How to boost Wi-Fi signal on your Android device

How to boost Wi-Fi signal on your Android device

If you notice that your Wi-Fi is consuming a lot more battery than it usually does, or you always appear to be connected but the internet isn't exactly lightning fast, then you might be suffering from a poor Wi-Fi connection. Here's our guide for how to boost the Wi-Fi signal on your Android smartphone.

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Learn which Wi-Fi access point is the best

Short of turning the router off and on again, which should always be your first option when suffering from a poor Wi-Fi connection, another way is using the Wi-Fi analyzer app. Firstly, it provides the best channel to use for your particular network. Without going into detail, it allows you to optimize the network and means you don't have to be a technical whizz-kid to do so. 

Secondly, it assesses which network in the area has the most stable connection, which often isn't the one which your phone connects to by default. Lastly, it offers easy access to network information such as your IP address, network gateway, DNS, etc. It's not essential, but useful for power-users.  

wifi booster
Wi-Fi analyzer can give you a quick view of what is the best wireless network nearby. / © NextPit

Check if your phone case is blocking signal

Many phone cases actually make your Wi-Fi signal worse, especially if they contain metal, which is often used for added protection or kickstands. To see if your case is affecting your Wi-Fi signal, do an Ookla speed test with the case off, then, in the same location, put the case back on and perform the test again. If you see a difference when using your case you may want to look at alternatives. The app asks for a wild amount of permissions, so we recommend uninstalling it as soon as you have concluded your test.

wifi speedtest ookla
If you notice a decrease in Wi-Fi speed from no case (left) to with case (right) then you need to reconsider your case. / © NextPit/Ookla

Put your router in the perfect spot

Another simple trick that can greatly improve the Wi-Fi connection at home is the optimization of the router's location. Often it is placed right next to the phone or cable outlet, but this is rarely the best for your connection. If you can move it, take a look at the Wi-Fi FDTD solver app that allows you to see at a glance how your router signal is doing. 

By analyzing the signal waves you can find the best place to position your router. / © Android PIT

MacGyver a DIY radio dish

Have all the above failed? It's time for the old-school option. If you're in real need of a better Wi-Fi signal then you can actually make your own little parabolic dish to ''catch'' some better reception. This is basically a small version of a big radio or satellite dish. You can use a metal bowl or cut open a soda can to make a receiver dish. It may not be the most practical thing to do every time you have a weak signal, but it is fun.

Change your Wi-Fi frequency band to 5 GHz 

Most Android devices can run on the 5 GHz frequency band, as well as the old 2.4 GHz band. What does this mean? On the higher frequencies, like 5 GHz, there's much more free space on the spectrum. There are 23 channels of 20 MHz each on the 5 GHz frequency, which is much more than the 14 channels offered on 2.4 GHz. Because the channels don't overlap, you're likely to get a better signal on your Wi-Fi.

For devices on Android 6.0 Marshmallow or older

If your router works on the 5 GHz band (most recent routers do), then switch your phone over to that band too by going to Settings > Wi-Fi > Advanced > Wi-Fi frequency band then tap Auto. This will ensure that your phone runs on the 5 GHz band when possible.

androidpit wifi frequency band
Make sure your phone uses the 5 GHz band when possible by setting the frequency band to 'Auto'. / © NextPit

For devices running Android 7.0 Nougat or newer

Never Android versions don't allow you to switch Wi-Fi bands in the settings, but if you feel you still need this option, there's a handy open source Wi-FiAnalyzer app that will enable you to switch Wi-Fi bands easily.

wifi analyzer
You can set the frequency band using Wi-FiAnalyzer. / © NextPit

Update your radio or firmware

If you're receiving OTA updates from your carrier or manufacturer then this probably doesn't apply to you, but if you are running custom ROMs you may find yourself occasionally needing to manually update the radio on your Android. As an example, here's how to update the bootloader and radio on the Nexus 5. You should also make sure you're on the latest version of Android to ensure the best performance. To check this, go to Settings > About > Software updates.

Fastboot ADB Tools Files
If you're not on the OTA trail, you may need to update your radio manually./ © NextPit

Tell your phone to avoid poor connections (Android 6.0 Marshmallow or older)

In the Android Settings menu, there is a nice little option that tells your phone to avoid poor Wi-Fi connections, meaning that while it is scanning for available networks it will actually avoid trying to connect to those with poor signals. This will save you a lot in terms of power and frustration. Just go to Settings > Wi-Fi and tap the overflow menu button and then Advanced. Here you will see the checkbox to avoid poor connections.

AndroidPIT WiFi Avoid Poor Connections
Avoiding poor Wi-Fi connections is a great idea! / © NextPit

Are we missing any tricks? What do you do to boost your Wi-Fi signal?

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Readers' favorite comments

  • Robert Brown Aug 27, 2014

    Alas, there's no 'Avoid Poor Connections' option on my Samsung Galaxy S4 from AT&T.

  • My1 Aug 25, 2014

    Android should learn to switch better between WLAN networks.
    I for example have internet over cable but our only cable connection is in the cellar and I have my room in the roof (2nd floor, with ground floor in-between) and I have another WLAN router at my room at the roof and whenever I am running somewhere in my house my phone pretty much ALWAYS has the wrong Router with 0 to 1 bars of reception.
    Android should get a WLAN priority list which includes which one can be used interchangeably along with when to switch.


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  • mine is android 6 and its model is sm-G610F but i cant find any of these setting. i try it step by step.........

  • Removing phone case (if you have one) in most phones can increase WiFi strength by 50% just remove it and wait for a minute and see

  • Best speed test is

  • Umm I tried to download MCPE 1.13 beta apk (I cant wait to see foxes)
    And my internet connection is fine on my ASUS Windows 10 laptop, but on my S5 it is very struggling. he file has 90 MB and I can't download it.
    Can't find any "Wi-Fi band" or Avoid poor internet connections in my Wifi settings (Android 6.0).

  • This is just an amazing technique and it really works. Thanks for sharing this blog.

  • Use a broadband modem / router with an extender (especially if your dwelling is multi-level, your Wi-Fi is on 2nd Floor and your extender is on the 1st Floor). Set your smartphone and or tablet up to switch from Wi-Fi 2 extender (depending on what Floor you are on). An extender is great for boosting the Wi-Fi signal to your smart TV (or other smart device).

  • S D Aug 3, 2018 Link to comment

    My problem is that I get crappy reception no matter where I go with my Z5. Every one else's phone, laptops, tablets, etc work fine but mine is always struggling or even saying not connected to the internet when everything else works fine. Does anyone know how to address this?

  • Sorin Apr 5, 2018 Link to comment

    For advanced users, a great way is to install a new firmware, such as DD-WRT. This greatly improves the performance of the router, including signal strength.

  • Just a warning about all the "speed test" apps in the Play Store: most are incredibly inconsistent. My ISP uses Ookla on its PC interface, and the Ookla Android app seems to generate the same results - other apps are measuring who knows what, but it ain't that.

  • there are numerous ways to improve your WiFi signal, but the final result depends heavily on your environment.

    some tips that may work:

    1. try amplifier -- it can be expensive as specialized directional antenna, or cheap as a soda can.

    2. change channel settings -- the 2.4Ghz WiFi(802.11 b/g/n) only has 3 non-overlapping channels, set your channel to one of 1/6/11 will help reduce the chance of overlapping channels.

    3. regularly scan your environment -- in scan result, you will see how many networks are around you, and the signal strength, channels they running etc. Then you can avoid running a similar network, and find a relatively *clean* environment

    these tips sounds a bit *geeky*, but there are a lot of tools available to ease the processing. For example, WiFi Manager , an Android App, is able to do the scanning, and show result in an intuitive graphic way

    • According to my research, 5 gig doesn't have as good a range as 2.8 (apparently), so this can be a factor in which you choose.

  • Change your Wi-Fi frequency band to 5 GHz - I do not see this option in an Android Sony z3 or z5- Or at least I can't seem to find it on the Wifi menu choices. No advanced menu? Please help as we do LIVE broadcast for our church in a week area and we need better singles from mobile. Thanks

  • The MacGyver tip takes away all seriousness of the article.

  • which app can help me to boost android hotspot wifi signals?

  • Um, I'm curious how to utilize a metal bowl or tin can. The pic doesn't look like it's set up as a receiver. Or maybe just having the bowl close works?? Is there a certain way to place the bowl and phone or do they have to touch. Because there's no mention of attachment of wires or tin foil etc. Please respond cause I'm curious if it works. This phone frustrstes me with its weak grip on the signal. I don't care if I look like I'm alien crazed. Ya baby! :0

  • im not sure if any of these will help me. I red the one could make your battery hot and idk if thats going to hure my phone. my problem is my samsung galaxy core prime will not pick up my schools wifi signal no matter where i am. i just got it and already hate samsung and everything about it and will be looking for an iphone if it keeos happening cuz everyone with iohones connects just fine

  • I have a Topaz S600 there connection was very weak .. I can't update even PlayStore did'nt run .. how to fix it :(

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