Most People Put Their Router in the Wrong Place (and Wi-Fi Speed Suffers)

This story is part of Home Tips, CNET’s collection of practical advice for getting the most out of your home, inside and out.

Have you ever been in the center of an vital Zoom meeting and abruptly your internet connection glitches? I can not let you know what number of occasions I’ve practically misplaced my thoughts due to this actual scenario. Proper web connectivity is important, particularly as many people proceed to work at home. But regardless of paying month-to-month charges to an internet service provider and having my router professionally put in, I nonetheless discover myself spending an excessive amount of time watching my laptop grind… and I guess you’ve got been there too. 

The excellent news is there’s a simple repair to those points that can take you only a few, brief minutes. 

There are a lot of factors that determine internet speeds and whereas there is a few methods or pointers you possibly can comply with
to enhance the general wi-fi speeds and protection in your private home, one in all the most important components is the location of your router. And word, it is not at all times the place the technician set it up. So maintain studying to study the greatest place in your private home in your router and different methods for sooner Wi-Fi. 

Read extra: Internet Connection Types Explained

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Check out all of the totally different routers obtainable to you: Wi-Fi routers, mesh networks and extra. 

Chris Monroe/CNET

Start with the proper router

First issues first: It all begins with choosing the right router or different gear. Not all routers are made equal and the dimension and format of your private home will decide what sort of wi-fi community you want.

For most residences and smaller houses (beneath 1,500 sq. toes), a single wi-fi entry level ought to suffice. That stated, in case your router is a number of years outdated, you could need to think about upgrading to a more recent mannequin with help for wi-fi 802.11ac and dual-band help. This offers you the quickest wi-fi speeds attainable and the greatest general protection.

For greater, multilevel houses, it is value contemplating making the upgrade to a mesh network to supply constant protection all through the whole home. Once the important entry level is put in, in case you discover a far nook of your private home would not have strong wi-fi protection, simply add one other node to that space. Problem solved.

To be taught extra, try our list of the best mesh routers of the year and in case you’re undecided the place to start in selecting your subsequent router, seek the advice of our buying guide.

Regardless of whether or not you could have a single entry level or a mesh community, the place you place the main entry level nonetheless issues.

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Where do you have to place your router?

When you first transfer into a brand new residence or house, the modem is often put in alongside the wall in one in all the far reaches of the home. This is just because that’s the place the line comes into the home and the technician’s job is to arrange the connection — not optimize your community. That half is on you.

It’s tempting to only go away every part the place the technician set it up. But it is unlikely that that is an optimum location to have your router.

Choose a central location

Routers ship the sign out in all instructions, so if it is left in the nook of your private home, a major proportion of your wi-fi protection is being despatched outdoors your private home. It’s greatest to maneuver the router to a central location to optimize the sign.

Installing a router throughout the home from the modem might show troublesome. It might require manually operating a CAT5 cable beneath the flooring or enlisting the assist of powerline community adapters. But the improved wi-fi protection will likely be value it.

Raise the router

Routers are likely to unfold indicators downward, so it is best to mount the router as excessive as attainable to maximise protection. Try putting it excessive on a bookshelf or mounting it on the wall
in an not noticeable place.

Avoid different electronics

Try to select a location that is away from different electronics and enormous steel objects. The extra partitions, massive obstructions and electronics close to your router, the greater the likelihood is that one thing will intrude with the sign. 

One digital to particularly keep away from is the microwave, which emits a powerful sign in the 2.4GHz band, the identical wi-fi band your router operates in.

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Those funny-looking antennas really matter

Some routers don’t have any antenna in any respect, however some have as much as eight. These antennas assist direct the sign. If there are two or extra antennas in your router, do not place all of them in the identical course. 

Instead, make them perpendicular to 1 one other — place one horizontally and the different vertically. Or barely change the place of all the antennas to cowl a variety of angles.

Try mapping the sign

In worst-case state of affairs conditions, it might show helpful to map out the signal in your private home to see the place there is likely to be gaps or issues areas in your protection.

If you are contemplating upgrading your router, you’ll want to try CNET’s best routers of 2022.

For houses with youngsters, ensure to explore the parental controls of your router, too.

More on residence web, Wi-Fi, ISPs and routers:

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