As we all strive to have the most powerful Wi-Fi signal we can, naturally we are going to look for ways to improve the speed of our internet. This is where the tx power adjustment comes into play in a router. Some routers, certainly not all, come with the option to adjust your tx power level, either lower or higher, in order to help you get the best Wi-Fi signal that you can. But adjusting your tx power level is not straightforward and may not even be necessary.
The tx power level of your router is the amount of decibels per milliwatt (dBm) that your router uses to transmit its signal. The router will make use of its tx power when it is transmitting data to a connect device or simply to announce its presence on the channel it is set to. On routers that do have the option to adjust the level, you can set your tx power level lower or higher to either reduce or increase the signal strength.
Go to > Advanced Settings > Tx Power to make adjustments to your Tx power.
In most cases, you should not be changing your router’s tx power level. The fact that most routers don’t even offer the function should make us wonder why it would be an option at all. Adjusting the tx power can improve your router’s overall performance and ability which may be necessary for some users, but at the same time can up the amount of noise that a client receives, making the traffic along the channel congested and inefficient. Unless you have few neighbors near you that could be on the same channel, upping the tx power level is only to make the signal itself hard for the client to respond to. Ideally, you should leave the tx power level to its default setting.
There is also the question of whether boosting the signal could put you at a higher risk of having your signal tapped into by others. If safety is your concern, however, the signal is encrypted so no matter the strength of the tx power, you should not have to worry about others hopping onto your signal.
Another concern with a boosted signal is whether a more powerful frequency can actually harm people physically. Those concerns have never been proven or substantiated so it is not something that you would need to worry over when it comes to a tx power adjustment. The only real concern is whether increasing it reduces your router’s efficiency, not that it could actually hurt you.
If you have already messed around with the tx power level, you might be concerned about what that could mean in terms of noise. The next step is to test your router’s signal to see how well everything is operating. You can test the signal easily by using a Wi-Fi analyzer. Installing one on your laptop will let you see how much signal your router is getting as well as the other routers nearby that could be affecting your channel’s traffic.
In the event that you do not see any other routers on your channel and you want to or have already changed the tx power level, you can adjust it slowly, watching how the signal is affected either direction. This can allow you to get the ideal signal strength. If you adjust the tx power too quickly one way or the other, you may not see where the sweet spot is and overdo it, either creating excess noise or making your signal weak.
The highest level of power you will want to use is 100mw. Anything more than that is going to be too much, not matter how many routers are on your channel. Remember that boosting it too high is going to hinder your router’s performance, so bigger is not necessarily better.
Just as the tx power is important to how well your router transmits data, the rx level is important to see how much data (in dBm) is received. The ideal level for your router’s rx is between -18 and - 25 dBm. Like the case with the tx power, boosting the rx level too high is going to increase the signal to noise ratio (SNR), causing signal distortion and as a result lack of efficiently in the router. Going to low with the rx level will result in a reduction of signal speed. If the rx level is not set correctly, the tx power level is not going to be as effective as you would like. The router may be throwing out a strong signal, but if it is not receiving data quickly, you may not even notice a change in the signal strength if you have adjusted the tx power level already.
If adjusting the tx power level is not working out to improve your router’s abilities, there are other ways that you can help boost your signal and get the internet speeds that you are really after.
When it comes to improving your router’s functionality and capabilities, no point is too small and every little helps. By adjusting your tx power, you may see changes in your router’s performance that you didn’t notice earlier. Making your wireless signal stronger is something we all want, all the time, and hopefully tweaking the settings with your tx power will help you get the improvements you need.
Hey, it's Tomas here! I'm the founder and chief editor here at BlueGadgetTooth. After spending hours explaining my parents how to hook up their Internet, why it's being so slow etc. I decided to start this blog to help people with their gadgets and questions about technology.