Wireless home networks have come a long way from how they used to be. In days gone by, you pretty much had to be right next to your router in order to receive a decent quality signal, and although that’s no longer the case, it is unfortunately still true that walls and other devices can interfere with your Wi-Fi signal. Therefore, in this article, we will explain how to place your router so that you can get the best, most reliable wireless signal throughout your home or office.
Keep reading to learn:
- Where to place your router
- Where to avoid placing your router
- Why router placement is important
- How to get rid of Wi-Fi dead zones
- And much more
Where Should You Place Your Router?
When choosing a place for your router, there are a number of different, equally important considerations that should be taken into account. We will go over everything you need to know to pick the best place for your router, but first, it’s important to make sure that you have the correct router for your network and devices, as this will determine the quality of your Wi-Fi signal.
Most modern devices now support 5GHz, which is considerably faster than the older 2.4GHz frequency, but 5GHz also doesn’t travel as far as 2.4GHz, so there is a trade-off between speed and coverage that occurs the farther away from your router you get. Assuming you have a relatively modern device, your best bet will probably be a dual-band router that supports both 2.4GHz and 5GHz, so that you can select the 2.4GHz when you are far from your router and 5GHz when you are closer to it.
The latest 802.11 Wi-Fi standard known as Wi-Fi 6E actually supports triple band. That is to say, that it supports not only 2.4GHz and 5GHz but also the newly permitted 6GHz frequency. So, if you have a Wi-Fi 6E network and device, then you’ll definitely want a Wi-Fi 6E router, but otherwise, just make sure that your router and devices are compatible with both each other and your ISP.
With that out of the way, let’s look at how to place your router so that you can get the best possible wireless internet signal throughout your home.
Pick A Central Location
It should go without saying, but if you want to have the most evenly distributed wireless internet signal throughout your home, then you should aim to position your router as close as possible to the very center of your residence.
Suppose the router is on one side of your home. In that case, the signal will presumably need to pass through many walls and probably many other electronic signals before reaching you on the other side of the house, and this will noticeably degrade the quality of the signal that reaches your device. Therefore, to get the best signal regardless of where you are in your home, you should aim to keep your router central.
Place Your Router On A High Shelf
Remember, routers send the internet signal downwards, and so by placing your router high up on a shelf, you will give yourself a much better chance of receiving the full strength of the signal. Conversely, if your router is placed on the ground, then no matter how close you are to it, you will have a considerable amount of signal loss.
Avoid The Kitchen
In most homes, the kitchen is the absolute worst place you could possibly place your router. This is because microwaves also use the same 2.4GHz frequency as most Wi-Fi routers. Therefore, if your router is in the kitchen, then the two devices will certainly interfere with each other, which could not only result in your signal being degraded but it could even possibly affect your microwave.
Avoid Walls And Physical Obstructions
Walls, especially concrete walls, are known to degrade Wi-Fi signals significantly. This is because it’s very difficult for most Wi-Fi signals to pass through concrete, and even when the signal does pass through the concrete, much of the signal will have been lost in the process.
If you have no choice, and you so have to place your router in a room with concrete walls, then do your best to make sure you position it as close to the door as possible, as it’s much easier for the signal to pass through wood than it is to pass through concrete.
Position The Router’s Antenna Strategically.
The router’s antenna is like a focused beam that sends and receives all of the information being transmitted over your network. As such, if you want to get the very best signal, then try to position the antenna so that it’s facing in the general direction of where you’ll be using your devices most frequently. You may not think that the position of the antenna makes any difference in 2022, but it absolutely does, and it’s something you shouldn’t forget about when installing a new router in your home.
Avoid Devices that Emit Interference
Just like microwaves emit the same 2.4GHz frequency as most routers, there are also a number of other common household devices that transmit 2.4GHZ. Other devices that also use the 2.4GHz frequency include cordless home phones, LCD monitors, Bluetooth headsets, and baby monitors, so try your best to avoid placing your router near any of these devices as they will all interfere with your signal, which will cause your Wi-Fi to be slower and less consistent than it would otherwise be.
Conclusion & Recommendation
To be fair, Wi-Fi technology is much better than it used to be, and as long as you are using modern devices, a modern router, and have good internet service, then you should be able to get a decent Wi-Fi signal anywhere in your home. That said, there is a difference between a good Wi-Fi signal and a great one.
So, if you want the very best signal you can possibly achieve with your router and devices, then remember the tips listed above and position your router strategically in the center of your home, away from any concrete walls, microwaves, or other devices emitting a 2.4GHz frequency.
When in doubt, opt for a dual-band router that supports both 2.4GHz and 5GHz, as being able to switch between the two will give you the greatest amount of versatility and allow you to get the most out of your internet. Also, remember that if your devices support Wi-Fi 6E, then a tri-band router that also supports the 6GHz frequency will be even better still.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does modem placement matter?
Generally speaking, it isn’t that important where you place your modem. What really matters is where you place your router. However, you should try to place your modem somewhere that isn’t surrounded by other electronic devices as there can still be some signal loss between your modem and router. Ideally, you should try to place your modem near your router so that any signal loss that does occur will be minimal.
What can I do to get rid of dead zones?
There are a few ways that you can eliminate Wi-Fi dead zones throughout your home. One way is simply by updating your router’s software. When new updates are rolled out for your router, it’s often to enhance the signal strength, and so if you haven’t updated for a while, then you may find that you have significantly better coverage throughout your home after installing any new patches that have been released since you last updated.
Another way to eliminate Wi-Fi dead zones in your home is to purchase and install a Wi-Fi range extender. These days, range extenders do a great job of bolstering your signal so that you can enjoy speeds similar to what your ISP is providing you with, rather than relying on whatever speed you can get given the walls and electronic devices in your home. Range extenders have dropped in price considerably over the past few years, so now might be the perfect time to pick one up.
Where should a router be placed in a two-story house?
If you have a two-story house, then the best place to put your router will be in the center of your home, on the first floor, as close to the ceiling as possible, ideally on a high shelf. If you place the router on the upper level of the home, then some of the signal will be lost when it passes through the floor, and if you put the router in your basement, then you will lose almost all of the signal strength as it will be very difficult for the signal to pass through the foundation of your home, and any signal that does will be further downgraded when it encounters your basement ceiling.