As signal strength grows weaker, the throughput of the connection decreases, and the latency increases. The decreased throughput and increased latency is a result of both the distance the signal must travel and the retransmission of lost and corrupt packets between the access point and the adapter.
Insider insight: Because signals travel at the speed of light latency increase due to distance is not noticeable on a WLAN. Latency caused by distance is only an issue if the signal is traveling extremely far, as with a satellite Internet connection.
Even then, the latency increases only by a few hundred milliseconds.
Latency caused by retransmission of lost and corrupt packets increases because the weaker signal is subject to greater interference than a strong signal would be. Because of this, users at the edge of an access point's coverage area are more likely to experience "slower" throughput than those positioned closer to the access point.
This is the reason that you can set the minimum connection speed high as a security measure. Fast connections require a strong signal, and a strong signal usually requires that you be reasonably close to an access point. If you require WLAN clients to connect at a high speed, war drivers are less likely to be able to connect without getting close to your home or building, and making themselves obvious.
Increasing signal strength
Now that you have more information than you wanted to know about the problems of signal strength, here are some suggestions for boosting your signal. Most solutions for extending a WLAN require increasing signal strength by some means. If done correctly, with full consideration for the risks and drawbacks, increasing signal strength is an easy way to increase the coverage area of your network. This section helps you decide whether this is the way you want to go, and, if so, how to determine the best way to achieve it.