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

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This story is a part of Residence Ideas, CNET’s assortment of sensible recommendation for getting probably the most out of your property, inside and outside.

A dependable web connection at house is pivotal — however Wi-Fi may be frustratingly finicky. Regardless of paying month-to-month charges to an web service supplier, and even should you’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 system grind away because it tries to remain linked. That is a large headache should you’re spending your weeks working from house, should you’re attempting to put in sensible house devices, or should you’re simply desirous to unwind with some Netflix on the finish of an extended day.

The excellent news is there’s a straightforward approach to optimize your Wi-Fi community and handle these points, and it will solely take you a couple of minutes. 

There are a whole lot of elements that decide web speeds and whereas there are a few methods or tips you’ll be able to observe to enhance the general wi-fi speeds and protection in your house, one of the essential elements is the placement of your router. And notice, the most effective place will not be all the time the place the technician set it up. So preserve studying to find out about the most effective place in your house in your router and different methods for quicker Wi-Fi. You can too try our picks for the greatest Wi-Fi routers, the greatest mesh routers and the greatest Wi-Fi extenders

Learn extra: Greatest 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 suitable router in 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 scale and format of your property will decide what kind of wi-fi community you want.

For many residences and smaller houses (beneath 1,500 sq. ft), a single wi-fi entry level ought to suffice. That stated, in case your router is a number of years outdated, chances are you’ll need to contemplate upgrading to a more recent mannequin with help for 802.11ax, or Wi-Fi 6. That is the most recent technology of Wi-Fi expertise, and it will provide the quickest wi-fi speeds doable and the most effective general protection.

For greater, multilevel houses, it is price contemplating making the improve to a mesh community to supply constant protection all through all the home. As soon as the principle entry level is put in, should you discover a far nook of your property does not have strong wi-fi protection, simply add one other node to that space. Downside solved.

To be taught extra, try our record of the most effective mesh routers of the 12 months and should you’re undecided the place to start in selecting your subsequent router, seek the advice of our router shopping for information.

No matter whether or not you’ve got 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 condominium, 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 only go away every thing 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 property, a major share of your wi-fi protection is being despatched outdoors your property. That is why your greatest guess is to maneuver the router to a central location to optimize the sign.

Putting in a router throughout the home from the modem might show troublesome. It might require manually working 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 property’s electrical wiring to move an web sign from level to level. However the improved wi-fi protection will probably be price it.

Elevate the router

Routers are likely to unfold their strongest alerts downward, so it is best to mount the router as excessive as doable 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 number 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 incredible answer.

Keep away from different electronics

Attempt to decide a location that is away from different electronics and huge steel objects. The extra partitions, giant obstructions and electronics close to your router, the upper the possibilities are that one thing will intrude with the sign.

One kind of digital system 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 may trigger digital interference whereas additionally bodily blocking or disrupting the sign.

Together with electronics, preserve an eye fixed out for cumbersome furnishings that is likely to be limiting the sign’s attain. Wi-Fi does not journey nicely by water, as an illustration, so when you’ve got an aquarium in your house, attempt to keep away from conditions the place it’s going to be in between your router and the system that should join.


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These funny-looking antennas do truly matter

Some routers haven’t 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 route. 

As a substitute, make them perpendicular to 1 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 probably be perpendicular to the antenna itself, so a vertical antenna goes to be extra useful in single story houses, whereas a horizontal or angled antenna goes to place out a sign that travels upward, which is likely to be extra helpful in a multi-story house.

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Wi-Fi mapping software program like NetSpot may also help you visualize the energy of your community, making it simpler to handle the weak spots.


Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

Attempt mapping the sign

In worst-case situation conditions, it might show helpful to map out the sign in your house to see the place there is likely to 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 energy all through the CNET Sensible Residence — ultimately, we received an incredible 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 places.

If you happen to’re contemplating upgrading your router, remember to try CNET’s greatest routers of 2022. For houses with youngsters, be sure to discover the parental controls of your router, too.


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