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What Is the Average Range of a Wi-Fi Router?

What Is the Average Range of a Wi-Fi Router?


Wi-Fi routers are short range wireless transmitters conforming to the 802.11 standard, and they are relatively easy to install. In most instances, a Wi-Fi router is powerful enough to provide wireless coverage to an entire house, but sometimes parts of a house may be missed due to obstructions or electronic interference. If you are considering installing your own Wi-Fi router in your home, then you should know the average range of a Wi-Fi router as well as how to spot potential obstructions. When you are armed with this information, you can minimize the risk of inadvertently creating blind spots in your home.

The average range of a Wi-Fi router normally depends on 4 things:

Type of Router:

The Wi-Fi protocol consists of the 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, and 802.11n standards. Each standard has its own average range. Wi-Fi routers conforming to the 802.11b and 802.11g standards operate at a frequency in the 2.4 GHz spectrum. These type routers typically have a maximum range of about 300 feet outdoors and 150 feet indoors. The 802.11a Wi-Fi routers operate at a frequency in the 5 GHz spectrum. The 802.11a routers are faster than the b and g models, but the 802.11a's range is only about 100 feet outdoors and 50 feet indoors. The 802.11n uses multiple wireless signals (MIMO) and can operate in either the 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz spectrums. It has the longest range of any of the other 802.11 routers with a maximum range of about 175 feet indoors when using the 2.4 GHz spectrum. Please bear in mind the ranges given above are optimum ranges, and the actual range within your home could be significantly less.

Transmission Strength

The more powerful the transmitter in the Wi-Fi router the farther its range. The transmitters in Wi-Fi routers are intentionally low powered to reduce the risk of interfering with other wireless networks in your area.

Location and Obstructions

The location of the router relative to the location of any obstructions can make a big difference on the range of the wireless signal. Obstructions such as walls, ceilings, and floors can reduce the signal's effectiveness. Additionally, metallic objects such as refrigerators, file cabinets, and metal wall frames can also impede the signal. The Wi-Fi routers operating in the 2.4 GHz spectrum are better at penetrating obstructions than the higher 5 GHz spectrum models.

Other Electronic Devices

Electronic appliances such as microwave ovens can interfere with the Wi-Fi router. This interference can significantly reduce the range and reliability of the Wi-Fi wireless signal. If possible, you should try to avoid locating your Wi-Fi router near other electronic devices such as microwave ovens.

Having your own wireless broadband network in your home can make accessing the Internet so much more enjoyable, because you can enjoy it from any room in your house. Additionally, you can use your smart-Phone in wireless mode and save on data charges from your phone company. If you plan on installing a Wi-Fi in your home, you can use the tips above to position your Wi-Fi router in a location that will optimize its range and minimize interference from obstructions. Doing this will alleviate frustrating blind spots in the future.