Support XFINITY Internet Improve Your Network's Wireless Range


Tips on choosing the best location for your equipment.

When optimizing your existing equipment, consider:

  • Placing antennas in a good location, at a good angle.
  • Avoiding physical things that block signals.
  • Reducing interference from other things that transmit radio waves.

If your network has more than a couple wireless devices, decide which wireless devices are transmitting the heaviest load: These links are important to optimize. The least important links have less frequent traffic.

Pick good locations for antennas

Antennas should be in line-of-sight with one another, where possible. Put your face next to one antenna to see whether the other is visible.

  • Place antennas high, and as clear of obstructions as is practical.
  • Keep antennas two feet from metal fixtures such as sprinklers, pipes, metal ceiling, reinforced concrete, and metal partitions.
  • Keep away from large amounts of water such as fish tanks and water coolers.
  • Antennas transmit weakly at the base, where they connect, so don't expect good reception from the bottom of a router or access point.

Reduce interference

Avoid windows unless communicating between buildings. Windows let in interference from the outside world.

Place antennas away from various electromagnetic noise sources, especially those in the 2400 – 2500 MHz frequency band. Common noise-creating sources are:

  • Computers and fax machines (place wireless equipment no closer than 1 foot).
  • Copying machines, elevators and cell phones (no closer than 6 feet).
  • Microwave ovens (no closer than 10 feet). 

Simple spacing of channels

Improving signal strength is not like adding more lights to get a brighter living room. Devices that transmit powerfully — such as routers, access points, and cell phone base stations — can confuse one another. It's necessary to distance them and to have them use different channels.

For 802.11b and 802.11g, there are 11 channels for wireless equipment (13 channels in Europe). In the simple situation where there's little interference, you can choose any channel that works for you. When there is interference from wireless networks that overlap with one another, each network should use one of the non-overlapping channels: 1, 6, or 11 (1, 7, 13 in Europe). Then, three networks can use the same space with minimum interference. If you can't do that, choose channels as widely spaces as possible.

You can use a combination of access points and antennas and other equipment to create local "spotlights" of strong transmission, rather than trying to cover everywhere.

Using a Netgear router?

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