Getting the Most Out of Your Wireless Signal
In your own home, there's no guarantee of what sort of bandwidth you'll see on your wireless network, due to distance and obstructions (concrete in the basement, steel beams, your dog). You'll want to position your equipment to get the strongest possible signal. Here are a few ways you can maximize and extend the strength of your signal:
Where possible, place equipment in a direct line of sight with as few obstructions as possible. Wi-Fi equipment does not require a line of sight, but works faster when placed in a direct line between radios.
Place your access point as close to the center of your network as possible (Figure 3.8).
Figure 3.8. Center your access point in your network for the best possible signal.
Install additional, wired equipment where convenient. See Chapter 4 for information on hybrid networks (Figure 3.9).
Figure 3.9. You can buy no-new-wires equipment that uses the existing wiring in your house, such as phoneline network adapters, to extend the range of your network. Here we see a phoneline network adapter from Netgear.
Add additional access points to extend your network's range.
If you consider yourself a bit of a do-it-yourselfer, you can purchase larger antennas to improve signal strength. You can mount some of these antennas on your ceiling to provide a less-obstructed signal, although the installation is beyond the focus of this book. Keep in mind too that you can purchase another access point for about the same price (about $200) as a larger antenna.