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Sluggish Wi-Fi? Your Router Is In all probability Within the Fallacious Spot

This story is a part of Dwelling IdeasCNET’s assortment of sensible recommendation for getting probably the most out of your property, in and out.

A dependable web connection at house is pivotal — however Wi-Fi will be frustratingly finicky. Regardless of paying month-to-month charges to an yr web service supplierand even should you’ve had a router professionally put in, you should still end up spending an excessive amount of time watching your cellphone, laptop computer or streaming gadget grind away because it tries to remain linked. That is an enormous headache should you’re spending your weeks working from house, should you’re making an attempt to put in sensible house devices, or should you’re simply desirous to unwind with some Netflix on the finish of a protracted day.

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

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There are quite a lot of components that decide web speeds and whereas there are a few tips or pointers you’ll be able to comply with to enhance the general wi-fi speeds and protection in your house, one of the essential components is the placement of your router. And word, the very best place shouldn’t be all the time the place the technician set it up. So hold studying to study the very best place in your house on your router and different tips for quicker Wi-Fi. You can too try our picks for the greatest WiFi routerstea greatest mesh routers and the greatest wifi extenders.

Discover the correct router on your area

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

For many residences and smaller properties (underneath 1,500 sq. ft), a single wi-fi entry level ought to suffice. That mentioned, in case your router is a number of years previous, it’s possible you’ll wish to take into account upgrading to a more recent mannequin with help for 802.11axgold WiFi 6. That is the most recent technology of Wi-Fi expertise, and it will provide the quickest wi-fi speeds attainable and the very best general protection.

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

To study extra, try our listing of the very best mesh routers of the yr and should 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 could have a single entry level or a mesh community, the place you place the first entry level nonetheless issues.

TP Link router on a blue background

Try all the completely different routers accessible to you: Wi-Fi routers, mesh networks and extra.

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The place must you put your router?

If you first transfer into a brand new house or condo, the modem is normally 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 all the things the place the technician set it up. Nevertheless it’s unlikely that that is an optimum location to have your router.

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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 greatest guess is to maneuver the router to a central location to optimize the sign.

Putting in a router throughout the home from the modem might show troublesome. It could require manually working an particularly lengthy CAT5 or CAT6 Ethernet cable underneath 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 alerts downward, so it is best to mount the router as excessive as attainable to maximise protection. Attempt putting it excessive on a bookshelf or mounting it on the wall in an not noticeable 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. In case you’re struggling to discover a good, elevated spot, one thing like that might be an awesome answer.

Keep away from different electronics

Attempt to choose 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 probabilities are that one thing will intrude with the sign.

One sort 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 may additionally wish 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, hold a watch out for cumbersome furnishings that is perhaps limiting the sign’s attain. Wi-Fi would not journey properly by way of water, as an illustration, so you probably have 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.

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These funny-looking antennas do truly matter

Some routers haven’t 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 course.

As a substitute, make them perpendicular to 1 one other — place one horizontally and the opposite vertically. Or barely adjustments the place of all of the antennas to cowl a variety of angles. You might need to experiment a bit to search out the best 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 is perhaps extra helpful in a multi-story house.


Wi-Fi mapping software program like NetSpot might help you visualize the power of your community, making it simpler to deal with the weak spots.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

Attempt mapping the sign

In worst-case state of affairs conditions, it could show helpful to map out the sign in your house to see the place there is perhaps gaps or issues areas in your protection. A number of years in the past, we used NetSpot software program to map out the sign power all through the CNET Good Dwelling — ultimately, we acquired an awesome 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 places.

In case you’re contemplating upgrading your router, remember to try CNET’s greatest routers of 2022. For properties with youngsters, ensure to discover the parental controls of your routertoo.

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