You thought setting up your home network was as simple as calling an Internet Service Provider to get a signal but you’re still not getting the best possible wifi connection?
It might be time to improve the efficiency of your router setup. Good news, you can rest easy because we have already done the research for you.
Check out our easy to use Router Placement Photosphere to find the best area for your hardware. Using this interactive guide, get a 360 degree view of an entryway, living room and kitchen of a home. Within this view, we have compiled the most common areas people place a router (marked with a pin).
You can scroll over each pin to read a description about what makes this spot a good or bad place for a router. The red pins mark places that are less ideal for a router and the green pins are optimal places for a router. This guide can be viewed in full screen mode and has been made VR compatible, allowing for a completely immersive experience:
Need more help? Keep reading because below we’ve compiled the best tips from around the internet for strengthening your home network:
1. Find the Best Place for Your Router.
Wait? It matters where you place your router? It might seem like it should be as easy as taking your router out of the box and plugging it in but where you place your router can go a long way toward creating a superior home network. Your router’s signal radiates in a spherical direction, so the best place for it is usually in the center of your home. Once you have that covered, there are a few more aspects of router placement to take into consideration:
- Make sure your router isn’t on the floor – elevated is usually the best option (so don’t put it in your basement).
- Don’t place your router in a cupboard, cabinet, or closet – you want to avoid placing your router in an enclosed space. Most routers function best in open spaces.
- Stay away from corners and windows – corners can cut off your router’s signal as it passes through the walls and windows can throw your router’s signal into the outside world.
- Brick, concrete and stone can limit your router’s reach as they are hard materials and make it difficult for a wifi signal to penetrate.
- Avoid putting your router near reflective surfaces like mirrors or metal ventilation ducts, which can bounce the signal and limit your network range.
- Position your router in an area that is free from other interfering signals that can come from devices such as your TV, cordless phone, or even your microwave – appliances that operate with a 2.4 GHz frequency are the biggest culprits for causing router interference.
- Make sure to experiment with your router’s placement and use our photosphere to find what will work best in your house.
2. Update your Firmware.
Sometimes outdated firmware can be all that stands between you and being able to stream your favorite shows without interruption. Essentially, firmware is the software that helps your router function properly. Vendors release firmware updates for their routers regularly. If you’re experiencing network issues, check your router settings and see if there are any software upgrades that your router could be missing.
3. Change the Channel or Band.
If you have the option between the 2.4 GHz or the 5 GHz frequency, you may find better signal on one band rather than the other. The 2.4 GHz option is better for distance but more susceptible to interference from other devices; however, the opposite for the 5 GHz band. Another tip: You might want to explore the channel options on those bands as well since most people leave their routers on one by default. Other nearby networks could be crowding the wifi channels in your area – you’ll want to pick the one that is the most open.
4. Get a Wifi Range Extender.
Well, you’ve done everything you could with just your router – maybe the size of your house or the number of areas of interference are slowing down your wifi. This could mean that it could be time to get a wifi extender. Range extenders work by using antennae to connect with your router’s signal and rebroadcast it into areas where the signal might be weaker.
5. Adjust or Replace your Router’s Antenna.
In most cases, your router will come with an external antenna. Usually, you can reposition the antenna to redirect the signal coming from your router. If you want to improve the vertical signal of your router, you should position the antenna horizontally. Otherwise, make sure to have the antenna positioned upwards for maximum efficiency. As a last resort you can purchase an antenna upgrade, which will change the shape of your signal but may not necessarily strengthen it. A new antenna is mainly best to get when you can’t get your router placed in a central location and need a way to get the signal into a hard to reach area.
Tips compiled from: