Wi-Fi Router Placement: 5 Key Factors to Consider

Wi-Fi Router Placement: 5 Key Factors to Consider

Everyone knows that the Wi-Fi signal diminishes over distance, especially if there are impermeable obstacles in the way.

If your bedroom and router are on opposite sides of your home, watching Netflix on your smartphone before bed might stress you out instead of helping you relax.

The quality of your Wi-Fi signal or the severity of its loss over distance is affected by several key factors, including the layout of your home, the materials used in the construction, your router, your ISP, and many other factors. 

Location is among the top factors, and where you choose to install your router plays a significant role. It’s vital to keep in mind that a router’s signal broadcasts from its antenna in all directions; therefore, it’s helpful to think of signal strength in terms of a broadcast radius. 

Here are a few more recommendations for positioning your wireless router to achieve better coverage and greater signal quality.

Wi Fi Router Placement
Wi Fi Router Placement

 

Location, Location, Location

Location is crucial, so don’t let the location of your desktop computer or home modem constraint you while trying to locate the most effective location for your router— which is, theoretically, the most central place of your home. 

If you can find a spot for your router in a central location, it actually pays to purchase and run some Cat5e or even Cat6 cable to that location for maximum efficiency. If you’re living in a two-floor home, you might want to consider moving it to the second floor because radio waves typically propagate outward and downward, not upward.

Keep It Off the Floor

In order to enhance coverage, it is advisable to install the router as high as possible because routers have a tendency to spread their strongest signals downward. Try putting it high on a bookcase or mounting it inconspicuously on the wall. Do avoid the corners of your home.

You can find several specialized wall mounts for particular routers online if you search for them. Something along those lines will be a wonderful answer if you’re having trouble finding a decent, elevated spot.

Avoid Other Electronics

Avoid other electronics and heavier metallic objects, as these tend to interfere with the Wi-Fi signal and the physical network infrastructures. For example, avoid running your Ethernet cable parallel to the active power lines in your home, as these will most certainly cause interference. Likewise, avoid putting your router behind your TV set, as it might obstruct the broadcast signal—this doesn’t apply if you’re using a TV box. 

Avoid the Kitchen

The microwave isn’t your ally in a fight against any potential Wi-Fi signal buffering. Wi-Fi routers and microwaves both use the same 2.4 GHz portion of the electromagnetic spectrum to function. Your Wi-Fi connection is actually being interfered with when you use the microwave. 

Additionally, the kitchen often has large metallic objects and lots of metal pots and pans—metal is well known for dissipating radio waves, leading to signal deterioration. Since cordless phones use the same frequency, avoid placing the base station for those devices next to your router. 

Play With the Antenna

Antennas are a common feature in routers as they help spread the signal; some high-performance routers have as many as eight antennas. If there are two or more antennas, don’t point them all in the same direction; instead, position them in different directions toward important equipment. For optimal coverage, make at least one antenna perpendicular and another vertical. 

Final Thoughts

You should be able to maximize the efficiency of your Wi-Fi router and increase signal coverage by following these guidelines. If you’re still struggling with coverage, consider installing signal repeaters, or investing in a gaming router, such as a Nest Wi-Fi router or Asus ROG—those typically perform better than budget-friendly, ISP-issued routers.

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