WLAN amplification: Tips for optimization and cheap repeaters

If you want to improve your WLAN, go with simple tips. In addition, cheap wireless repeaters help to amplify the signal...

WLAN amplification Tips

If your WiFi smartphone is bad or you even have WLAN breaks, you do not have to despair or buy expensive accessories. Often a small optimization is enough. We show you how you can amplify your WLAN signal in few steps and give buy tips for cheap WLAN repeaters.

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WLAN optimization without investment

If you at your provider the internet connection bestlelt, you have in the beginning often only exactly one rout. This logically takes care of the complete WLAN signal in your house. Its signal is a few meters wide, but becomes weaker with increasing distance and with the number, the thickness and the material of the obstacles. In some cases, the connection is broken and your smartphone switches to the expensive mobile data.

Location of the wireless router

The best tips for the optimal installation of the router come naturally from the router manufacturers themselves. Fritz box manufacturer AVM for example advises you the following:

Place the FRITZ! Box so that it is not covered by other objects and there are as few obstacles as possible between it and the other WLAN devices. Metal objects and water-bearing materials are particularly detrimental to the propagation of radio waves, as are windows with heat-insulated glazing.

Accessories manufacturer Devolo supplements:

Hidden inside a cabinet, in room corners on the floor or in the lowest cellar floor are not good locations. Place the router centrally and freely so that the distances to the various devices remain low. Optimal is a slightly elevated position. Walls, furniture, metal objects or electrical appliances in the immediate vicinity are to be avoided.

The channel of choice: other WLANs out of the way

Devolo also helps to improve the WLAN and calls another reason for slow connections:

Since the usable frequency range is quite narrow, other WLAN routers in the surrounding area disturb. Because you often use the same radio channel and thus influence each other.

When choosing the best WLAN channel, the free App Wifi Analyzer helps you:

Install Wifi Analyzer

These are the heirs of this app of the same name. The new version requires Android 6.0 Marhsmallow or newer. The old is compatible with older Android versions, but ran on three of our test devices only faulty and could not issue a useful channel recommendation.

Logical: The overburdened Channel 6 and its neighbors have a bad rating.
Logical: The overburdened Channel 6 and its neighbors have a bad rating.
Some routers like the Fritzbox 7490 make this scan itself. The source of interference for the reception in the bedroom is not visible to the router, if it is in the living room. The WiFi analyzer can help you to scan in different areas of your home. So you will find the one channel, which is the best for all rooms.

Excitingly, the Fritzbox comes to a completely different result.
Excitingly, the Fritzbox comes to a completely different result./@coolandroidtips

Rename WLAN

With a bit bad luck is called the WLAN of your neighbor just like yours. Then "WLAN devices can automatically try to establish a connection to the wrong wireless network," it says in the help of AVM. The name of the WLAN is called SSID and can be changed in the configuration page of your router.

Adjust the transmission power

Modern routers such as the Fritzbox 7490 do not always give full power to the antennas. In the channel settings you can often open up a menu in which you can raise the maximum transmission power to the highest value. This could increase the WLAN range, but produces even larger noise signals for the neighbors. If this method does not help you, you are therefore dependent on a physical amplification of your WLAN network. Then you should lower the transmission power to the value that is sufficient for you.

Bridges and repeaters provide real amplification. / © CoolAndroidTips
Bridges and repeaters provide real amplification. / © CoolAndroidTips

WLAN amplify with repeaters

The reliable and clean variant to optimize a WLAN network is via additional antennas. Repeaters were used many years ago in DECT telephone systems and in large WLANs they function analog. You enlarge the WLAN area in which you can move freely without a connection bridge. They also helped to get room from the router.

The AVM and Devolo bridges bring WLAN to remote areas. / © CoolAndroidTips
The AVM and Devolo bridges bring WLAN to remote areas. / © CoolAndroidTips
Technically, there are two types of them:

The Powerline Bridge

The Powerline Bridge uses your electricity network to connect two remote rooms. It consists of two adapters, which can be as far away as possible, as long as they share a circuit. The one adapter is connected by LAN cable to the router and sends an encrypted LAN signal to your power supply. The other receives this signal and converts it into a again encrypted WLAN.

The Devolo bridges route the electricity to their sockets. / © CoolAndroidTips
The Devolo bridges route the electricity to their sockets. / © CoolAndroidTips
The WLAN that is emitted at the target device also has a different SSID and password, so devices can not jump seamlessly from one WLAN connection to the next. Usually, however, the adapters are so far away from each other that the connection break would occur anyway. Of course, it is also possible to solicit the SSID, but we do not advise. These bridges are new for under 100 euros.

FRITZ!Powerline 546E WLAN

devolo dLAN 1200+ WiFi ac Starter Kit

The wireless repeaters

Pure repeaters, on the other hand, can actually amplify a WLAN. In the edge areas where it becomes weak, they re-signal the signal and thus enlarge the covered area of your WLAN network. The maximum bandwidth is halved, however, since the repeater communicates with both the terminals and the router. In our fast test, however, a DSL line with 16 Mbps would not be affected.

To find out where we place our repeater optimally, we have used the Devolo app:

Install devolo WLAN Hilfe

Where can I place the repeater? / © Cool Android Tips
Where can I place the repeater? / © Cool Android Tips
If you have found the right position, you only need the right device. That should technically be at the height of your router, so at least the same WLAN standard master. If your router has 802.11ac, your repeater but only 11n, the amplifier becomes the brakeman. In our quick comparison, we had with an AVM repeater, which has not mastered 11ac, worse values than with an 11ac-capable Devolo device in the same system and construction.

Fritzbox and. Devolo WLAN Repeater ac. Fritz Powerline 546E as WLAN-Bridge vs. Fritz WLAN Repeater 1750E. / © CoolAndroidTips
Fritzbox and. Devolo WLAN Repeater ac. Fritz Powerline 546E as WLAN-Bridge vs. Fritz WLAN Repeater 1750E. / © CoolAndroidTips
In the quick comparison we have put the Fritz Powerline 546E WLAN set in the WLAN bridge mode and compared with a Devolo repeater. As a reference value we made a measurement directly next to the Fritzbox. In either case, the throughput drops drastically while the response time (ping) remains pleasingly low.

The Devolo repeater also has a LAN socket for devices without WLAN. / © CoolAndroidTips
The Devolo repeater also has a LAN socket for devices without WLAN. / © CoolAndroidTips
The test device Fritz WLAN Repeater 1750E, which was received later, won the competition. The 11ac-capable repeater could achieve three times higher values than the Devolo product.

devolo WiFi Repeater ac

FRITZ!WLAN Repeater

Due to the standardization, the mixing operation with devices from different manufacturers is possible. However, some specific optimizations can cause misfires, which we can not make visible with a WLAN speed test as in the upper picture.

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Cool Android Tips | Android Tips And Tricks: WLAN amplification: Tips for optimization and cheap repeaters
WLAN amplification: Tips for optimization and cheap repeaters
If you want to improve your WLAN, go with simple tips. In addition, cheap wireless repeaters help to amplify the signal...
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