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I have a Ralink RT 3290 802.11 bgn adapter & a DLink N600 router. I never get more than 3 bars on my laptop, even when the router is positioned in various places in the house. But I can see full bars on my neighbour's security protected network, which is farther away and through more walls. Is there any way to get my HP laptop to get better signal, or get my router to transmit better?

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You could try a parabolic reflector. Check out this Parabolic Template;

Using just printable white card, tin foil, scissors, a craft knife & Pritt Stick, you can improve your wireless reception. The tin foil only needs gluing to rectangular section alone. Mounted to your routers aerial (or x2 or even x3 aerials) you should see a measurable increase in reception. You can use one such utility like Wicd (installable from standard repos) under Ubuntu for measuring link strength.

I found it makes all the difference between a rock solid connection in bedroom with door closed & not even detecting a network at all! As far as free fixes go it’s pretty impressive & I might not actually need that mahusive after market aerial ordered from Hong Kong.

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While this link may answer the question, it is better to include the essential parts of the answer here and provide the link for reference. Link-only answers can become invalid if the linked page changes. – Mitch Jun 23 '13 at 19:32

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