There are lots of articles about how to increase the range of your wi-fi network, but there are reasons to decrease the range. Perhaps you are worried about EMF levels and their impact on your body. Or perhaps you want to stop your neighbours hacking your wireless network. So how do you decrease the range of your network? Most routers don’t allow you to change the output power of your router, but there is a way around this. A lot routers have a ‘region’ setting. This adjusts the output power of your router to match the maximum allowable legal EMF level in your country. The USA has very high power levels. Australia and Europe have much lower allowable levels. So if you live in the USA but select ‘UK’ or ‘Australia’ as your region, it will potentially lower the power output of your router to 1/10th of the level.
Here are the wireless settings panel on my TP-LINK Archer C7 wireless router. Notice the ‘Region’ setting.
FYI: I run my Apple Airport base station at 10% power and it’s range is sufficient.
After you change the region setting the wireless router will adjust the maximum power level to what is allowed within the region that you specify.
Here are some of the legal limits in different regions.
Note that it would be illegal to set your router to a region with a higher setting than where you live. (e.g. if you live in Australia you should not set your region to ‘United States.’)
Maximum power levels of wi-fi routers (mW)
Countries that have a 1000mW limit:
USA, Canada, New Zealand, Tiawan.
Countries that have a 100mW limit:
Austria, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, UK, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Norway.
Countries that have a 200mW limit:
For a full list of regions see this table.