Your Wi-Fi router is definitely in the wrong place

This story is part of Home tipsCNET’s collection of practical tips for making the most of your home, inside and out.

A slow home internet connection can make even the simplest Google searches very frustrating. If you find that your Wi-Fi is always unstable, no matter what Internet service provider You have or how many connected devices, what do you do? Sometimes you have Router Professional installation may not solve the huge problem of slow, poor internet connection. This is a huge headache if you’re working from home, if you’re trying to install Smart home gadgetsor if you just want to Relax with some Netflix in the end of the day.

The good news is that there’s an easy way to improve your Wi-Fi and fix these issues — and it only takes a few minutes.

Are you shopping for faster internet speed?

We’ll send you the fastest internet options, so you don’t have to find it.

exist Lots of factors determine internet speeds And while there is a file Some tricks or tips that you can follow To improve the overall wireless speeds and coverage in your home, one of the most important factors is the location of your router. And the best place is not always where the technician set it up. So keep reading to learn the best place in your home for your router and other tricks for faster Wi-Fi. You can also check out our picks for The best Wi-Fi routersthe best network routers and the The best Wi-Fi extenders. (And if you have a mesh router, be sure to check out Our guide on where and how to set it up the right wayalso.)

Choose the right router for your space

CNET Home Tips logo

First things first: it all starts with Choose the right router or other equipment. Not all routers are the same and the size and layout of your home will determine the type of wireless network you need.

For most smaller apartments and homes (less than 1,500 square feet), a single wireless access point should suffice. However, if your router is several years old, you may want to consider upgrading to Newer model supports 802.11axor Wi-Fi 6. This is the latest generation of Wi-Fi technology, and will give you the fastest possible wireless speeds and the best overall coverage.

For large multi-level homes it is worth considering making Upgrade to a mesh network To deliver consistent coverage throughout the entire home. Once the main access point is installed, if you find that a remote corner of your home doesn’t have strong wireless coverage, simply add another node to that area. The problem has been resolved.

To find out more, check out List of the best mesh routers of the year (Our top pick is TP-Link Deco W7200) And if you’re not sure where to start in choosing your next router, consult Router Buying Guide.

Regardless of whether you have a single access point or a mesh network, where you place your primary access point still matters.

Where is the best place to put your router?

TP Link router on a blue background

Check out all the different routers available to you: Wi-Fi routers, mesh networks and more.

Chris Monroe/CNET

When you first move into a new house or apartment, the modem is usually installed along a wall at one end of the house. This is simply because this is where the line comes into the home and the technician’s job is to set up the connection – not to improve your network. This part is on you.

It’s tempting to leave everything in its artistic place. But this is unlikely to be the perfect place to get your router.

Choose a central location

Routers send the signal in all directions, so if you leave it in the corner of your house, a large percentage of your wireless coverage will be transmitted outside your home. That’s why your best bet is to move the router to a central location to improve the signal.

Installing a router across the house from your modem can be a hassle. It may require running particularly long CAT5 or CAT6 Ethernet cable manually underground or along the bottom of walls, or the use of power line network adapters, which use your home’s electrical wiring to pass the Internet signal from one point to another. But the improved wireless coverage is worth it.

Lift the router

Routers tend to spread their strongest signal downward, so it is best to mount the router as high as possible to increase coverage. Try placing it on a tall bookshelf or mounting it on a wall in an inconspicuous location.

Search online, and you’ll find plenty of dedicated wall mounts made for specific routers, like this wall mount bracket for Eero Pro 6 software network router. If you’re struggling to find a good, elevated spot, something like this could be a great solution.

Avoid other electronic devices

Try to choose a location away from other electronics and large metal objects. The more walls, large obstructions, and electronics near your router, the greater the chances that something will interfere with your signal.

One type of electronic device to especially avoid is a microwave, which sends a strong signal in the 2.4GHz band, which is the same wireless band your router is on. You also have to be careful not to stick your router behind a large TV, which can cause electronic interference while actually blocking or disrupting the signal.

Along with electronic devices, keep an eye out for bulky furniture that may limit signal reach. Wi-Fi doesn’t travel well through water, for example, so if you have an aquarium in your house, try to avoid situations where it’s going to be between your router and the device that needs to connect.

Those weird antennas are really important

Some routers don’t have any antenna at all, but some have as many as eight. These antennas help direct the signal. If there are two or more antennas on your router, don’t put them all in the same direction.

Instead, have them perpendicular to each other – placing one horizontally and the other vertically. Or reposition all antennas slightly to cover a wider range of angles. You may have to experiment a bit to find the most effective configuration.

The signal will come out of each of these antennas as a wave that travels in all directions, and that wave will be perpendicular to the antenna itself, so a vertical antenna will be more useful in single-story homes, while a horizontal or angled antenna will put a signal that travels upwards, which may be more useful in Multi-storey house.

netspot. jpg

Wi-Fi mapping software like NetSpot can help you visualize the strength of your network, making it easier to address weaknesses.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

Mark it on the map

In worst-case scenarios, it can be helpful to locate the signal in your home to see where there may be gaps or problem areas in your coverage. Several years ago we used NetSpot software to determine signal strength All over CNET’s smart home Finally, we took a good look at the vulnerabilities in our Wi-Fi network, which helped us shore things up by moving our devices to more ideal locations.

If you’re thinking of upgrading your router, be sure to check out CNET’s picks for the best routers. For homes with children, be sure Explore parental controls for your routeralso.

Taylor Martin contributed to this story.

More about home internet, Wi-Fi, ISPs, and routers

Leave a Comment