How to boost your wifi signal and extend your wifi range

One of the greatest pains in your home is likely to be your WiFi connection. It could be spotty, it could stop working in some rooms, or the range could drop off abruptly. In these circumstances, you might be forced to hotspot from your phone to keep your devices connected – but the option to improve your WiFi signal is always there. Read on for some useful tips and tricks to extend your WiFi range.

How to boost WiFi signal

You can boost your WiFi signal by using a WiFi range extender, mesh WiFi, a powerline adapter, moving your router to an optimal spot, changing its frequency, changing its channel, or by simply getting a more powerful modem-router.

Some of those might sound like simple solutions, while others might seem a bit technical at face value. Fret not, as we’ll explain how to extend your home’s WiFi range through each of these methods.

Boosting your WiFi range with a WiFi range extender

A common solution to fixing your home WiFi problems is by using a WiFi range extender. A WiFi range extender boosts the WiFi signal of the router around it, meaning more of the house can be covered by the signal range, albeit with a slight drop off in speed in extended areas.

Simply configure the WiFi range extender to be within range of your modem-router, and set it to repeat the modem-router signal (the extender will have a guide on doing this). WiFi range extenders can cost anywhere from $50 to around $150, and potentially more, depending on the brand you shop for. Some NBN providers (such as Telstra and Optus) will allow you to bundle in a WiFi extender at the checkout as a part of your plan.

Telstra Smart Wi-Fi Booster

If you’re a Telstra customer, one of the things you can use to extend your Wi-Fi range throughout your home is the Telstra Smart W-Fi Booster. The Wi-Fi booster functions differently to Wi-Fi extenders and is instead a Wi-Fi mesh system. This means that it doesn’t create another point for your wireless devices to connect to, and instead simply extends your Wi-Fi throughout the home.

The following table shows a selection of published Telstra NBN plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of standard monthly cost, from the lowest to highest, and then by alphabetical order of provider. Use our NBN comparison tool above to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

Optus Ultra WiFi Booster

Optus customers can pick up the Ultra WiFi Booster on an Optus Family Internet Plan, which extends WiFi throughout your home. As this extends the WiFi range of your Optus modem, there’s no need for a separate login.

You can pick up the Booster for $216, or get it at no additional cost if you stay connected on a Family Internet Ultimate plan for 36 months. You can also sign up for a payment plan. Make sure you’re either using the Sagecom 5366TN or the Optus Ultra WiFi Modem if you’re purchasing this Booster, as it will only work with these devices.

Boosting your WiFi range with Mesh WiFi

Mesh WiFi can be an effective solution for larger homes, and is arguably a more reliable solution than using a WiFi range extender. A Mesh Wifi network replaces your modem-router with a network of devices that you place around your home, creating a ‘spider web’ style of WiFi where signal strength is equally distributed throughout the home.

Simply configure the mesh WiFi network like you would for any modem router, and then place the mesh WiFi system equally throughout the home. It can be more costly, with modem-router sets starting around $200 and easily going up to around $500, but having your WiFi equally spread throughout your home is a great thing to have if you’re wanting to fix your WiFi woes. Some NBN providers offer mesh WiFi modems, such as Aussie Broadband, but you can always buy one outright.

Using a powerline adapter to extend WiFi range

Powerline adapters are another unique thing you can try to use to extend WiFi range in your home. Using wiring in the walls of your home, powerline adapters run an internet connection through the power of your home, sending it to a receiver, which is plugged in elsewhere in the house. From here the signal is retransmitted, and can usually be used through a wired or wireless connection.

Powerline adapters usually cost between $50 and $200, depending on the brand and technology, and can be a potential fix for your slow WiFi speeds.

Moving your router to improve WiFi signal

If you can, consider moving your router so that it can reach more of the house. This is often not an achievable task, as you need to put the modem somewhere close to your home’s ethernet access port, or near its coaxial port.

However, even if there is some chance of moving your modem-router to a more ideal spot, be it around to the other side of a desk or table, it’s worth trying. If this works, it could even be worth investing in a longer ethernet cable and a power extension cord, so the modem-router can reach a more ideal place. This might seem like simple advice, but it can be very effective.

Changing your WiFi frequency for faster speeds

Switching your WiFi frequency to the 5Ghz band instead of the 2.4Ghz band can be an effective way of improving the WiFi speed.

Simply navigate to your modem-router’s backend and customise where it displays the ‘band’. Usually it’ll be on the 2.4Ghz band, but it’s worth trying to switch it over to the 5Ghz band, or vice versa, just to see a speed improvement. Some modems won’t have this option, but it’s worth a try if yours does.

Changing your WiFi channel for faster speeds

Switching your WiFi channel can also lead to faster speeds. Often, especially in apartment buildings, modem-router WiFi signals can overlap and interfere with each other, causing slower speeds and dropouts at times. A simple solution to this is to just change the channel.

Just go into the backend of your modem-router and switch the channel to a different number. Consider trying different channels to find the fastest one. This is an easy and cheap solution, although it might not solve the problem.

Getting a more powerful modem-router

Possibly the most expensive solution, getting a more powerful modem-router with a better WiFi signal can fix your WiFi issues in the home. Find one that’s right for your household, although do be warned that modems can cost anything between $150 and $1,000, and sometimes more. Mesh WiFi works better for larger homes, although maybe you just need to replace your modem-router, as it could be getting old and unreliable.

Get a faster NBN plan

Getting a faster NBN plan can be an easy fix to your WiFi issues. Although this isn’t directly a slow WiFi fix, it can indirectly improve your internet performance by bringing speed up a level. Have a browse through some of the NBN plans in the table below by selecting your desired speed tier.

Unlimited Premium Evening Speed (NBN 100) Plans

The following table shows a selection of published unlimited Premium Evening Speed (NBN 100) plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of monthly cost, from the lowest to highest, and then by alphabetical order of provider. Use our comparison tool above to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to referral partners.

Unlimited Standard Plus Evening Speed (NBN 50) Plans

The following table shows a selection of published unlimited Standard Plus Evening Speed (NBN 50) plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of monthly cost, from lowest to highest, and then by alphabetical order of provider. Use our comparison tool above to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to referral partners.

Unlimited Standard Evening Speed (NBN 25) Plans

The following table shows a selection of published unlimited Standard Evening Speed (NBN 25) plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of monthly cost, from the lowest to highest, and then by alphabetical order of provider. Use our comparison tool above to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to referral partners.

Unlimited Basic Evening Speed (NBN 12) Plans

The following table shows a selection of published unlimited Basic Evening Speed (NBN 12) plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of monthly cost, from the lowest to highest, and then by alphabetical order of provider. Use our comparison tool above to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to referral partners.

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