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How to Maximize Wireless (WiFi) Range

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How to Maximize Wireless (WiFi) Range

Products Supported: All WiFi-Enabled Cradlepoint Products. Click here to identify your router.

NCOS Version: Any NCOS Version - for information on upgrading NCOS, click here.


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Summary

Troubleshooting

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Summary

There could be multiple causes if you're not able to connect to the WiFi at a range that is within the published WiFi Range for said Cradlepoint router.

While the following information may be valuable for troubleshooting WiFi connectivity, there is no substitute for a proper site survey.


Troubleshooting

The tips below should help you get the most out of your router's Wi-Fi signal:

  1. Move your router: Sounds obvious, but this is the easiest and often the most effective way to extend your Wi-Fi range! Invest a bit of time by trying a few different locations for your router, and see which spot provides the best performance. The antennas that broadcast the signal are omni-directional, meaning they radiate the signal best when centrally-located. As such, try putting the router in a centralized location. Make sure the router is not on the floor - placing it higher up on a table or shelf generally gets better results. If you need your router in a specific part of the house because the cellular signal is better in one location (by a window, for example), try moving the router around 15°, 45°, 90° (or if you're using a Cradlepoint with external antennas, move the antennas) - minor changes can have drastic effects!
 
  1. Minimize Obstructions/Interference: Common sources of WiFi signal interference include:
  • Physical structures: Walls, doors, ceilings, floors, stainless steel refrigerators, mirrors, etc. 
  • Electronics: 1) Other routers, 2) devices that operate on the 2.4GHz frequency (e.g. cordless phones, baby monitors, garage door openers, microwaves, etc.)  and 3) computer cables & USB cables. 
  • If you're not sure if electronics are interfering with your WiFi signal, you can test by turning off everything electronic in the home/office where you're testing, except for the router and the computer you're testing with. If the performance is better with everything else off, you will know that something in the home/office is indeed interfering with the signal and you can then work to figure out what it is.
  1. Add Wi-Fi antennas to your router if it has external antenna ports: For best performance, use the antennas provided in the Cradlepoint Antenna Ordering and Installation Guide (available at www.cradlepoint.com). Please note that these antennas may not work with other routers.
 
  1. Change the Band: Most Cradlepoint devices are capable of using both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequency bands. The 5GHz band typically experiences less interference because it provides more non-overlapping channels than the 2.4GHz band. However, the 2.4GHz band typically outperforms 5GHz in terms of propagating through objects such as walls, doors, etc.
 
  1. Change the Channel: Try changing the channel on which your Wi-Fi is broadcasting through your router's configuration page - NCOS: How to Change the Wireless Channel on a Cradlepoint Router

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Published Date: 7/9/2018

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