Some people do share their neighbor’s Wi-Fi, either with or without their knowledge. Whether you use it legally or illegally, there are a couple of tweaks that you may consider to improve the signal strength and network reliability of the Wi-Fi connectivity. In this post, we will teach you some handy tips and tricks on how to get a better Wi-Fi signal you’re your neighbor.
If you are on a shared Wi-Fi network, you know how frustrating it can be to deal with a slow connection. Several reasons are to blame, weak signals, dead spots, and network overcrowding, among others. That being said, is it possible to overcome these challenges and get better Wi-Fi signal quality from your neighbor? Let’s dive in to find out.
What affects the wifi signal?
Wi-Fi connectivity offers an easy and flexible way to access the internet. You don’t have to worry about the hassle of wired connections. Like all shared internet connections, Wi-Fi connectivity comes with some challenges. Below, we have enlisted some of the common challenges associated with Wi-Fi connection from a neighbor:
1. Unstable or weak signal strength
The main challenge of sharing a Wi-Fi signal is weak reception. The standard Wi-Fi range for a 2.4 GHz signal is 150 feet (45 meters), assuming there is nothing between your device and the Wi-Fi transmitter. The Wi-Fi range reduces if you have obstacles and signal interference between your device and the Wi-Fi transmitter. You will experience a weak Wi-Fi signal on your device, resulting in reduced internet speeds. If that’s what you are dealing with, get ready for slow data speeds, persistent buffering, and the inability to download large files.
2. Dead spots
With regards to Wi-Fi, dead spots are essentially areas of no signal within the Wi-Fi radius. In such locations, you won’t be able to access the internet. Chances of encountering dead spots when using a Wi-Fi signal from your neighbor rise with the distance, number, and types of obstacles between you and the neighbor’s Wi-Fi router. And because dead spots are often localized, for as long as the signal barriers remain in place, you are only likely to experience it only at certain locations within your neighbor’s Wi-Fi radius.
3. Bandwidth overload
Wi-Fi devices have a limitation on the number of people/devices that can connect to them at any given time. A standard Wi-Fi transmitter can connect up to thirty-two (32) clients to connect to its DHCP server. The more devices connect to a Wi-Fi transmitter, the more you will experience weaker data transmission speeds. And that’s because each Wi-Fi connection has an allotted bandwidth which if overstretched, leads to painfully slow connection speeds or lost internet connections. How to get a better Wi-Fi signal from a neighbor starts with understanding the problem and coming up with ways to improve the Wi-Fi connection strength. The solutions are two-fold; from your end (reception) and the neighbor’s side (transmission).
What do you need to do?
Below is a list of things you can do to improve the Wi-Fi reception of your neighbor.
1. Upgrade the Wi-Fi adapter
In-built Wi-Fi adapters have small antennas that can prevent you from getting a better signal on your device. You can upgrade the Wi-Fi adapter on your computer by purchasing an external adapter. An external Wi-Fi adapter has a better range for reception because its antennas are bigger and stronger. Installing an external Wi-Fi extender is easy because it is a UBB plug-and-play device.
2. Update Wi-Fi adapter drivers
Another simple yet clever way to boost your Wi-Fi adapter’s performance is to upgrade the drivers to the latest version. If the problem the connection to your neighbor’s Wi-Fi weakened just recently, the problem might be that your device’s Wi-Fi adapter drivers are outdated. To fix that, all you need to do is upgrade the drivers to the latest version. Ensure you check the specifications of your computer to identify the manufacturer of the Wi-Fi adapter before attempting to install it. Visit the official website of your Wi-Fi adapter manufacturer to download and install the legitimate drivers for your Wi-Fi adapter. You can also update the drivers of your external Wi-Fi adapter to improve their signal reception ability.
3. Get rid of any obstacles, if possible
Might be that the reason you aren’t getting a better Wi-Fi signal from your neighbor is because of obstacles in between. Where possible, try to remove the obstacle that could be hampering signals from reaching your place. If the obstruction is due to concrete walls, then consider other means to improve the signal quality.
Moreover, ensure there are no wireless transmitters like Bluetooth, Infrared, or Wi-Fi devices to minimize wireless interference between the devices.
4. Install a Wi-Fi Extender
Installing a Wi-Fi range extender is brilliant if your neighbor does not mind sharing his internet with you. You can link the Wi-Fi modem or router to the extender via an Ethernet cable or wirelessly for better performance. Extenders work by acting as repeaters that pick the otherwise weak Wi-Fi signal, amplify it, and then rebroadcast it at improved signal quality.
5. Set network mode to “Auto”
If you are still not getting better Wi-Fi signal quality from your neighbor even with all the above-mentioned measures, try checking the network settings in your device. Ensure it is set to “Auto”. Often, most Wi-Fi signals are on 2G, 3G, 4G, and now 5G signal frequencies. The strength and reliability of the signal tend to increase from 2G – 5G. If set to a particular frequency, you may get poor signal quality whenever the network fluctuates. The best thing to do is to set the network mode to Auto so that the device can choose for itself the best signal quality at any one time.
What does the neighbor need to do?
If your neighbor willingly shares their Wi-Fi with you, here are a couple of measures they can take to improve the signal quality on their end.
1. Change the Wi-Fi channel
Wi-Fi routers use 2.5 GHz and 5 GHz frequencies when transmitting data to your device. The 5 GHz frequency is resistant to interference and preferred for outdoor transmissions. The 2.4 GHz frequency is more adaptable to indoor devices but susceptible to interference. Your neighbor can switch the 2.4 GHz frequency to channels 1, 3, 11, or 13 to improve the Wi-Fi reception.
2. Move closer to the Wi-Fi router
If you are far away from the Wi-Fi transmission router, then you are likely going to have issues with signal quality. To resolve that, consider moving closer to the router or tell the neighbor to relocate the router to another position so that you can get better signal quality. Often, Wi-Fi signals have a radius within which the signals can be accessed. Beyond that radius, the signal quality declines. Moving closer to the signal source (router) can significantly improve the quality of the connection.
3. Upgrade the firmware on the Wi-Fi router.
Upgrading the Wi-Fi router’s firmware improves its performance. If the problem of slow connection is stated only recently, it’s likely due to outdated firmware and associated bugs.
4. Clear obstacles
Where possible, your neighbor may get rid of any obstacles that might be impeding the smooth transmission of signals. For instance, he or she may need to remove unnecessary clatter that’s between the router and you, the end user.
5. Buy a high-performance router
The slow connection may be because your neighbor’s router is based on outdated technology. He or she should consider buying one of the latest models which can provide better speed and reliable signal quality for a more stable connection.
There are different means and methods of improving the signal quality of your Wi-Fi connection. In this post, we have discussed some of the measures at your disposal at the connection end, and those that your neighbor can control. With that said, we come to the end of this post. Hope you found it very useful and insightful.