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Where to place your router for the best Wi-Fi speeds

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If your Wi-Fi appears to be slow in some rooms, the router may not be in the best location. Wi-Fi doesn’t travel much, especially through metal and concrete. Hence, it is important to determine the best place for the router.

Yes, router placement issues

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It is tempting to place the Wi-Fi router wherever there is space, without thinking too much, but that is a mistake. A Wi-Fi signal only travels this far, and the more walls, bookshelves or other materials it encounters, the shorter the distance. If the internet seems slow or patchy on your phone or tablet, check the Wi-Fi signal strength and check for channel interference.

If you find that you don’t have a stable signal in some areas of your home, even on clean channels, it’s time to consider moving your Wi-Fi router. It may not be in the best place to reach all corners of your home.

Place the router in a central location (or not)

We know it looks like an ugly spaceship, but it’s best to keep your router outdoors.

You may have heard or read that the center of your home is the best place to put your Wi-Fi router, but that advice isn’t accurate for every home. For example, if a living room, kitchen, and garage comprise most of your first floor, placing the router in the center of that floor could provide more coverage in your garage than the areas you use the most.

If the room closest to the center of your home is the kitchen, following the “home center” advice could also be harmful, as some appliances can interfere with Wi-Fi signals.

It is useful to consider not only what one tends to do in a particular room, but also the devices that live in it. While garage Wi-Fi may not be necessary for some people, if you have a smart garage door, a stable connection is something you need. A Wi-Fi garage door opener may not require maximum speed, but knowing that a Wi-Fi device needs a stable signal can affect the router’s placement.

Ultimately, the router must be placed near the center of the most important area of ​​the house. Wherever you need more speed, aim for the center of that position.

In a multi-level house, consider the floor or ceiling

If you have a multi-story home, you also need to consider which floors you frequent the most. If you imagine Wi-Fi coverage as a sphere (like the earth), the router is the centerpiece. If you place the router on the ground in the basement, half of the sphere of the Wi-Fi coverage drops into the foundation.

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If you have two levels that you use most, the best placement to cover both floors is the lower floor ceiling or the upper floor floor.

Most importantly, don’t hide your Wi-Fi router behind books or in a drawer. The Wi-Fi signal must be strong enough to penetrate the walls and floors of your home without adding any additional obstacles. The best location in the room is outdoors.

Separate your router from your modem

Your router must not be connected to your modem. Even if you have a combined router and modem unit, you can use a separate Wi-Fi router instead. If your ISP has installed your modem (and Wi-Fi router) in an awkward location (like in the basement), that’s all the more reason to use a dedicated Wi-Fi router. You can connect a long Ethernet cable from your modem to the best location in your home and plug in your Wi-Fi router there.

If your Internet Service Provider has only provided the Wi-Fi signal / modem router on the 2.4 GHz spectrum, you need to upgrade to a newer router that also offers 5 GHz. While 5 GHz does not transmit up to this point, you will have less trouble with interference from your neighbors. You don’t necessarily have to spend a lot. While a $ 160 router offers a lot of extra features and great coverage, chances are you can get by with a $ 60 router if your home isn’t large.

If your home is exceptionally large and you need coverage everywhere, consider extending your Wi-Fi signal or, for a smoother experience, a Mesh Wi-Fi system. Most homes probably don’t need Mesh, but it also has perks, like automatic updates and automatic transfer.

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With a Mesh system, your Wi-Fi source automatically switches between routers as you move around your home. Range extenders often don’t handle the transition gracefully.

Check the strength of the Wi-Fi signal

After (or even before) reviewing these tips, check your Wi-Fi signal strength to see how you did the job (or what you need to do). Walk around your house and keep an eye on the signal with a smartphone to see how strong the signal is in the different rooms.

If you want to get even better coverage, try creating a heatmap. Knowing, on average, how far your router can transmit, a signal will help you determine where to put it because you will understand what its limitations are.

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