Mar 2016 Where to place your Router
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Where to Put Your Router to Optimize Your Home Wi-Fi
We all know that Wi-Fi signal strength begins to wane the farther away from the router you are. If your router is in the front of your house and your bedroom is in the back, you may be accustomed to seeing that spinning wheel of death while waiting for your Netflix to buffer. The severity depends on many things: your home’s construction, your router, your provider…lots of things.
Here's a few points to consider.
Keep it central
Location is key. Try to find the most central home for your router that you can and don’t consider the placement of your desktop computer or home modem to be a limiting factor. It’s worth buying some data cable and run the wire to the most central location you can.
Consider even mounting the router on a wall or in a corner by the ceiling if you have two floors because radio waves generally spread out and towards the ground, not up. Think about putting your router on the second floor if you have one.
Avoid the kitchen
When it comes to battling any potential buffering of your Wi-Fi signal, the microwave is not your friend.
Microwaves and Wi-Fi routers operate using the same 2.4 gHz slice of the electromagnetic spectrum. When you use the microwave, it’s literally interfering with your Wi-Fi signal.
Additionally, metal objects will absorb a signal, and with a metal fridge, oven, and other kitchen appliances, it’s probably best to just keep the router out of the kitchen.
The same frequency is also used for cordless phones, so don’t keep your cordless phone base station near the router either.
Play with the antenna All the magic happens with the antenna. It’s the part of the router that’s broadcasting and receiving your wifi connection. Antennas usually can move side to side or sometimes pivot full-circle in their socket. If you’re trying to get your signal to spread horizontally, positioning your antenna vertically will give you the best spread. If you’re trying to get the Wi-Fi to broadcast between floors in your home or office, position the antenna horizontally. It's possible to purchase an 'high gain' antenna which can not only boost a signals performance but can be connected to the router by a cable. This will allow you to better position the antenna in locations that the router wouldn't normally reach.
Use some software
It's possible to map your Wifi coverage using your laptop. Useful to discover those deadspots. All you need is a laptop and a piece of software from these guys.
Can we help? I hope this has given you some helpful advice on where to position your router. If you found it useful why not sign up to our full mailing list for all future monthly newsletters and back issues. Lastly if we can be of any help or you would just like to have a chat about any of the above please feel free to call on 0800 878 6168 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks Andrew Jackson Co-Founder The Electric Playground