How To Boost Your Wi-Fi Network Signal And Increase Range Using DD-WRT


27.03.2011

How To Boost Your Wi-Fi Network Signal And Increase Range Using DD-WRT

The wireless connection can be very useful, but it can be a headache as well when you’re out of the connection range or have a speed that can’t be used for anything. There is a way to solve these problems using a software called DD-WRT, which can help you extend your home networks using a router and doing some tweaks.

How to boost your signal

Start the web browser and direct it to the configuration page of the router. (Select Wireless>Advanced Settings).

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Here you will see a pretty large list of settings. Among them there is a setting called TX Power, which represents the broadcasting power that the antenna uses to transmit. It set by default at 70 (value), but you can modify it a little. Some careless users kicked the value up to 150, and said they hadn’t any problems, but pushing the TX Power value to high may cause to much heat and can crush the router. So, I recommend to set the value to 100 and play it safe.

On the same windows there is the Afterburner setting. You can enable it to get a boost (in case that Afterburner is supported by your wireless router and adapters; if it’s not supported, things may slow down).

The third setting you have to deal with is the Bluetooth Coexistence Mode. Using both wireless and bluetooth connections can cause speed and reliability troubles because they usually interfere with one another. By enabling the Bluetooth Coexistence Mode, you will solve this problem.

How to use a spare device as a repeater

Most Internet users usually buy new routers to replace the obsolete ones. So, if you happen to have an old router that you don’t use anymore, you can throw DD-WRT on it. By adding this firmware, you can use the old router as a repeater, that can extend your wireless range for a new area of your house or yard.

Go to Wireless, then Basic Settings, and change the mode to Repeater.

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Two sections will be displayed, one containing the Wireless Physical Interface (wI0) and the Virtual Interfaces (wI0.1). Your main router will send the signal to the physical interface. After plugging the SSID, the network mode must be configured, and choose if you want it to be connected with the old network or isolated from it. Next, plug in the new SSID for the repeater in order to select the wanted access point, depending on your location.

After clicking Save, head to the Wireless Security page.

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Here, enter your main router’s security settings, then introduce the details for the repeater’s signal. Finally, you must check if the router and the repeater are connected like this Status>Wireless.

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Click the Site Survey button situated at the bottom of the page.

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Find the SSID of the main router and hit Join. Now, go and put the repeater somewhere in the house where it has a good signal, and connect to the Internet.

How to use the repeater as a wireless receiver

In case your computer doesn’t have a wireless receiver, you can use your repeater to act like one with the help of the SS-WRT firmware. Go to the same settings as when you configured the repeating function (Wireless>Basic Settings).

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Next, you have to change to the Repeater Bridge mode. By pugging any device into the router’s ethernet ports you can use it as it would be connected to the main router. It’s recommendable to turn it off if not used, because it may cut your bandwidth.

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