February 8, 2023
Your Wi-Fi Router Is Virtually Undoubtedly within the Improper Spot

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

A gradual dwelling web connection could make even the best Google search tremendous irritating. For those who discover that your Wi-Fi is all the time unstable, it doesn’t matter what web service supplier you will have or what number of units are linked, what do you do? Generally having your router professionally put in may not even remedy the immense downside of a gradual, weak web connection. That is a large headache in the event you do business from home, in the event you’re attempting to put in good dwelling devices, or in the event you simply need to unwind with some Netflix on the finish of the day.

The excellent news is there’s a simple solution to optimize your Wi-Fi community and tackle these points — and it will solely take you a couple of minutes. 

Your Wi-Fi Router Is Virtually Undoubtedly within the Improper Spot

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There are loads of elements that decide web speeds and whereas there are a few tips or pointers you possibly can comply with to enhance the general wi-fi speeds and protection in your house, some of the essential elements is the placement of your router. And the very best place just isn’t all the time the place the technician set it up. So maintain studying to study the very best place in your house to your router and different tips for sooner Wi-Fi. You can even take a look at our picks for the finest Wi-Fi routers, the finest mesh routers and the finest Wi-Fi extenders. (And when you’ve got a mesh router, ensure you take a look at our information for the place and learn how to set that up the best approach, too.)

Select the best router to your house

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

For many residences and smaller properties (below 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 That stated, in case your router is a number of years outdated, it’s possible you’ll need to take into account upgrading to a more moderen mannequin with help for 802.11ax, or Wi-Fi 6.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 newest era of Wi-Fi know-how, and it will provide the quickest wi-fi speeds doable and the very best general protection.

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

To study extra, take a look at our record of the very best mesh routers of the yr (our high decide is the TP-Hyperlink Deco W7200) and in the event you’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 will have a single entry level or a mesh community, the place you place the first entry level nonetheless issues.

What’s the very best place to place your router?

TP Link router on a blue background

Try the entire totally different routers out there to you: Wi-Fi routers, mesh networks and extra. 

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Whenever you first transfer into a brand new dwelling or condo, the modem is often 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 depart 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 proportion of your wi-fi protection is being despatched outdoors your property. 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 might require manually working an particularly lengthy CAT5 or CAT6 Ethernet cable below 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 cross an web sign from level to level. However the improved wi-fi protection shall be value it.

Increase the router

Routers are inclined to unfold their strongest indicators downward, so it is best to mount the router as excessive as doable to maximise protection. Strive 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. For those who’re struggling to discover a good, elevated spot, one thing like that may very well be a fantastic resolution.

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 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, maintain a watch out for cumbersome furnishings that may be limiting the sign’s attain. Wi-Fi does not journey effectively by water, for example, so when you’ve got 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.

These bizarre antenna 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 route. 

As an alternative, 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 shall 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 dwelling.


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

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

Map your sign

In worst-case state of affairs conditions, it might 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 energy all through the CNET Sensible Dwelling — in the long run, we bought a fantastic take a look at the weak spots in our Wi-Fi community, which helped us shore issues up by shifting our {hardware} to extra optimum areas.

For those who’re contemplating upgrading your router, remember to take a look at CNET’s picks for finest routers. For properties with youngsters, ensure that to discover the parental controls of your router, too.

Taylor Martin contributed to this story.

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