Whether you have purchased a new router or are already using one, its wireless performance will greatly depend on where it is placed. Here are some tips for determining the best location for the best home wireless network.
Even with the best wireless router, poorly placed, it will only offer performance well below its real capacity. And with the number of gadgets that are connected to it these days, not to mention those that will be added, and telecommuting, this essential device deserves better than the back of the closet or the basement of the house.
And beware, the best place isn’t always where the technician installed it.
That said, if your router is several years old, you may want to consider upgrading to a newer model that supports 802.11ax, or Wi-Fi 6. It’s the latest generation of Wi-Fi technology that will give you the fastest possible wireless speeds and the best overall coverage.
Center and height
For the vast majority of homes and apartments, a single router is sufficient.
The problem is that the modem is usually installed along the wall, in one of the furthest parts of the house. Simply because that’s where wired internet, which may include cat 8 cable, enters the house from and the technician’s job is to establish the connection – not to optimize your wireless network.
< p>And most of the time, we leave the router there, in the wrong place. Located in a corner of the house, the wireless network will not be able to extend to the other end.
The ideal is to run a long Ethernet Cat 5 or 6 network cable up to in the center of the home, through the floor or ceiling. If your home is under construction, get a 50 foot network cable installed which only costs $10-$20 on Amazon.ca.
Another solution is to pass the Internet signal through the network on carrier (electrical) currents in the home using adapters. Between $100 and $120 on Amazon for a pair (if you search in English, the term is powerline adapter kit).
Once it is in the center of the home, position the router as high as possible, as the strongest signals radiate downward. Try placing it high on a shelf or mounting it to the wall in an inconspicuous place. You will also find suitable wall brackets for your router online.
Another tip, avoid placing it too close to thick walls, metal walls or near electronic devices. In the same vein, the proximity of microwave ovens or televisions will only bring interference. Wireless signals don’t travel well through water either, so no need to place it behind an aquarium.
Linksys Max-Stream AC2200 High-Performance Tri-Band Mesh WiFi Router (MR8300)
With or without antennas
Some routers have no antenna at all, but some have as many as eight. These antennas direct the signal. If there are two or more antennas on your router, do not position them all in the same direction.
On the contrary, make them perpendicular to each other: position some one horizontally and the other vertically. Or slightly change the position of all antennas to cover a wide range of angles. You may need to experiment a bit to find the most efficient configuration.
TP-Link AC1900 Router
A mesh network for larger homes
For larger, multi-story homes, it’s worth considering upgrading to a mesh network offering a combination of two or three routers for seamless coverage throughout the home. Once the main access point is installed, you just need to add a router in each remote area. And you can change the location of a router depending on the season. For example, by moving one of the routers facing the backyard to enjoy wireless coverage to the pool. In the cold season, it is placed closer inside.
On the market, mesh routers generally have three routers. Their installation is also simple to follow using the mobile application which is available for download.
All router manufacturers have an application like this to facilitate the installation and management of a router.