Combat Weak Wifi Signals while Travelling

Wifi Woes in Public Spaces - No More

You’re at a hotel and the only place that you can connect to the wifi is right by the reception desk. Is hovering around the desk with your laptop just to stay connected your only option? Not if you get a Wifi Extender.

Tp Link Wifi Extender
Tp-Link High Power Wireless USB Adapter

Macau: Be My Guest – Feel at Home (cough, cough)

Being in Macau reminds me of a bygone era when smoking indoors anywhere was still a thing. Welcome to Macau, were smoking is allowed indoors, outdoors, and even in hotel rooms marked non-smoking. Our hotel was no exception. Good thing that it offered free wifi in the lobby; not so good was that the only place the wifi signal was strong enough to connect to was near where the smokers liked to congregate.

Not wanting to join the smokers party, I pulled out the portable wifi extender from my backpack, plugged it into my laptop, and sat down in the other corner of the hotel lobby. I had a seat all to myself in the lounge, where there was actually a working outlet and nobody to disturb me.

a cord, the base unit, and 2 antennas
a cord, the base unit, and 2 antennas
The Wifi Extender

I’ve been carrying around the wifi extender in the bottom of my laptop for just over a year now. I first got it because the wifi that is provided in the apartment I stay in is sometimes weak. I plug it in and use it when the wifi signal becomes weak. This happens in the evenings when more people are around and using the wifi. The wifi extender is compact, light-weight, and something I forget I have until I need it. These are all the hallmarks of a good piece of travel gear!

Not much bigger than a spoon
Not much bigger than a spoon

The model I purchased has two antennas and comes with a one meter usb cord that allows me to place it where I get the best wifi signal. Generally, all I need to do is plug it in and instantly I get enough of a boost in all the wifi signals around me. If you don’t get any wifi signals in your area, ask the hotel manager or simply snoop around with your smartphone’s wifi finder to see where the signal seems to be strongest. If the signal is strong and you still have trouble even downloading your emails, it’s likely that the wifi signal is ok, but that the hotel’s internet is either overloaded or not working altogether.

In use, simply plug in
Simply plug in


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