Do you struggle to find Wi-Fi signal within your own house, searching around rooms only to find zero or poor internet connection in many areas. Are you afraid to even imagine the problems associated by using a single router across a multi-storey house?
Despite spending a substantial amount on best internet speed plans and the best router, it gets frustrating when your Wi-Fi doesn't work like you expect it to. Have you ever wondered, this could be due to the incorrect placement of your router?
Let us get our facts right, the strength of your Wi-Fi signal is hugely dependent on the router placement. So, choosing the right spot to place your router can be as equally important as choosing which router to buy. This way you can increase internet speed without spending extra on your monthly plan. Some minor adjustments in the router placement, can help you get rid of your Wi-Fi woes:
1. Centralize Router Location: For increasing coverage area, try to place your wireless router in the middle of your home and enjoy uniform signal strength across all rooms. If you are worried about hanging wires spoiling the aesthetics around your living area, the right solution is not to hide the router away, rather enclose those wires.
2. Out of Sight, Out of Range: The router should always be placed in a spot where you can see it, so it is always better to put it on the shelf/ mount on a wall rather than keeping it inside a cupboard. Commonly, people are forced to install their routers in the room where wireline connection comes into their house irrespective of where they actually need the signal. If it is possible, place your router as close to the users for best Wi-Fi signal strength. Placing the router in plain sight can boost its signal by 2x compared to hiding the router in a closet ensuring you fully utilize your internet speed.
3. Concrete Walls, Floors & Metal Objects are Enemies: All these three are known to interfere with wireless signals, the closer your router is to any of these, slower your Wi-Fi signal strength will be. Thick walls are one of the key reasons why you get weak signal inside rooms. While it is unavoidable to get rid of all three, you need to select a spot with least interference. Also, metal and mirrors reflect radio waves. For instance, you can choose a spot by reducing the number of walls the signal has to cross, avoid placing it near any metal objects especially a microwave or TV or cordless phone base station or even a metal door. Placing the router near a window will result in some of the signal going outside. Water bodies such as fish-tanks can also interfere with radio signals.
4. The Higher The Better: Wi-Fi signals go down as well as up, so if you put it on the floor, a proportion of the signal will traverse down. Thus, you must avoid putting it on the floor. It is better to put the router higher up (on a shelf/mounted on a wall) to get better coverage. So, if you own a multi-storey home it is advisable to place the router higher up near the roof for coverage across both floors.
5. Antenna Position is Critical: For a better horizontal reach, position your router's antenna slightly upwards or sideways for vertical reach. One common thing to remember is to not put the antenna in the direction of a wall or other obstacle and do not position the antenna at 90 degrees. The recommended angle is between 45 to 60 degrees. If your router has 2 or 3 antennas you can point each of those in a different direction and angle to evenly spread the range across your home.
6. Understanding the Technology: As you may be aware, Wi-Fi router delivers wireless internet to devices using radio waves and manages the network traffic. This is just like tuning in to your favourite FM radio station, where you cannot connect if the radio signal is weak because you are out of range. Simply put, the farther your devices are from the router, the weaker the signal strength will be and thus the network speed will be slower. A typical 3.5 inch brick wall, 2 inches of marble and a 1.75 inch solid wood door will all attenuate a 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi signal by 50 percent. So, obstacles around your house can lead to 75 percent reduction in signal strength within a close proximity of 100 meters. Understandably, this is why you get zero signal strength in the room farthest away from the router.
Sometimes the interference may occur only at certain times of the day. This could be due to external reasons outside your house. For instance, when neighbor turns on their router or cordless on a certain time during the day. With ever increasing number of connected devices, in today's time and age, you cannot have an interference-free environment. But, you can still opt for least interference and congestion with some minor adjustments to your router placement.
That's My Spot: Just like Dr. Sheldon Cooper, you need to be extremely careful while choosing the right spot for your Wi-Fi router. Once you find that coveted spot, you can finally enjoy the best internet speed, at your convenience, tucked away in the remotest corner of your house.