Improve Your Wi-Fi Experience

To improve your on-campus Wi-Fi experience, try these tips:

  • Update network adapter driver if applicable.
    In rare cases this might have a negative effect. Check with the manufacture.

  • Use correct driver.
    Many times, the device manufacturer's driver will perform better than the software provided by computer's operating system.

  • Change roaming aggressiveness of network adaptor in network settings.
    Aggressive roaming settings can cause the card to try to switch access points in environments where there are many wifi networks present - often in office buildings with multiple businesses on same floor, or in apartment buildings. Increased transmit power can help with some trade off for run time on battery. You can also set roaming aggressiveness to high to search for an access point with a better signal.

  • Check transmission power settings.
    Some network adapters support adjusting their transmission power. If available, this setting can be adjusted through the adapter's driver interface program, along with the other settings for wireless profiles and Wi-Fi channel number. The transmission power should be set to "maximum" or "100%" to ensure the strongest signal possible. Note that if a laptop is being run in a power saving mode, this setting may automatically be lowered and decrease the adapter's range and signal strength.

  • Upgrade internal network adapter to an adapter with "N" card capability.
    The 802.11n standard is also backward compatible with 11g and 11b networks, ensuring existing networking hardware can be fully utilized.

  • Install an external Wi-Fi antenna on the laptop (if possible).
    For this option to be feasible, the laptop must support add-on antennas. Look for a special jack similar in appearance to a headphone or microphone jack. Sometimes these are called "SMA jacks." Consult the laptop product documentation for details.

  • Upgrade to an USB external wireless adapter if necessary.
    USB wireless network adapter with external antenna. USB Wi-Fi adapters hook onto the back or side of a laptop with a short USB cable. The external antenna on these adapters improves signal range, and the antenna can be adjusted/pointed for fine tuning. To use this option, the laptop must have an open USB port available. Additionally, other network adapter(s) on the laptop should be disabled to prevent interference.

  • Change adaptor antenna priority to "n" for dual band channels if applicable.
    In Wi-Fi wireless networking, dual band is the capability to transmit on the 5 GHz band of 802.11a and also the 2.4 GHz band used by 802.11b, 802.11g, and 802.11n. Unlike ordinary Wi-Fi equipment that only supports one signal band, dual-band gear contain two different types of wireless radios that can support connections on both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz links. Dual-band Wi-Fi network adapters contain two wireless radios. These adapters can be configured to use either 802.11a via one radio, or the 802.11b/g/n family via the other, but not both. Using a dual-band adapter allows a device to connect to either type of Wi-Fi access point.

  • Make sure computer is updated with service packs, security updates etc.

  • Make sure antivirus software is updated and any subsequent updates thereafter.

  • A fully charged battery may help performance.
    Some computers will shut off network adapter to save power