Where to Place Your Wi-Fi Router & Improve Your Signal (2024)

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Where to Place Your Wi-Fi Router & Improve Your Signal (1)Lisa Iscrupe,Hannah WhatleyAllconnect

Published 8:48 am ET Apr 25

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Figuring out where to place your Wi-Fi router can be a bit of trial and error. In order to experience the best wireless connection, your Wi-Fi router needs to be centrally located to the devices in your home or closest to the devices that need a faster connection (e.g., your work computer, smart TV, etc). Follow the tips below to optimize the wireless signal in your home and get the best results from your internet connection’s wireless network.

Why does the location of your Wi-Fi router matter?

Wi-Fi broadcasts high-speed internet connection around your home using radio waves. Radio waves are the same thing that FM radio (and other technologies) use to transmit data, albeit on a different frequency. Wi-Fi signals travel on a higher frequency that can send data faster but travel a shorter distance. Because of this decreased range, placing your Wi-Fi router in the best spot is important to get the maximum signal strength from your wireless equipment.

Generally, the best place for a Wi-Fi router is:

  • in a central area of your home.
  • not in a closet, basem*nt or attic.
  • away from other technologies that may interfere with the signal (microwaves, Bluetooth devices, etc.).

The exception to these guidelines is 5G internet and fixed wireless, which have equipment that needs to be near a window or within the line of sight of the connecting tower.

Best places to set up your Wi-Fi router

Consider the layout of your home when setting up your internet. A large house, such as a 2-story house or a residence with an unusual floor plan, can each have different challenges when it comes to where to place the Wi-Fi router. Read on for tips on the best place for your home Wi-Fi router in these various scenarios here.

Put Wi-Fi router in a central location

Putting your Wi-Fi router in a central location is a good starting point for getting the best wireless signal throughout your home. Your Wi-Fi router may be a standalone device, or it could be a modem and router combo, called a gateway. Think about the most central spot in your home, while keeping these guidelines in mind:

  • If you use Wi-Fi in every room (i.e., bedrooms, offices, communal living spaces), the most central location is a good place for a router.
  • If it is not possible to put the router in a midway location, try to position it near the most-used devices, or the ones that need the most speed.
  • Put the router near devices that demand the most speed or signal strength. For example, if you use the internet for streaming TV and playing games in your living room, put the Wi-Fi router closer to that area.

Put Wi-Fi router in an open area

Your router will work best in an area that is not closed off. It can be tempting to put a Wi-Fi router in a closet, attic or basem*nt to hide the wires and blinking lights, but doing so can cause an inconsistent wireless connection. Consider these tips when putting your router in an open area in your home.

  • Walls and ceilings easily block the short-length Wi-Fi waves, so the signal will travel better the fewer obstacles it has to go through.
  • Try putting your Wi-Fi router on top of a shelf or desk.
  • You can disguise the device behind decor. There are even decorations like hollowed-out books designed to conceal electronics.

Put Wi-Fi router away from any interference

Even 1 GB internet can be stifled by interference from nearby appliances and devices. Putting your Wi-Fi router near these barriers can lessen the range or strength of the wireless signal. To get the best Wi-Fi signal:

  • Keep your wireless router away from microwaves, baby monitors, TVs or Bluetooth devices.
  • Avoid placing the Wi-Fi router in the kitchen since this room has multiple appliances that may weaken a wireless signal.
  • Don’t put the router directly against an exterior wall or directly on the ground.

Where to set up your Wi-Fi router in a 2-story home

Larger 2-story homes can try a few techniques to get the best Wi-Fi output.

  • Place the router up high on the first floor. For routers with antennas, try pointing them toward the areas where you need a strong signal or put one vertically and one horizontally.
  • Put the Wi-Fi router on the second floor, closer to the ground, but keep the device somewhat elevated for ventilation.
  • Avoid putting the router in the basem*nt or an attic. Water and metal interfere with Wi-Fi signals. A basem*nt with water pipes or an attic with insulation will negatively affect your Wi-Fi range.

Best tips to eliminate Wi-Fi dead zones

Slow internet or Wi-Fi that is not working can be frustrating. Here are the best ways to eliminate Wi-Fi dead zones and get better Wi-Fi service throughout your home.

Get a Wi-Fi extender

Wi-Fi extenders or boosters are an easy way to get further reach with your Wi-Fi connection. Where to place Wi-Fi extenders is determined by the spaces of your home that need better Wi-Fi. Put Wi-Fi extenders between your router and the dead zone to amplify the wireless signal.

Your internet service provider may offer Wi-Fi extenders if you have trouble in your home. Spectrum, , Xfinity and Verizon Fios are a few of the best internet providers that provide Wi-Fi extenders for free or a small monthly charge.

Move your gateway

Put your gateway or wireless router in a different location. Try various points in your home to discover the best spot for optimal coverage.

Upgrade your equipment

Consistent Wi-Fi issues could mean it’s time for a new router. Equipment lifespan is typically around five years, according to Consumer Reports. Contact your internet provider to get updated equipment if you are renting your router or buy a new router that is compatible with your internet connection.

Final pointers on the best place for a Wi-Fi router

The most advantageous spot for a Wi-Fi router will vary from home to home. Take stock of your home’s attributes, layout and internet needs to decide the best place for your router. Confirm when you get a good signal by performing a speed test on your devices.

This content is produced through an alliance between USA TODAY and Allconnect.com. Under the alliance, Allconnect publishes articles about broadband-related topics upholding strict editorial integrity standards in line with USA TODAY’s Principles of Ethical Conduct. The opinions, analyses, reviews and recommendations expressed are those of the Allconnect editorial staff alone. The information is believed to be accurate as of the publish date, but always check the provider’s website for the most current information. Read more about our Allconnect Advertising Disclosure.

Where to Place Your Wi-Fi Router & Improve Your Signal (3)

Lisa IscrupeAllconnect.com

Lisa Iscrupe is a senior writer helping readers understand the complexities of broadband, internet and other home services, including energy and renewable products. Her work appears on SaveOnEnergy.com and CNET.com, with national sources such as CNN, The Daily MBA and The Media Bulletin referencing her articles.

Where to Place Your Wi-Fi Router & Improve Your Signal (4)

Hannah WhatleyAllconnect.com

Hannah Whatley is an editor who enjoys collaborating with writers to offer readers the most relevant, accurate, and up-to-date information for their home purchases. She has previously edited for The Motley Fool, The Modest Wallet, Grammarly, JoinCake.com and SaveOnEnergy.com, gaining expertise in several industries. Hannah has a B.A. in English from Thomas Edison State University. When she isn’t editing, she enjoys studying linguistics and languages.

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Where to Place Your Wi-Fi Router & Improve Your Signal (2024)


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