Boost WiFi Signal Through Brick Walls – 4 Tips

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We often get asked – ‘How do I boost WiFi signal through brick walls?’ Let’s find out..

It can be frustrating when you are unable to get a wireless signal in every room of your home. Many homes have walls made of brick, which can block wireless signals. Understanding why this happens and knowing how to fix it will help you get the most out of your WiFi network.

What is WiFi?

WiFi is a type of networking technology that uses radio waves to transmit data wirelessly over short distances. Access points on the edge of a network send and receive these radio signals, and they allow devices like laptops or smartphones to connect to the internet without having to use an Ethernet cable or other data transfer method.

Every material has some ability to block or reflect electromagnetic radiation such as Wi-Fi signals. The more dense the material, the easier it is to block signals. Items like brick and concrete can be particularly troublesome because their dense makeup makes them difficult to penetrate and disrupt the radio waves, leading your WiFi signal to become weak or nonexistent where there are walls in place.

How to boost WiFi signal through brick walls?

1) Moving the access point closer

This is what most people will initially try to do when encountering a weak WiFi signal through a brick wall: simply relocating their wireless router’s position so that it is closer to them. This may seem like an obvious solution at first, but the trick here is that you need to move your access point without losing its connection with all of your devices. In order to accomplish this, you have two options: Add an extension cord    You can add an extension cord from where your main router is located so that there is more distance between and the wall separating them from you.  It’ll extend the signal through the brick wall with less stress on your router. You can also buy a long-range router or access point.

2) Install a WiFi repeater or extender

This device basically takes whatever comes from your main access point and repeats/extends it so that there is better chance of it getting through brick walls and other barriers. Although this method requires extra initial cost and configuration time, its reliability makes up for any inconvenience associated with trying to set it up. So here’s what you’ll need to do:

  • Plug in the WiFi repeater to a power source. There are extension cords specifically designed for this purpose, but you can also use an ordinary indoor extension cord or outdoor two-pronged electric cord from Home Depot/Lowe’s if you want something more permanent. The only downside is that it will be harder to move around later on if you want better WiFi coverage in other areas of your home/office.
  • Find a spot where there is a good signal and plug in the repeater unit directly into an existing wall outlet (or any nearby outlet). This way, the device can re-transmit and enhance the existing WiFi signal just like your router does. Remember that the booster unit usually works best when placed as close as possible to where the router unit is located.
  • You can use a mini-WiFi plug or any other WiFi signal extender device, but this approach will only work if you have an outlet near your intended location of use for the booster/repeater unit.
  • Try placing your repeater unit on top of books and/or small blocks to elevate it, which sometimes works better than simply placing it on a surface like a tabletop or a desk. Note: This method sometimes requires experimentation with the position and orientation (i.e., angling) of the booster/repeater unit and the WiFi router.
  • Try to position your booster/repeater unit as close as possible to where you need boosted signal (ideally within a few feet), with no brick walls between it and your wireless router, if at all possible. Note: Sometimes this might require an extension cord from the outlet that is closest to where you need boosted signal, to one that is closer to the location of the WiFi repeater device.
  • Determine whether or not there’s a way for you – even if it’s somehow precarious – to access another floor of your building, such as through a window… climb out onto a balcony or fire escape… or take a set of stairs up or down from where you need boosted signal. Keep in mind that the option you choose to take, must be one that can support your weight – as well as provide safe passage away from any other location where brick walls are present. If you don’t feel confident about what you’ve chosen – or if it presents any risk whatsoever to you – definitely choose another way to boost signal through brick walls.
  • Trial and error testing of different boosts for WiFi signal through brick walls might be required before deciding on a specific brand, model, or type of device that works best at providing optimal accessibility within close proximity to where you need enhanced wireless connectivity. This could mean making adjustments by moving devices around… even taking them back to where they were purchased for testing purposes… trying out the same device somewhere else… or perhaps paying a little bit extra for a more trusted product.
  • Bricks and mortar are not the only types of barriers that can interfere with WiFi signals through brick walls. Wood, steel, glass… even human bodies… are all types of obstacles affecting wireless signals in different ways. It is possible to boost signal right through solid objects if they are combined with other mediums like plaster, drywall/sheetrock, fiberboard, etc. These things can seriously impact or completely block your ability to get online wirelessly where you need to be – which is why it’s very important to try out any methods involving the physical removal of obstructions before giving up on finding something that works!

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2. Powerline adapters

As with repeaters, powerline adapters pick up an existing signal and boost it with boosted power/range. The primary difference is that instead of using wi-fi to repeat the signal, these devices use your home’s existing electrical wiring as a medium. These still require homeowners to place one unit each in different rooms (as wi-fi extenders do) but the distance limitations are far greater than with WiFi.

3. Mesh system

Mesh WiFi system routers (like those from Netgear) are relatively new to the market but offer great wireless coverage without the need for physical equipment. These products have several internal antennas, allowing them to provide strong WiFi signals even through walls. Mesh systems are growing in popularity due to the ever-increasing number of devices being used simultaneously and their ease of installation/configuration.

4. Look for new models on the market

As wi-fi technology advances, so too do new ways to boost WiFi signals through brick walls. The next generation of repeaters and routers may offer enough range and power to solve even urban problems, putting an end to dead zones in homes with dozens of devices being used at once. For now, though, homeowners are encouraged to try one or more of these five methods as an alternative to purchasing a repeater.

If you are based in Melbourne and require such a service, get in touch with our network engineers for a mesh network setup.