Most Optimal Place In Your Home For Your Router: According to Statista, a 2020 survey found the average household in the United States has more than ten connected devices. This means there’s an increased reliance on wireless routers so Wi-Fi signals can be delivered to all these devices. However, if you just leave your router where it was set up, you may have some frustrating issues with signal disruptions or weakness. If this is what you’re dealing with on a fairly frequent basis, it’s time to find a better location for your router. We offer tips below on what you can do to discover the most optimal place in your home for your router.
But First, How Do Wi-Fi Signals Work?
It’s important to understand how these signals work before determining the best place to put your router. Let’s start with your router. Routers have different numbers of antennas, depending on their type and manufacturer, but they usually have one or more than one. Some routers might also come with a built-in antenna, but these antennas are usually visible sticking up from the router.
These antennas emit signals in a series of electromagnetic waves. The most common Wi-Fi routers usually come with omnidirectional antennas, so you can expect the signals to go in all directions. However, they work better in an elliptical formation positioned upright to the antenna.
Adjusting Your Router’s Antennas
If your router comes with adjustable antennas, you better point them in different directions. This way, you can have better coverage as the signals are sent in different directions, providing your devices stronger connection in most areas of your home. Moreover, you should know that receivers optimally work when they are in parallel to your antenna.
It’s also crucial to remember that even though your Wi-Fi can cover most of the space, the signal from the router only goes in a straight line. So, if numerous obstructions are blocking the signal between your device and your router, this signal is unable to curve around the objects but will bounce either way. So, now that you know how Wi-Fi signals work, it’s time to find the perfect spot for your router.
Make Sure You Have the Right Router for Your Home
Not all routers are the same. So, before you start rearranging your router, make sure it’s the right one for your current wireless needs. If you have a smaller home or an apartment under 1,500 square feet, for example, a single router should be fine.
However, if your home is larger, you may want to consider upgrading to a mesh system. What you’re doing, in this case, is joining together two or more Wi-Fi access points. In other words, if there’s an area of your home that lacks sufficient wireless access, you would place another node there. The purpose of a mesh system is to eliminate pesky dead zones and provide better coverage. Also, make sure the router you’re using now is one that’s up-to-date enough to provide the features and coverage you need. Newer routers have many appealing features not likely to be on older routers. These include:
- 802.11ac and dual-band support
- Expanded USB Connectivity
- DLNA-discoverable service that can be configured as a media server
- Configuration options for specific applications and user devices
Opt for a Central Location In Your Home
Ideally, you would want to place your router in a central location in your home. If your router is nestled in a corner somewhere, most of the signal is being sent outside where it’s usually not needed. Instead, put your router in a central spot where the signal can be received by all devices in your home as the router sends it out in various directions. While this type of placement can present some issues or require a CAT5 cable that extends under carpeting or the floor or powerline network adapters, you’ll be rewarded with a more consistent and reliable connection.
Elevate Your Router
When a router is placed lower in your home, it’s more likely to run into obstacles as the signal is sent out, like various pieces of furniture. Give your router the ability to send out the signal in a clearer way with fewer obstructions by placing it higher. Options include:
- On top of a bookcase or shelf
- Mounting it on a wall in a place that’s not too noticeable
- On a higher table
Keep It Away from Electronic Interference
Another thing to keep in mind when looking for the optimal place in your home for your router is what other electronics are around. Certain electrical appliances, like your microwave, emit strong signals within the same band range as your router, which can cause interference. Also, avoid putting it near large metal objects.
Avoid Walls as Much as Possible
The more walls that are in the way of the signal and the devices that need to be connected, the more likely it is you’ll experience interruptions or other issues specially if you love to stream TV series or movies in your room. Look for a spot for your router that minimizes the need for the signal to pass through walls as much as possible.
If All Else Fails…
If you’re still having trouble with your router’s signal, adjust the antennas, so they’re positioned differently and not in the same direction. Another option is to connect your router directly to your PC or laptop. Granted, this may not always be practical, but it can work in a pinch when you need a signal boost ASAP. One other option is to map out the wireless signal in your home. Doing so allows you to identify weak spots so you can determine how to approach router placement.
Simple Tips in Solving Wi-Fi Dead Spots
After finding the most optimal place for your router, you will have to deal with the challenges preventing you from moving your router. Some of these challenges include the cables and fiber jacks that are installed on your home’s exterior and the unusual shape of your house. Nonetheless, you have other options to try to improve the Wi-Fi coverage in your living space.
Utilize Ethernet Cables
Regardless of how hard you try, you might still find Wi-Fi dead zones around your house. But if you’re really unlucky, your room might be one of these dead spots. The fastest and the easiest solution to this problem is using an ethernet cable to directly connect your personal computer to your router, giving you a steady internet connection without the need for wireless internet connection However, it’s less practical if you have a large home or your room is very far from the router.
Focus on the High-Use Areas
Even though the most recommended place for your router is the most central part of your home, it might not cover the rooms or areas you and your family are usually in. So, for example, if your living room and home office are located on the same side of your property, it’s best to place your router near these areas instead. Unfortunately, you might need to sacrifice other rooms in your home, like the patio or the kitchen.
Use Wi-Fi Extenders or Mesh Routers
Wi-Fi extenders and mesh routers are excellent devices that extend the coverage of your Wi-Fi in dead zones. So, if your home is just too huge to get enough coverage, you can use this device to amplify the signal your router is providing. Just make sure you get the most reliable device to ensure your Wi-Fi reaches every corner of your home.