Yes, your router is in the wrong place. Move it now to speed up your Wi-Fi


This story is part Tips for the houseCNET’s collection of handy tips for getting the most out of your home, inside and out.

As many people continue to work from home, good internet connectivity is essential – we’ve all been in the midst of a major Zoom meeting when suddenly the Internet connection Failure. Despite paying a monthly fee to a internet service provider and even if you had a router installed by a professional, you may still spend too much time watching your computer drain.

The good news is that there is a simple solution to these problems that will only take you a few minutes.

There are many factors that determine internet speeds and as long as there is a some tips or guidelines you can follow One of the most crucial factors in improving your home’s overall wireless speeds and coverage is the placement of your router. And note that the best place is not always where the technician installed it. So keep reading to learn more about the best place in your home for your router and other tips for faster Wi-Fi. You can also check out our picks for the best wifi routersthe best mesh routers and the best wifi repeaters.

Read more: Best Wi-Fi Routers for 2022

TP Link router on blue background

Discover all the different routers available to you: Wi-Fi routers, mesh networks, etc.

Chris Monroe/CNET

Find the right router for your space

First things first: it all starts with choose the right router or other equipment. Not all routers are the same, and the size and layout of your home will determine the type of wireless network you need.

For most apartments and small homes (less than 1,500 square feet), a single wireless access point should suffice. That said, if your router is several years old, you might want to consider upgrading to a newer model that supports 802.11ac wireless and dual-band support. This will give you the fastest possible wireless speeds and the best overall coverage.

For larger multi-level homes, it’s worth considering doing the upgrade to a mesh network to provide even coverage throughout the home. Once the main access point is installed, if you find that a far corner of your home does not have strong wireless coverage, simply add another node to that area. Problem solved.

To find out more, see our list of the best mesh routers of the year and if you’re not sure where to start when choosing your next router, check out our Router Buying Guide.

Whether you have a single access point or a mesh network, the location of the primary access point is always important.


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Where to place your router?

When you first move into a new house or apartment, the modem is usually installed along the wall in one of the furthest parts of the house. This is simply because this is where the line enters the house and the technician’s job is to configure the connection, not to optimize your network. This part is about you.

It’s tempting to leave everything where the technician installed it. But this is unlikely to be an optimal location for your router.

Choose a central location

Routers send the signal in all directions, so if it’s left in a corner of your home, a significant percentage of your wireless coverage is sent outside your home. It is best to move the router to a central location to optimize the signal.

Installing a router through the house from the modem can be inconvenient. You may need to manually run a CAT5 cable under the floor or use powerline network adapters. But the improved wireless coverage will be worth it.

Raise the router

Routers tend to broadcast signals downward, so it’s best to mount the router as high as possible to maximize coverage. Try placing it high up on a shelf or mount it on the wall
in an inconspicuous place.

Avoid other electronic devices

Try to choose a location away from other electronic devices and large metal objects. The more walls, large obstacles, and electronic devices near your router, the more likely something is to interfere with the signal.

One type of electronic device to particularly avoid is the microwave, which emits a strong signal in the 2.4 GHz band, the same wireless band in which your router operates.


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These funny antennae really matter

Some routers have no antenna at all, but some have as many as eight. These antennas help direct the signal. If there are two or more antennas on your router, do not position them all in the same direction.

Instead, make them perpendicular to each other – position one horizontally and the other vertically. Or slightly change the position of all antennas to cover a wide range of angles.

Try to map the signal

In a worst-case scenario, it can be useful to map the signal in your home to see where there might be gaps or issues in your coverage.

If you are planning to upgrade your router, be sure to check CNET’s Best Routers of 2022.

For homes with children, be sure to explore your router’s parental controlstoo.


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