How to Position your Wi-Fi Router for Maximum Coverage and Signal
There are various ways to improve the WiFi signal, and this includes knowing where to place the router itself. While a high-gain antenna and plug-in extender might help, as well as making sure that no one else is stealing bits of your internet, the location of the Wi-Fi is much more important than you would normally think.
Once you made sure that the internet connection you have is one of the best ones available out there, it is important to make sure that the router is very good, as well. Some older ones can fail when it comes to efficiency and accessing the internet via a cable can help in such cases. However, if you notice a big difference in terms of download/upload speeds between wired and wireless options, then you might want to consider switching to a better device.
These are the first few steps to take, without which the rest of this article would be of no use. Whenever you’re done fixing everything else, get ready to enjoy the best coverage, thanks to some simple positioning rules.
Center of attention
One of the most obvious things to do is to position the Wi-Fi in the center of the house or room. No matter if you have a small studio, one room for yourself, a full house or an apartment, placing the router right in the middle will help a lot.
If you’re already starting to panic about the way this is going to look, there’s absolutely no reason to worry. First of all, you won’t have to move the whole computer, but only the adapter you’re using for wireless connections.
Apart from that, you can take advantage of a jack that you already have in a more favorable place – somewhere close to the middle of the house. Simply hide the cable in between other ones that are placed in the same area. If you need help making the place look less messy or hiding some extra cables around there, you can also check this article on cable management.
No obstructions and interfering objects
Everything that is in the way of your router will definitely interfere with the quality of the signal. If your adapter is hidden behind closed doors (inside of a closet or drawer) or has a wall right in front of it, change that situation right now!
Mirrors and kitchen appliances, as well as cabinets, bricks, porcelain, toys, bottles and any other obstructions should also be removed wherever possible. Another important aspect is to get rid of all devices that are placed next to the router. Not only the previously-mentioned objects can affect the performance of your Wi-Fi, but also devices like smartphones, tablets, Bluetooth devices, microwave ovens, remote controllers and anything electrical/electronic.
If you never thought of how much such devices can lower the quality of an internet connection, now you know. Even if the Wi-Fi is still working fine, but you have such things in the way, do a simple test to see how much better it would perform if you removed the devices out of its way.
We previously mentioned how buying an antenna for your router can be of great use, because the original antennas it came with can be good, but not always perfect. Still related to this subject, it is key to make the most of the antenna that you already have.
Whether you have one or two of them, it doesn’t really matter. What actually matters quite a lot is the way you position these ones. The same way you take care about positioning the router in the best possible place in the house, you always have to focus on placing the antennas the right way.
That being said, the summary would be that they need to be oriented vertically. It is true that they can be set up to work at different angles, some of the best results will still be attained when they’re in a vertical position. This is especially true when talking about larger spaces like a big house, but it applies in smaller apartments, too. Think of it this way – if you place the antenna at 45 degree, most of the signal will go either towards the floor or to the ceiling, What a waste of time and energy!
Just like most devices using electricity are not good for your router, metal is also really bad for it. The best reception you could get involves placing the adapter on a desk or anything else made of wood. On top of a closet or wardrobe it is also good, as long as it’s not very high, but we recommend using tables or desks.
One of the main reasons why this will affect reception is because the signal can’t pass through rigid materials like bricks, rocks and metal. However, it can very easily go through soft ones like wood and paper. Speaking of the latter, apparently it is also recommended to place a few magazines or books right under the router, as it will make its performance a lot more efficient.
You can probably guess from what has been already said that placing the router on the floor is an absolute no-no. When we talked about the middle of the room, we did not only refer to the center of it horizontally, but also vertically, so the closer the adapter is to the floor or the ceiling, the worse results you will get.
Trial and error always works best
Sometimes, the best way to determine where to place your Wi-Fi is to try various positions and see what works best. Since you already have a rough idea about what works and what doesn’t, you can use this article to your advantage and start moving the router around until you discover its “hot spot”.
As you can gather from the previous points, it is not only the distance between the Wi-Fi and the connected device that matter. This is about a lot more, including the various objects that might be in the way of your Wi-Fi signal.
For best results, try to move both the laptop/computer that is connection to the network and the Wi-Fi itself. By slightly changing their position and orientation, you can dramatically improve the coverage for the whole house.
Use an app
If moving around the house with an adaptor in your hand sounds like too much work for you, one thing you could do is to use an app. One of the best tools out there is called HeatMapper, and it is completely free and easy to use.
You can get it from here, and you will be required to register and create a profile before getting started. Once this is done, though, you will have access to a complete and easy guide on how to find the best spot for your Wi-Fi.
After getting started, you will have to provide the tool with an existing map of the house or the floor. If you don’t have one handy, you can easily create the heatmap using a grid – it’s not at all as complicated as it sounds. As you slowly walk around the apartment with your laptop, press the left-click key to discover where you get the best coverage. You can get informed about this tool by checking out this review.
Do you have any tip of your own? Let us know through the comments section below and share with the rest of us.