My decision to house my wireless router, underneath my basement stairs, while aesthetically clever, is tactically a bit silly. Wireless routers should really be on the top floor – not in the basement – to best cover a house. Since I routed all my network cables down there, when we built, I am somewhat stuck.
So, to improve reception/transmission, to and from our notebooks, I added a $19.99 omni-directional antenna (purchased from the Bluemound CompUSA at http://www.compusa.com/products/product_info.asp?product_code=312338&pfp=cat3). Configuration is as simple as unscrewing the old antenna and screwing the new one in. Instantly, our notebooks can now connect flawlessly from the farthest reaches of the house.
Because I had been considering scrapping my old workhorse D-Link DI-624 router for a new, sleek NetGear MaxRange ($129), I feel I just saved myself $110.
Thanks to Joey Colwell (next door neighbor) for suggesting I check at CompUSA. Before that, I had been researching antennas, and I was going to drop $40 online for one. This model seems to be doing the trick.