Whether you’re streaming Netflix from a smart TV or gaming on a PC, you’ll need reliable WiFi to keep things running smoothly.
If your router is too far from your PC, you may experience a weak WiFi signal. But, luckily, there are several things you can do to address this common problem. Here’s what you should know.
What to Do if Your Router Is Too Far From Your PC?
Here’s what to do if your router is too far from your PC:
- Place your router in a better spot
- Connect your computer to the router with an ethernet cable
- Use a powerline adapter
- Get an access point system
- Use a mesh WiFi system
- Get a WiFi extender
- Switch to 2.4GHz
Let’s take a closer look at each of these solutions.
- Move your router to a better spot. Moving your router closer to your PC or other wireless device is the best way to improve its connection. This is the obvious solution, but it isn’t always possible. Frequently, your router needs to be in the same place as your internet modem, and so you can’t just move it around the house. If this is the case, then read on for other solutions.
- Use an ethernet cable. If your router’s signal is being distorted by walls, doors, ceilings, or other objects, then consider plugging your PC into the router instead of connecting over WiFi. Simply connect one end of an ethernet cable to the back of your PC and the other end to an available ethernet port on your router. Alternatively, if your home is new then it may be hardwired with ethernet ports. If this is the case, then simply plug your PC into the ethernet port of the room you’re in.
- Use a powerline adapter. This is a great option if your home is not hardwired for ethernet. Powerline networking adapters like the NETGEAR Powerline adapter Kit allow you to use your home’s electrical wiring to create a strong and reliable connection between your router and your PC. The adapters are easy to set up. You just need to plug one unit into your router with an ethernet cable, then plug it into a nearby outlet. Then, you can use an additional powerline unit to create an ethernet port right next to your PC. You just need to plug the second unit into an outlet by your PC, and you have an instant ethernet port.
- Purchase an access point system to project your router’s signal. Access points like the NETGEAR WiFi 6 Access Point connect to your router via ethernet cables to create wireless local area networks (WLANs) and project WiFi signals. They’re an excellent choice if you want to extend the range of your router’s wireless connection.
- Use a mesh WiFi system. Mesh WiFi kits connect multiple routers to a single WiFi network to expand and deliver a strong internet connection to every corner of your house. Gadgets like the Orbi WiFi Mesh System replace your existing wireless system and provide more substantial and broader coverage than you can get from a simple router.
- Get a WiFi extender. Extenders like the TP-Link AX1800 WiFi 6 Extender capture signals from your router, boost the connection range, and rebroadcast the waves. They’re not as efficient as other options on this list, but they’ll still get the job done.
- Switch your router frequency band from 5GHz to 2.4GHz. Although the higher frequency band offers faster speeds, it doesn’t have the range of 2.4GHz signals. Switching over to a lower band can improve WiFi coverage, but you may encounter more interference issues.
These solutions vary in efficiency and depend on various factors, including the distance between your PC and the router and the quality of the router. You can choose whichever works best for you.
Routers aren’t exactly meant to be seen, so many people don’t place them on their desks or anywhere in sight. They’re usually in a different room, a garage, or even a utility closet. But how far away should they be from your PC?
How Far Away Should Your Router Be From Your PC?
If your router is broadcasting on the 2.4GHz band, then it should be no more than 150 feet from your PC. Routers broadcasting on the 5.0GHz band should be no more than 50 feet from your PC. If your router is separated from your PC by doors, walls, and ceilings, then you’ll want to place your router even closer to your PC.
There’s a relationship between proximity and internet speeds when dealing with routers, so you’ll be better served when your router is closer to your PC.
That being said, there are some safety concerns when placing your router close to a place you sleep or spend long periods of time.
Particularly for a PC, using an ethernet cable may be a better choice then moving your router closer to your PC. Ethernet connections offer higher speeds and low latency.
But what if you decide to stick to wireless connections and use WiFi? Can you boost the signal using some inexpensive trick?
Does Aluminum Foil Increase WiFi Strength?
No, aluminum foil will not increase the strength of your router’s WiFi. Aluminum foil reflects electro magnetic radiation, so it is generally is better for blocking signals (like WiFi) than for extending them. While you could technically use aluminum foil to concentrate your router’s WiFi in a particular direction, it isn’t advised.
Aluminum foil is impenetrable by EMF radiation, which is used in cellular connections, bluetooth, and WiFi.
If you want to test this, wrap your phone in aluminum foil and then have a friend place a call to your phone. The phone will not ring, as it will not have signal.
Since aluminum foil reflects radiation, and does not allow it to pass, some people have been able to make aluminum foil shields around their router to direct the signal in a particular direction.
While this technique might work for some, it isn’t reliable and it may cause more problems than it solves.
If you want to improve your router’s reach/signal, then it’s far more reliable to use one of the methods above rather than to wrap your router in aluminum foil.
How To Get Wired Internet in Another Room?
You can get wired internet in another room by using a long ethernet cable or installing powerline adapters near your router and in the room with your computer. If your home is hardwired with CAT-6 cable, then you may be able to plug your device directly into one of your home’s ethernet ports.
Here’s a more detailed explanation of both of these solutions:
- A long ethernet cable. No one wants to have loose cables just sitting there around the house, but having a long ethernet cable allows you to get creative. You might be able to hide it under cables and or other furniture. Any CAT-6 cable should do the trick.
- A powerline adapter. All you need to do is plug a powerline adapter into an outlet near your router and connect both devices with an ethernet cable. Now plug another powerline adapter into an outlet in the other room and connect it to your computer with an ethernet cable. This might not be a perfect replacement for ethernet connections, but it’s still much better than wireless.
- Hardwired home. These days, it’s common for homes to be built with CAT-6 cables hardwired throughout the home. In this case, your home’s ethernet ports are all connected to a central utility closet or panel where your router is installed. To use an ethernet port in your home, you’ll need to make sure that the ethernet cable associated with that particular port is connected to the back of your router in your home’s access panel/utility closet. You’ll also need to make sure that the port itself is an ethernet port, and not a phone line port. Even if your home is hardwired with CAT-6, sometimes your ports will need to be changed from phone line ports to ethernet ports in order to use them for connecting to your home network.
We’ve seen how to get wired internet in another room. But can you still do it if you don’t have an ethernet port?
How Can You Get Ethernet in a Room Without a Port?
If your home is hardwired for ethernet, but one of your rooms does not have a port, then you should hire an electrician to install an ethernet outlet/port. If your home is not hardwired for ethernet, then you can use a PowerLine unit to convert one of your room’s electrical outlets to an ethernet port.
If your home was built sometime in the past 10 years, then it’s probably hardwired with CAT-6 cables (ethernet/data).
In this case, adding a new ethernet port is very simple. If the room in question already has a phone plug, then you’ll just need to upgrade the phone plug to an ethernet outlet.
This is simple to do, but you need a couple of specialty tools and an ethernet outlet, which you can pick up at a hardware store. If you’re not a technical person, then you should consider hiring an electrician to upgrade the port.
If the room does not have a port, but your home is hardwired with ethernet/data, then you can hire an electrician to add an ethernet port to the room.
If your home is not hardwired for ethernet, or you don’t want to bother with one of the more demanding solutions above, then you can convert a power outlet in the room to an ethernet port with PowerLine.
PowerLine is a product that allows you to use your homes electrical wiring to transmit data/ethernet throughout your home.
To use PowerLine, you simply need to plug in one unit near your router and connect it to the back of the router with an ethernet cable.
Then, you can plug in a second PowerLine unit in the room where you need an extra ethernet port. Plug in your PC/device to the second unit with an ethernet cable and you’ll be connected to your home’s network.
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Eric streams 3 days a week on Twitch and uploads weekly to Youtube under the moniker, StreamersPlaybook. He loves gaming, PCs, and anything else related to tech. He’s the founder of the website StreamersPlaybook and loves helping people answer their streaming, gaming, and PC questions.