How to Get the Best Signal from Your Router

If you want to get strong, consistent Wi-Fi throughout your home, it's important to position your router in a good spot.

The location of your Internet router plays a big role in the quality of your Wi-Fi. If you’re experiencing dead zones or slow connections, you might consider repositioning this key piece of equipment. Here are some things to think about as you select the best location for your router. (Not your modem! Do you know the difference between the two?)

Do:

Pick a central location

If your router is tucked away in a corner of your home, you may experience dead zones on the opposite end. Since our router sends out a signal in all directions, place your router in a central location to ensure consistent Wi-Fi coverage. If your home has multiple floors, that means avoiding the basement or the top floor.

Raise it up

There are several benefits to placing your router on a high shelf or in another raised area. It can improve coverage on the floor above. And it also positions it above obstacles like furniture and electronics that could disrupt your Wi-Fi signal. This is how often you should be rebooting your router.

Invest in a mesh Wi-Fi system, if needed

If you live in a large home or have brick or concrete walls, you may want to invest in a mesh Wi-Fi system, like the popular Amazon eero mesh Wi-Fi system. These come with several satellite nodes you place throughout your home. The nodes capture and rebroadcast the signal from the main router, improving WiFi coverage in trouble spots. Also a do: DO buy the best wireless routers to speed up your Internet.

Don’t:

Put it near other electronics

Keep your router away from other electronics as much as possible. Many devices use the same 2.4-GHz wireless band, which can interfere with the Internet signal. Microwaves in particular give off strong electromagnetic waves that can disrupt your Wi-Fi signal, so keep your router away from the kitchen if possible. This is a common mistake to make but can be one of the many hidden reasons your Internet is so slow.

Put it in direct sunlight

According to TP-Link, long-term sun exposure can damage your router, so find a spot out of direct sunlight. Also avoid heating sources to keep it as cool as possible.

Put it near brick or concrete

Wi-Fi signals have difficulty passing through brick, concrete, and metal. Don’t worry about putting it near other walls, though—your router can broadcast through plywood and drywall with minimal disruption.

Forget to adjust the antennas

Those funny-looking antennas on your router aren’t just for show! In general, position one horizontally and one vertically to help broadcast its signal in all directions. If your router has more than two antennas (some can have as many as eight!), consult the user manual for instructions on proper positioning.

Originally Published on The Family Handyman

Camryn Rabideau
Camryn Rabideau is freelance writer specializing in fashion, beauty, home, smart technology and general lifestyle content. She holds a degree in fashion merchandising from the University of Rhode Island and jumps at any opportunity to combine her love for fashion and writing. Despite pressure from her peers, she remains on team #NoOxfordComma.