Most of us could complain about our horrible wireless Internet signal until we’re blue in the face. But few of us realize that we may be causing our own plight! There is a correct location for your wireless router in your home. Read on to find out how you may be killing your own WiFi signal, and what you can do to revive it.
1. Not raising it up.
Don’t put Internet routers on the floor. It’s very tempting to stick your router under a desk or out of the way. But think of router placement like stereo speaker or light bulb placement: you want the sound or light to reach as far as possible, just like the wireless signal. Positioning your router about six feet off the ground on a shelf will allow the signal to reach further and have less chance of obstruction.
2. Hindering transmission.
Your router gives off electromagnetic fields, which is how your signal is able to reach different parts of your home. But the signal gets weaker the further it travels and the more obstacles it encounters. Brick and concrete absorb the signal much more than wood or drywall, which means ceilings and floors tend to be friendlier transmission materials than walls. WiFi signals also have a hard time passing through water. Since humans are mostly water, large crowds can sometimes affect signal strength.
3. Hiding it away.
Central locations, especially on the first floor of the house, are preferable over basements or secluded rooms. Identify where you use the Internet most, and put your router within sight of that area. If you tend to log-on while chilling on the couch, find an open area in the same room as your couch for the router. And avoid windows, since you’re basically giving your signal strength away.
4. Cluttering the living room.
Not only do TVs, speakers, gaming units, or DVD players interfere with your signal, but the heat from these electronics may also distort your wireless Internet strength. Try to put your router as far away from other electronics as possible.
5. Un-monitored usage.
Be aware of who is using the Internet and how. Multiple users and devices streaming content or playing games at the same time can significantly affect your wireless signal. Certain programs or applications require more bandwidth and can significantly slow your signal speed.
6. Insufficient layouts.
An enterprising PhD student in physics from Imperial College London, Jason Cole, employed a mathematical equation to identify the best location for a wireless router. Cole also created an app that analyzes the floorplan of your home to identify how your WiFi signal travels, which in turn offers insight into where to put your router for maximum Internet speed and strength. You can check out the app here.
• Preforming regular router reboots
• Avoid placing router near metal objects, like large kitchen appliances
• Steer clear of home phones, microwaves, closed cabinets, and small spaces
If you’ve followed these router placement tips and are still experiencing less than ideal Internet strength, it might be time to change providers. Because Internet providers are constantly updating and improving their network reach you may be missing out on a better Internet connection simply because you haven’t shopped around in a while.
To check out the deals on faster, more reliable Internet in your area click here.