How To Improve Your Computers Wireless Signal

Wireless is a great technological advancement allowing you to connect your laptop or computer a network with ease without the stress of cabling.

Wireless gives you a means of networking several PC’s without the worry of cabling.

However there are a few things you must understand

Most of you will have at some point encountered problems with wireless.

Is your wireless reception poor or are you looking for tips to boost the strength of the signal.

This lens will identify the major appliances and other factors that will cause wireless signal to degrade and reduce performance.


The wireless signal between your laptop / Home computer and wireless router takes a direct path between the two points.

More obstructions between these two points = Reduced signal strength and speed of the wireless.

The main obstructions to consider are dense materials such as concrete reinforced walls, steel pipes, water tanks (The tank has a large surface area and is made of steel) and filing cabinets. These materials will reflect the wireless signal impeding its strength and performance.

Other thinner materials such as wood, partitioned walls, plaster and generally the rest of materials found around your house have such a little impact on the strength that the change is fractional.

You would notice a difference if you crossed a path with one of these ?


There are a few appliances around the house that can cause Interference with wireless.

Probably the biggest cause of wireless issues lies with one kitchen appliance.

The Microwave.

These appliances generate an invisible electromagnetic field around the appliance when in use. If you are a fair distance from your wireless access point then your laptop will be significantly more affected by this. The EMF field will cause the signal strength and speed to drop; it may even disconnect you from the network if you are in close proximity.

Your laptop / Home computer should be as far away from this appliance as possible. If this is not convenient then you should try bringing the wireless router closer to the Laptop / Home computer to increase the strength.

The one major thing to avoid is to not place the appliance between the two points (router and laptop)

Cordless Phones

Cordless phones have been known to cause issues with wireless. The phones transmit on the same frequency band as your wireless router. These should not be in close proximity to each other.

To minimize interference from these it is best to keep the base unit and phone as far away from the router.

In reality the cordless phones shouldn’t cause you that much trouble, however if you do find this is causing you issues you should change the wireless channel in your routers setup config.

Wireless Camera’s

These unfortunately operate on the same frequency band as wireless too.

These products can cause more problems because there is significantly more power output used to stream the live video over the wireless band. Some models of wireless cameras I have know to completely knock out the wireless signal; however I have only experienced this when the camera has been within close range i.e. within the same building.

When the camera was mounted externally with the receiver unit indoors operation of the wireless router returned to normal.

It is always best to keep these devices as far away if possible.

Again if this inst possible try changing the wireless channel on your router.

Salad bowl Trick

Salad Bowl…. yes this is not a joke.

If you remember at the start of this lens I mentioned that metallic objects will reflect the Radio Frequency from the wireless network.

Now this you can use to your advantage.

On most routers the antennas are Omni-directional. This means that they transmit the signal in ALL directions equally (subject to concrete walls, metallic objects ect, ect) If you place a solid metallic sheet on one side of the routers antenna, this will then bounce the signal back into the opposite direction. Providing that area with better coverage.

Now i bet you are wondering where the salad bowl comes into all of this…

The shape of a salad bowl makes it ideal to use as a base for reflecting signals in a desired direction. Filling the inside of the bowl with silver foil will provide a base to reflect the wireless signals too.

Okay, okay a salad bowl maybe a little over the top, but generally any metallic surface placed next to the antenna will reflect the signals in the opposite direction.