How to Boost the Signal on a Wireless Keyboard & Mouse
By Elizabeth Smith
A wireless mouse and keyboard allow you to create a custom work or gaming space. Whether you want to relax in your chair with a keyboard on your lap or sit on the couch to play a computer game, the absence of wires allows greater flexibility. When your wireless signal starts to drop out, however, you may experience a slow response time that affects productivity. By taking steps to boost the signal, you can improve performance and enjoy fewer frustrating lapses in service.
Check the documentation for your wireless keyboard and mouse and look for the maximum range. The farther you are from the base unit or USB receiver, the weaker the signal will be. If you are near the edge of the range, move your equipment closer to enjoy an instant signal boost.
Update the drivers and software; outdated versions can cause lags in performance and erratic behavior. Visit the manufacturer's website for the keyboard and mouse and look for the most recent releases. Download the file and follow the prompts for installation.
Replace the batteries; old or ineffective batteries can severely affect the range of your device. Select the best battery you can afford, as a battery's quality is directly related to its lifetime. If you are using NiMH batteries, change them out for better-quality alkaline batteries, which offer stronger voltage in low-drain devices like wireless keyboards and mice.
Remove sources of wireless interference in a six-foot radius of the keyboard, mouse and base unit. Move or turn off other electronic items that broadcast a wireless signal, such as cordless phones, garage door openers, microwaves or gaming systems with wireless receivers. Ensure that you don't have your system set up near other common sources of wireless interference; thick cement walls and large metal objects are common culprits. If your wireless receiver is sitting on a metal desk, it can degrade the signal even at short distances. In serious cases, switch out your desk to boost the signal.
Add a cable extender to your wireless receiver. Most base units use a USB connection. Simply purchase a USB extender cable, attach one end to the computer and the other to the receiver. Place the base unit between your computer and your mouse and keyboard. Cable extenders are available at most electronics stores and online.
Elizabeth Smith has been a scientific and engineering writer since 2004. Her work has appeared in numerous journals, newspapers and corporate publications. A frequent traveler, she also has penned articles as a travel writer. Smith has a Bachelor of Arts in communications and writing from Michigan State University.