Wireless router placement rarely crosses the minds of most people. You buy the router, take it out of the box, and then plug it into the modem right? Sure, but the location of the router needs to be considered. Did you know most router antennas are omnidirectional, meaning the signal goes out in all direction? This also means you could be sharing half of your WiFi signal with your neighbor. WiFi router placement is crucial for the connectivity and security of your wireless network. Follow these wireless router placement tips to get the most out of your network.
The Best Wireless Router Placement
The router should be setup as close to the center of the house, if possible. If you have a basement and an upstairs, the ideal place for the router to be setup is on the first floor in the center of the house. This can be tricky for some, depending on where your Internet Service Provider has installed your modem. In some cases, the modem is also the router. Talk to the installer when they are setting up the modem, or if the modem is already in place, you can move it by purchasing coax cable from a local electronics shop.
In addition to the centralized location of the router, you need to take other factors into consideration. The wireless signal can pass easily through walls but can be blocked by steel beams, wire mesh, and even windows and mirrors. If any of these materials are situated in the center of your home, move the router a few feet in either direction to prevent the interference.
The wireless signal can also suffer interference because of other electronics, such as microwaves, wireless phones, and baby monitors. Experiment with the placement of other equipment if you are noticing a loss in signal or intermittent signal drops.
Wireless Router Placement And Best Practices
As you can see, there are a lot of factors that can affect signal strength. Some best practices for wireless router placement and setup are:
- Place the router in the center of the house.
- Install the router on a shelf or wall above furniture-level.
- Make sure your router has the latest firmware.
- Keep the router away from windows, mirrors and steel beams.
If this isn’t possible, see if your router supports a directional antenna or install wireless repeaters throughout the house to extend the signal. If you have other router issues, please be sure to read our networking tutorials.