There’s Truly a Higher Place to Put Your Router to Enhance House Wi-Fi Speeds

This story is a part of House Suggestions, CNET’s assortment of sensible recommendation for getting probably the most out of your own home, inside and outside.

Whether or not you are working from a house on a regular basis, making a community of sensible house devices or simply attempting to unwind with some Netflix on the finish of an extended day, a dependable web connection at house is pivotal — however Wi-Fi might be frustratingly finicky. Regardless of paying month-to-month charges to an web service supplier and even for those who’ve had a router professionally put in, you should still end up spending an excessive amount of time watching your telephone, laptop computer or streaming gadget grind away because it tries to remain related. 

The excellent news is there’s a simple method to optimize your Wi-Fi community and tackle these points, and it will solely take you just some minutes. 

There are a variety of components that decide web speeds and whereas there are a few methods or tips you possibly can observe to enhance the general wi-fi speeds and protection in your house, some of the essential components is the situation of your router. And be aware, the perfect place is just not all the time the place the technician set it up. So hold studying to find out about the perfect place in your house to your router and different methods for quicker Wi-Fi. You too can take a look at our picks for the finest Wi-Fi routers, the finest mesh routers and the finest Wi-Fi extenders

Learn extra: Finest Wi-Fi Routers for 2022

TP Link router on a blue background

Take a look at the entire totally different routers accessible to you: Wi-Fi routers, mesh networks and extra. 


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Discover the best router to your area

First issues first: All of it begins with selecting the best router or different tools. Not all routers are the identical and the dimensions and structure of your own home will decide what kind of wi-fi community you want.

For many residences and smaller properties (beneath 1,500 sq. ft), a single wi-fi entry level ought to suffice. That mentioned, in case your router is a number of years previous, chances are you’ll need to take into account upgrading to a more moderen mannequin with help for 802.11ax, or Wi-Fi 6. That is the most recent technology of Wi-Fi know-how, and it will provide the quickest wi-fi speeds potential and the perfect total protection.

For greater, multilevel properties, it is price contemplating making the improve to a mesh community to supply constant protection all through your entire home. As soon as the principle entry level is put in, for those who discover a far nook of your own home would not have strong wi-fi protection, simply add one other node to that space. Drawback solved.

To be taught extra, take a look at our record of the perfect mesh routers of the yr and for those who’re unsure the place to start in selecting your subsequent router, seek the advice of our router shopping for information.

No matter whether or not you could have a single entry level or a mesh community, the place you place the first entry level nonetheless issues.


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The place must you put your router?

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

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

Select a central location

Routers ship the sign out in all instructions, so if it is left within the nook of your own home, a big proportion of your wi-fi protection is being despatched outdoors your own home. That is why your finest wager is to maneuver the router to a central location to optimize the sign.

Putting in a router throughout the home from the modem could show troublesome. It could require manually operating an particularly lengthy CAT5 or CAT6 Ethernet cable beneath the ground or alongside the underside of your partitions, or enlisting the assistance of energy line community adapters, which use your own home’s electrical wiring to move an web sign from level to level. However the improved wi-fi protection will likely be price it.

Increase the router

Routers are inclined to unfold their strongest alerts downward, so it is best to mount the router as excessive as potential to maximise protection. Attempt inserting it excessive on a bookshelf or mounting it on the wall in an not easily seen place. 

Search on-line, and you will find a lot of customized wall mounts constructed for particular routers, like this stick-up mount for the Eero Professional 6 mesh router. If you happen to’re struggling to discover a good, elevated spot, one thing like that may very well be an amazing answer.

Keep away from different electronics

Attempt to decide a location that is away from different electronics and huge metallic objects. The extra partitions, massive obstructions and electronics close to your router, the upper the probabilities are that one thing will intervene with the sign.

One kind of digital gadget to particularly keep away from is the microwave, which emits a powerful sign within the 2.4GHz band, the identical wi-fi band your router operates in. You will additionally need to watch out to not stick your router behind a big TV, which might trigger digital interference whereas additionally bodily blocking or disrupting the sign.

Together with electronics, hold a watch out for cumbersome furnishings that may be limiting the sign’s attain. Wi-Fi would not journey nicely by means of water, for example, so in case you have an aquarium in your house, attempt to keep away from conditions the place it will be in between your router and the gadget that should join.


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These funny-looking antennas do truly 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. 

As a substitute, make them perpendicular to at least one one other — place one horizontally and the opposite vertically. Or barely change the place of all of the antennas to cowl a variety of angles. You might need to experiment a bit to seek out the simplest configuration. 

The sign from every of these antennas will come out like a wave touring in all instructions, and that wave will likely be perpendicular to the antenna itself, so a vertical antenna goes to be extra useful in single story properties, whereas a horizontal or angled antenna goes to place out a sign that travels upward, which may be extra helpful in a multi-story house.

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Wi-Fi mapping software program like NetSpot will help you visualize the power of your community, making it simpler to deal with the weak spots.


Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

Attempt mapping the sign

In worst-case situation conditions, it could show helpful to map out the sign in your house to see the place there may be gaps or issues areas in your protection. A number of years in the past, we used NetSpot software program to map out the sign power all through the CNET Sensible House — ultimately, we received an amazing have a look at the weak spots in our Wi-Fi community, which helped us shore issues up by transferring our {hardware} to extra optimum areas.

If you happen to’re contemplating upgrading your router, make sure you take a look at CNET’s finest routers of 2022. For properties with kids, ensure to discover the parental controls of your router, too.


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