How to boost your Wi-Fi signal without any tricks

A frequent reader problem related to Wi-Fi—one I hear all the time as a result of having written books about Wi-Fi and Apple’s AirPort base stations for a decade—is getting good coverage, even when a network is seemingly well planned. But there’s one simple change you can make that could have a surprisingly strong effect. I swear this article isn’t clickbait: Rather, there’s a signal-strength property that’s not well known.

Modern Wi-Fi adapters and base stations can use two frequency bands: 2.4GHz and 5GHz. The lower-frequency 2.4GHz band suffers from a lot of competing uses beyond Wi-Fi (Bluetooth, baby monitors, industrial sealers, microwaves, medical devices, and a lot more), but it’s better at penetrating walls, floors, and ceilings than the higher-frequency 5GHz. The 802.11b, g, and n standards can work over 2.4GHz.

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