Wireless signals are susceptible to a lot of loss of data. The topography of the place where you stay is also a deciding factor when it comes to the wireless signal strength that you will be receiving. If a large number of trees or buildings come in between your laptop and the router you are connecting to, then your signal strength will be almost nil. Besides that, the wireless network cards that come inbuilt have very limited power and range. The answer then lies in using a wireless signal booster. A simple solution is getting a wireless card with a higher power or attaching an external USB antenna to the laptop.
Wireless Internet Signal Booster for Laptops
There are various vendors who manufacture wireless signal boosters. Laptop wireless boosters are simple devices and can simply be plugged into the USB port of your laptop. The taller the antenna of your wireless booster, the better the reception. The working of a wireless booster is pretty simple. It accepts strong signals from the router and amplifies them inside your network, thus increasing your signal strength to a great deal. For those who are interested, I am putting in a little more detailed working methodology of a wireless signal booster.
A wireless signal booster consists of two antennas - the transmitting antenna and the receiving antenna. The receiving antenna is connected to an intermediate amplifier. The other input to the intermediate amplifier is a radio signal source. The intermediate amplifier amplifies the difference between the two signals - the received signal and the radio signal - and passes it over to a low-noise amplifier. This is done to remove any unwanted signals. The low-noise amplifier is connected to the transmitter. The low-noise amplifier further amplifies the received signal and sends it to the wireless card.
The wireless signal antennas in your laptops are located internally. Generally, there are two parallel antennas located on the two sides of the LCD screen. The internal location of the wireless antennas causes bad reception of the wireless signals. So, the first problem that a wireless signal booster needs to solve is to provide an external high gain antenna. This antenna needs to be directed to the access point.
If you don't want to spend money on buying a booster, you can simply buy a yagi antenna and integrate it to your laptop. But before getting the antenna, you need to check the type of antenna connector that is present in your wireless card. When buying an antenna or a booster for your laptop, take care that it has a high decibel (db) range of reception.
Internet Boosters for Laptops
There are many products available that can connect to your laptop's USB port and help it catch wireless signals better. However, these are not cheap, and before you spend the money on these products, you need to make sure that you will need the improved range that these products offer. If you are going to be traveling often, and need to connect to various routers that you have no control over, then it might be a good idea to get a booster. For home coverage, it is easier to upgrade the wireless router.
Most service providers or ISPs bundle a router with the connection, and if you think that this is not enough for your home, you can upgrade to a better one to solve connectivity problems. Routers from Belkin, Linksys, and Netgear are good options when it comes to doing this. Always go for a router that is wireless N capable, as the future of Wi-Fi is slowly shifting to the N protocol. On the other hand, if you have no control over the placement of the router, then your only option is to get a wireless signal booster for laptops and improve your connection. Here are a few of the options that you can look at to improve your laptop signal.
- Wave N - Long Range 802.11N Wi-Fi
- D-Link WNA-2330 RangeBooster G Notebook Adapter
- Sierra Wireless 5 Band Blade Antenna
- Tenda 11N 300Mbps Wireless USB LAN Adapter
- Hawking Hi-Gain Wireless-150N USB Adapter with Range Amplifier
- Range Booster N Wireless USB Adapter
- CellRanger Dual Band USB Wireless Signal Amplifier
- Wilson Electronics MobilePro Portable Dual Band Wireless Signal Booster
- D-Link Systems Inc Range Booster N Wireless USB
Though you can find out other ways for boosting up the wireless signal strength, like changing your wireless network location to a position with a better access point, upgrading the router's firmware, etc., these methods are not always applicable to laptops. You may have to move over to different places with your laptop and it is not always possible for you to change the router's firmware everywhere.
The solutions that you can then rely on, in these cases, is to use a network adapter with a better power range, somewhere around 500 mw, that can be attached to your laptop through the USB port. You can also change the wireless card to one that has a strength to reach to a greater distance.
It is not always the inbuilt network card that carries the blame for your poor wireless signal reception. You may have the router placed quite near to your point of access and still may be receiving bad signals. In such cases, make it a point to put your laptop in the line-of-sight of the router. The other simple, yet important, factor that you need to take care of, when using a wireless connection, is that you are using a genuine broadband connection from an Internet service provider. Take care that you have selected the right wireless network and you are not unknowingly stealing from someone else.