares about their customers, they will help you remotely diagnose your Wi-Fi performance issues or even send over a technician to measure your Wi-Fi signal strength and help you boost wireless signal.

Contact Your Internet Service Provider

Here are some practical tips on how to contact your ISP:

  • Phone number: Most ISPs have a customer service hotline that you can call to speak with a representative. You can usually find the phone number on your monthly bill, the ISP's website, or by doing a quick online search.
  • Email: If you prefer to communicate in writing, many ISPs offer email support. You can typically find the email address on the ISP's website or in your account information. Just know that email responses can be slow to process, so this method is best for non-urgent issues where you don't need immediate assistance.
  • Support portal: ISPs also often provide a support portal where you can submit a ticket via an online portal. This method often allows you to track the status of your request and may include a knowledge base for troubleshooting common issues on your own.
  • Live chat: Some ISPs offer live chat support, which allows you to chat with a representative in real-time. This can be a convenient option if you don't want to wait on hold or if you have a quick question.
  • Mobile app: Many ISPs have mobile apps that allow you to manage your account, check your usage, and contact customer support. If your ISP has a mobile app, consider downloading it for easy access to support.

When contacting your ISP, be sure to have your account information and a clear description of the issue you're experiencing. This will help the representative better assist you and resolve your issue more quickly. Additionally, be patient and polite, as customer service representatives are more likely to go above and beyond for customers who are respectful and understanding.


With these fifteen tips, you should have no problem boosting your wireless network without buying a new router. Make sure to have NetSpot at hand to check whether our tips helped each time you try one. We guarantee that by the time you get to the number fifteen, your Wi-Fi will feel faster than ever before.


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How To Boost WiFi — FAQs

How do I increase my WiFi signal strength?

If you’re wondering how to improve WiFi signal strength, then we have good news for you: there are quite a few things that you can do to boost your WiFi without spending a single dollar. For example, you can use a WiFi signal analyzer to determine a more suitable place for your router, or you can switch to the 5 GHz band for an instant boost in performance, especially if you live in a densely populated urban area.

How can I boost my WiFi signal for free?

If you want to boost your WiFi without purchasing a new router, you can start by tweaking your settings. If you haven’t done so already, activate the 5 GHz band to benefit from its greater resistance to signal interference. You should also make sure that your router uses the least cluttered channel possible, especially when using only the 2.4 GHz band. Use a WiFi analyzer app to determine the best settings.

Do WiFi extenders really work?

Yes, WiFi extenders really work, but their effectiveness greatly depends on their placement. A poorly placed WiFi extender won’t be able to perform nearly as well as a well-placed one, and it might even degrade the performance of your existing network by causing additional signal interference. That’s why it’s essential to play the deployment of any WiFi extender using a WiFi analyzer app like NetSpot.

Do WiFi boosters work?

Yes, WiFi boosters can greatly improve signal coverage by amplifying your existing WiFi signals and rebroadcasting them as a new network, which is why we recommend them to all WiFi users who want to know how to increase WiFi signal strength without buying a new router.

Why do you need to Select a Good Place for Your Router?

To give you a quick answer — that is how you get a great WiFi coverage.

Getting into some detail, not every spot will do for your WiFi router. A router won't do great near metal objects and the appliances that emit electromagnetic waves (the strongest ones are from electric stoves, microwave ovens, and dishwashers). Obstacles made from other materials than metal, can also affect the strength of WiFi signal. You also want to have your router installed on an elevated surface for a better signal broadcast.

How Keeping Your Router Updated helps to boost WiFi?

Keeping your WiFi router up-to-date helps keep hacker attacks away. Malware developers keep coming up with new viruses that can steal bandwidth and spread themselves across the network to other devices. Getting new security firmware versions on your router consistently will keep your network secure.

Why do you need a WiFi Repeater/ Booster/ Extender?

WiFi repeaters, boosters and extenders help you get your WiFi signal to farther rooms and levels of your home or office space. Choose what will work best for you according to the size of your space, compatibility with your router and your budget. A good repeater or a booster can cost less than $100.

How changing a WiFi Channel can help to boost WiFi?

There are multiple wireless channels a WiFi router can broadcast on, however there are only a few non-overlapping available on 2.4 GHz band (3 to be precise). 5GHz frequency offers 24 non-overlapping channels. Usually when you get a router it broadcasts on default channel 1 or 6.

Because many owners leave their routers with the factory settings, those channels get overloaded. Find the least occupied channel in your area with the help of such software as NetSpot and switch your router to it.

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Wi-Fi Site Surveys, Analysis, Troubleshooting runs on a MacBook (macOS 10.12+) or any laptop (Windows 7/8/10/11) with a standard 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax wireless network adapter.