Getting a brand new wireless router doesn’t mean that all your wireless issues will come to an end. The first thing you need to consider after setting up your router is, if you’re getting the maximum performance that your router has to offer? Most of the time, the quickest way to clear up dead spots and enjoy better connectivity isn’t new hardware, but a new position for the router you already own.

Below are some guidelines that would help you find the best location for your router and getting the most coverage it can provide. By eliminating sources of interference and finding an optimal position for your router, you can be sure that you’re getting the best performance available from whatever router you have, old or new.

Place your router in a central location

 

If you’ve placed your router in a far corner of your home, or set it up at one end or another, you’re probably reducing your usable coverage by half. The other thing to consider is that the signal is stronger at closer distances, so you’ll want to reduce the distance between the router and any connected device.

The ideal position for a wireless router, then, is in a central location. Placing your router in the center of your home reduces wasted coverage area and eliminates unnecessary distance between the unit and any connected devices on the outside edges of the coverage area.

It’s also worth considering what parts of the home you want to get Wi-Fi coverage. Do you want wireless coverage in your garage or backyard? If so, include these areas as you determine a central location.

Place your router away from windows and too much walls

Radio signals travel best through open air. The ideal situation would let you have a direct line-of-sight between your device and the router at all times, but that’s rarely feasible when trying to cover multiple rooms in a home. Good thing is, most building materials will still let a Wi-Fi signal through – wooden beams and drywall won’t disrupt the signal too much, and neither does glass. That said, you want to keep the number of walls between your device and your router to a minimum. And be wary of denser materials, like concrete or brick, which absorb radio waves far more than regular wood and drywall.

Although routers aren’t the sort of gadgets we want to put on display, sticking it in a closet or tucking it behind another object will have a negative impact on performance, since you’re surrounding it with signal-killing materials.

You’ll also want to keep your router away from windows. Glass doesn’t do much to impede a wireless signal, meaning that a big window might just be letting your Wi-Fi signal spill out into the yard, or right into your neighbor’s home.

Avoid noise and interferences

 

A lot of devices will use the same 2.4-GHz wireless band that your router does. Everything from cordless phones to Bluetooth speakers to baby monitors share this segment of the airwaves, and things get pretty crowded. And if you’re in a tightly packed neighborhood or an apartment building, that band isn’t just crowded, it’s bumper-to-bumper traffic. If your router offers 5-GHz coverage, consider switching solely to that, since it’s less congested.

It’s also common to see everyday electronics pump out electronic noise in this same frequency band. Everything from elevators to poorly shielded TVs can create interference. When in doubt, move your router 5 to 6 feet away from other electronics.

The worst offender for interference is, by far, the microwave. If your router is within 10 feet of a microwave oven, you’re probably nuking your Wi-Fi signal every time you warm up a burrito or reheat last night’s leftovers.

Reposition your router’s antennas

 

To begin with, you’ll want to use whatever orientation the router is designed for. If it’s meant to sit horizontally, don’t try to wedge it into a bookcase vertically or hang it vertically on the wall. Internal antennas are prepositioned to provide optimal coverage, but throwing off the angle of the router can negate that.

And although there’s not much else you can do to position an internal antenna, external antennas can often be adjusted. Several manufacturers recommend putting the antennas at either a 45-degree diagonal or parallel to the floor at zero degrees to get the best coverage in a two-story home.

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This entry was posted by Staff Writer on Saturday, February 24, 2018 at 6:25:18 AM and is filed under Tech Tips & Tricks.

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