Where To Place Your Router For Optimal Wi-Fi Coverage

The best location for a router is as centralized and high up as possible in the home. With as few obstacles as possible surrounding it.
Where To Place Your Router For Optimal Wi-Fi Coverage

Your router is basically an access point that sends out radio waves that provide wireless connectivity. 

As a result, if you have your router hidden in a closet or buried on a shelf, you’re not likely to get the coverage you need. 

Lucky for you, we’ve taken the necessary steps to determine where your router should be placed to perform optimally. Our guide will help you reduce places of interference.  

It will also ensure that you put your router in a spot where it can give you the best possible performance.

Keep reading below to learn the best location for a router.

Is it Centralized?

For starters, radio signals broadcast in more than one direction. Think of them as water ripples. 

Your router is the center, and the radio waves move outward from there in all directions. 

That means if you put your router at one end of your home or in a corner, you’re might be cutting your coverage in half.

Also, remember that the closer you are to the router, the stronger the signal. So the goal should be to reduce the distance between your connected devices and the router. [1]

That means you’ll want to place your router in a central spot in your home.

Having your router in a centralized spot reduces the distance between your devices. It also keeps them from being on the fringe of your coverage area. 

Of course, centralized will depend on where your devices are within your home. If you want coverage in your backyard, then you may have to move your router around a bit.

Take it Higher

Ripples on the water are one way to think about wireless signals, but it’s a two-dimensional analogy. 

Wi-Fi radiates both horizontally and vertically, which is why you want to keep your router elevated. It might help to think of radio waves as a bubble. 

The router sits at the center, and the ripples radiate out from there.

When your router is in a higher position, the signal is able to cover more areas in your home. It also allows your network to broadcast into more areas without encountering signal impeding objects. 

If you’re ever in doubt, take your cue from professional installers. They routinely place routers up on a shelf or mount them high on the wall.

If you live in a home with more than one floor, you may have to think about how you’ll get coverage to all rooms. 

For example, if you have a two-story home, the best place to keep your router would be on the second-level floor or close to the first floor’s ceiling. 

Doing so will provide reliable coverage throughout both levels of your home.

Steer Clear of Windows and Walls

The best thing you can do to get the best signal from your router is always to have a direct line of sight between the router and your device. 

But, of course, that’s not always possible in a house, especially if your home has more than one floor. Fortunately, most houses consist of materials that allow Wi-Fi signals to pass through. 

Still, you don’t want to have a lot of walls or windows between your router and your devices. Additionally, be aware of denser building materials like brick or concrete

These types of materials absorb radio waves, which means your signal will weaken before it gets to your device.

Yes, some routers are not pleasing to the eye, but sticking them in the closet is the last thing you want to do.

Doing so can impact the performance of your router. This is especially true if you’re surrounding it with materials that dampen the signal. Your best bet is to find one that isn’t an eyesore or strategically place it so that it doesn’t draw a lot of attention.

Lastly, be sure to steer clear of windows. While glass won’t hurt your signal, you could be wasting half your network on the neighbor. 

So unless you want to cover your backyard, you’re better off placing your router away from windows.

Avoid Signal-Killing Obstacles

The material you want to avoid as much as possible is metal. Steel desks, wire shelves, and metal appliances can all absorb or reflect your Wi-Fi signal. 

These obstructions can create dead zones in your wireless network. That means your device may not get the signal you expect.

Do your best to keep your router in a place where metal objects can’t come between it and the portions of your house that need wireless coverage. [2]

Additionally, try to consider items you can’t see. These might include a metal pipe in the wall or the ductwork running through the ceiling.

One final obstruction many people don’t think about is water. Liquids are much denser than air, so if you have a large aquarium right next to your router, you might consider moving one or the other.

Make Adjustments

Once your router is where you want it, you should consider adjusting the antennae if your router has any. 

Some routers have hidden antennae, so the only thing you can position is the device itself. However, the best thing to do is make sure your router is situated the right way.

If it’s designed to sit in a horizontal position, don’t try to turn it on its side and wedge it in somewhere. 

The design of internal antennae is to provide the best coverage possible. If you tilt your router it could result in a poor signal. 

For routers that have external antennae, move them so that they’re all pointed in different directions to get the best results.

Check Your Coverage

Once you’ve followed our tips, take a moment to walk through your home and confirm you have the network coverage you need. 

There are mobile apps for Android and Apple smartphones. So, you can move through your house to determine where the signal is strong or weak.

If all else fails, there are other ways to boost your wifi signal. Consider those before you run out and spend money on a brand new router.

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