Wi-Fi (Wireless Fidelity) has brought a revolution in internet access and computer networking technology. To increase the range of Wi-Fi signals signal boosters are designed.
We are shifting towards an increasingly wireless world. Telecommunication has progressed by leaps and bounds, since the invention of the first wireless telegraphs and today, it has truly liberated us from the shackles of a wired world.
Need For Signal Boosters
Though Wi-Fi gives you the opportunity to go totally wireless and save a lot of wiring hassles, as well as wiring costs, it comes with its share of shortcomings. To understand what are the limitations of Wi-Fi, one must understand how it works.
A wireless local area network (WLAN) is a network of computers, linked without any wires and connected by transmission of electromagnetic (radio) signals.
Wi-Fi is the technology that has made it possible. Wi-Fi technology provides wireless internet access, through the transmission of radio frequency carrier waves.
Electromagnetic signals weaken, with increasing distance from the source.
In wired networks, one can simply access faraway points, by bringing in longer connecting cables, but in wireless networks that's not possible. The signal strength wanes, as you go away from Wi-Fi transmission.
Imagine a sphere around a Wi-Fi router, as you go away from its center, signal strength goes down and connectivity becomes difficult.
With Wi-Fi internet access facility installed in a house, the range of Internet accessibility is compromised by the walls and the interiors of the house. It becomes difficult to find an optimum position for a Wi-Fi antenna with a limited range, so that one can gain access easily in the whole house.
Wireless Signal Booster
To remedy the limitation of reach, one alternative is the usage of a wireless signal booster. As the name of the device suggests, it boosts the Wi-Fi signals and increases reach of these signals.
It enlarges the sphere of reach around the Wi-Fi router. For about $35 to $100, you can get a wireless signal booster. There are various types of models sold by brands like D-Link, Linksys and others.
Advantages of Using a Booster
Wi-Fi Signal Amplifiers
Wi-Fi booster antennas, also called Wi-Fi signal amplifiers, are attached to routers or access points to boost the signal. Good quality and powerful Wi-Fi signal amplifiers can bring about a threefold increase in signal strength.
Bidirectional Signal Boosters
Bidirectional signal boosters increase the strength of transmitted, as well as received signals. That is, they work both ways. They boost signal strength by as much as 600%.
If you are a do-it-yourself kind of a guy, then you can even build your own booster. So another advantage is long distance resource sharing. A single high-speed Internet connection can be shared over a wider area; cutting down on costs, in the process.
Disadvantages of Using a Wi-Fi Booster
There is a downside to the usage of Wi-Fi signal amplifiers. The fact that it enables Internet access for a larger region, beyond your home, which may create problems as it's vulnerable to the hackers.
Unless you have a highly encrypted connection, your Internet bandwidth can be eaten by eavesdropping thieves, who piggyback on your Wi-Fi connection.
Ways to Prevent Wi-Fi Hacking
~ One way to overcome hacking by outsiders, is to limit the range.
~ Get adequate security installed, which can prevent anybody from eavesdropping on your connection.
~ Make sure that you disable remote login facility on your router, as it can create a major vulnerability.
~ Another way of limiting access is to enable MAC filter, besides the standard measuring of protecting your data through enabling of WPA2 encryption.
So, this was a brief overview of one of the simplest solutions to Wi-Fi range limitations - a wireless signal booster. Check out the boosters available in the market and choose one which suits your range and signal strength requirements.