How far WiFi reaches depends on where your router is located. WiFi has an effective range of around 150 feet in an open space. Walls and other obstacles can substantially shorten your range. Concrete blocks a WiFi signal almost completely.
Several elements influence a Wi-Fi signal’s ability to reach a specific distance:
Using a certain kind of wireless router
Wireless routers with more power offer greater range. However, remember that the client’s radio also restricts the wireless connection between the router and the client’s device. Therefore, the link won’t be as powerful if your laptop or mobile device has a lower-power radio.
The 802.11 protocol type applied
You should keep two guidelines in mind. First, the distance covered is shorter when the data rate is more significant. Additionally, the distance covered decreases with increasing signal bandwidth (20/40/80/160). The earliest Wi-Fi standard, 802.11b, has the lowest data rate and bandwidth. This indicates that it has the best range but the lowest speeds and throughput. However, the most current 802.11ac standard offers the fastest throughput, although it can only be used for short distances (possibly in the same room as the router).
The physical environment
Be aware that different materials (such as walls and floors) have varying degrees of path loss, which makes it difficult for Wi-Fi signals to get through them.
What Sort of Items Can Block a Wireless Signal?
Solid objects can significantly reduce signal strength.
For instance, you might discover that your router performs best up to 100 feet away if you are outside. However, the distance for the same performance may decrease to 50 feet if you relocate the router inside, where there is a concrete wall and solid wood door. If the door was removed and the wall was made entirely of solid concrete, the path loss might be so significant that no signal would be received.
Fortunately, drywall and wood studs are used to build most of a home’s interior. Compared to concrete, this construction style has a significantly lower path loss. Consider where you want to put your router. How many walls, doors, and floors would an arrow have to pass through if it could be shot between the router and the client device? Routers that are positioned in the center are closer to all points inside the house.
How Else Might a Wireless Signal Be Affected?
Radio interference can interfere with Wi-Fi transmissions in addition to physical obstacles like walls and floors. For instance, your Wi-Fi network may be affected by various home gadgets, including cordless phones, wireless baby monitors, microwave ovens, and wireless routers from your neighbors. Additionally, nearby Wi-Fi networks using the same wireless channel can affect how well it performs.
Let’s go back to the voice example. What happens if someone starts talking, switches on the TV, or cranks up the radio? Others have a more challenging time understanding what you’re saying. Wi-Fi networks work similarly when multiple devices are connected.
Why Are Wi-Fi Extenders Beneficial?
Installing a home intercom system is a possibility if you live in a large home and would like to be able to converse with someone upstairs or in another area. This resembles a WiFi extension over wires. A WiFi extender can lessen the path loss between the original router and the far end of the house if your router is at one end and you’re having trouble obtaining excellent WiFi connectivity.
To expand the WiFi network to a remote area of the house, wired WiFi extenders utilize the existing Ethernet cabling in the home or cable TV coax (using a standard technology known as MoCA). In essence, they transmit network data through the Ethernet or coaxial cable in the house, saving the WiFi signal so it does not have to pass through the entire house’s walls, floors, and other impediments. Consequently, even when you are far from the wireless router, you can still receive a great, strong WiFi signal.
How to Improve Your WiFi Signal?
Place Your Router In a More Central Area
The typical wireless router has an indoor range of 150 feet (46 meters) and an outdoor range of 300 feet (92 meters). While this usually provides sufficient coverage for the ordinary home or apartment, various obstructions and signal interferences may cause the signal to deteriorate before it reaches certain rooms in your property.
Whether you experience the optimum signal coverage depends mainly on where you set your router. But, of course, that partially depends on your router and the strength of its signal. Regardless, you might have a much stronger signal if your wireless router is hidden away in your home’s corner office on the top floor or the basement.
Instead, think about positioning your wireless router in a more central area. In-home offices, many families frequently set their routers close to their computers. Your router can, however, be put in pretty much any place in your house. With a wireless router’s typical 150-foot range, a centrally positioned router should connect more efficiently to every area of a typical-sized home.
Look for Any Potential Interference-causing Devices.
Your wireless signal could be weak owing to interference from devices sending radio signals since wireless networks use radio frequencies to send and receive data. The following gadgets can all obstruct wireless signals:
- A few sources of electrical power (such as power lines)
- Portable audio devices
- A few outside monitors
- Infant monitoring
- Cellular cameras
- Transmitters of RF video
- A few satellite television receivers
In general, the use of wireless technology is expanding. This implies that there are probably several different wireless devices in your home that are sending signals. Interference will happen if any of that equipment uses the same frequency as your wireless router.
If any of the following statements about your situation are accurate, you’re likely experiencing signal interference, affecting how far your WiFi reaches.
- Even though you’re not shifting locations, your wireless devices continuously display low signal strength, or the signal strength seems to fluctuate.
- When using Wi-Fi, your internet connection is much slower.
- When using WiFi, your file transfer rates drop.
- Bluetooth devices might be challenging to link.
- Your internet connection frequently drops.
Turn off each wireless device one at a time if you suspect there may be interference problems. After you turn off each device, check to see if the signal strength or range differs. You’ve identified one of the perpetrators if you see a significant shift when any gadget is turned off.
Depending on the circumstances, your best action may be to relocate the interfering equipment or move your router away from other devices. Generally speaking, it’s preferable to keep the number of active wireless devices in your home to a minimum.
Modify the Channel of Your Wireless Router
Your wireless router will determine how well this tip works. However, whether you live in an apartment or a busy suburban community, your neighbor’s Wi-Fi router can cause wireless interference.
It could be challenging to decide whether this is a problem. However, you may check to see how many wireless signals are in range if you use any wireless device, like a smartphone or computer. The likelihood that a neighbor’s Wi-Fi equipment interferes with yours increases as more devices are within range.
Your wireless router can operate on a slightly different portion of the frequency band if the channel changes, which solves the interference problem. Depending on your device and model, there are many ways to switch channels. See the manufacturer’s website or the manual for your device to understand how to change the channel settings.
Get DD-WRT Installed on Your Router
All wireless routers have firmware preinstalled, a form of software to assist your gear function properly. Some wireless routers, however, can run third-party firmware to improve their functionality. DD-WRT is one of these, and it’s maybe the best.
The Advantages of DD-WRT
By enabling you to alter your router settings more accurately and fine-tune the frequency channels, DD-WRT can help you improve your wi-fi signal.
Additionally, DD-WRT enables your device to consume more power, which is essential for extending the range of a wireless signal. (Note: Modifying your router’s power consumption can make it overheat. Before utilizing this technique, determine how much power your device can safely consume.
To answer your question, “how far can WiFi reach?” depends on all the above-listed obstructions. With no obstacles, your Wi-Fi can reach 150 feet in a 360-degree area in open spaces. Ensure your WiFi router is placed in an open area for the best performance.