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Tips for the Best Place to Put Your WiFi Router

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Where you decide to put your WiFi router in your home directly impacts the strength of your internet signal. Below is a guide to the best place to put your router in your home. We will cover:

  • The best place to put your WiFi router 
  • Upstairs or downstairs router placement
  • Mesh networks and router extenders to improve WiFi strength

Tips for the best place to put your WiFi router 

Place your router in a central location

Think of your router as the very center of your home WiFi network. If you want your WiFi to be strong throughout the entire house, you’ll want your router to be placed in a central location. This will allow the signal to travel over shorter distances in all directions. The router’s radio waves travel in all directions, meaning that they also travel down. For this reason, it’s best to place your router somewhere high up in the room so that the signal will be dispersed evenly.

Don’t hide your WiFi router in a corner

If you place your WiFi router in a corner between two walls, half of your WiFi is being sent straight into the wall, which is totally useless to you. The signal will have to travel farther to reach the other side of the room, making it weaker than if it were located in the center of the room. Plus, if the router is in a room that is at the far corner of your home, you’ll be sending your WiFi signal outside into your yard or towards the neighbor’s house instead of keeping the WiFi inside where you’ll actually be using it.

Don’t put your router inside anything 

Let’s face it, most routers are ugly. While your first reaction might be to hide the router inside of something like a cabinet or drawer, this is a bad idea. The more walls that you place between your router and internet-enabled devices, the weaker your WiFi signal will be. The WiFi already has to travel through the walls in your house, so placing the router inside something like a cabinet with even more walls will just weaken your signal further. 

Consider the walls near your router

As we’ve mentioned, any walls that your router’s signal has to travel through can absorb the radio waves and disrupt your connection. However, all building materials aren’t created equally. Thick, dense materials like brick and concrete are the worst offenders when it comes to blocking your WiFi signal. If you place your router next to a brick wall in your home, any devices on the other side of that wall will have a difficult time connecting to the WiFi even if they’re only a few feet away from the router. Other materials like drywall and doorways will have less of an impact on your connection. 

Avoid rooms with lots of metal

Metal is the #1 enemy of radio waves. It can cause the waves to dissipate, making it much harder for the WiFi signal to reach your devices. Rooms like the kitchen with lots of pots, pans, and other metal objects are not good for router placement. Areas like the garage or work stations with lots of metal tools should also be avoided.

Don’t place your router near other devices that use radio waves

Devices like microwaves, baby monitors, and home security systems use the same radio waves as your WiFi router. If you place your router in a room with these devices, you can experience a radio wave traffic jam which will disrupt your WiFi connection. 

The angle of your router’s antennas matters

The antennas on your router help direct the WiFi signal. If your router has multiple antennas, make sure that they are all pointed in different directions so that the signal is dispersed evenly. For routers with two antennas, angle one vertically and the other horizontally. If your router has more than two, angle some of them towards important devices like your smart TV or computer. Some routers don’t have any antennas, so this tip might not apply to you.

Don’t place your router in a room with lots of people

Water disrupts WiFi signals. Because humans are made up of mostly water, lots of bodies in the same room can actually disrupt your internet connection. If possible, avoid placing your router in a room that normally has a lot of people like the living room.

Best location for a wireless router: upstairs or downstairs?

If your house has multiple stories you’ll want to consider which floor you place your router in. The best place to put a router in a two-story house is either high up in a central room on the first floor or near the ground on the second floor. For a three-story house, your router should be placed somewhere central on the middle floor. 

Mesh networks for large homes

Large homes with several rooms, brick or concrete walls, or multiple floors may need more than just a basic WiFi router. You may experience dead zones in areas of the house that are far from the router or separated by multiple walls.

Mesh networks help eliminate dead zones and strengthen your WiFi signal throughout the house. A mesh network basically takes your traditional router and multiplies it. Instead of having one central router, a mesh network consists of several small pieces of equipment called WiFi nodes. These nodes emit the WiFi signal and are placed throughout the house so that your internet connection will be strong no matter what room you’re in. If you’ve tried all of our other tips for router placement and the signal still isn’t strong enough, we’d recommend switching to a mesh network.

WiFi router placement for different floor plans

Here are a few examples of the best places to put your WiFi router:

  • On top of a cabinet or dresser in a room near the center of your home
  • Large open spaces without walls nearby
  • In a room facing an open doorway 
  • Spaces like a formal dining room that are centrally located but not usually full of people
  • In rooms with walls that aren’t made of dense materials like concrete or brick

Quick Recap: Router placement is important for a strong internet connection. Make sure to follow our tips for where to place your WiFi router:

  • Pick a central location to place your WiFi router
  • Don’t hide your router in a corner
  • Don’t place your router inside anything like a cabinet or drawer
  • Avoid rooms with walls made of materials like brick or concrete
  • Don’t put your router in the kitchen or other rooms with lots of metal
  • Keep your router away from other devices that use radio waves
  • Angle your router’s antennas in different directions
  • Avoid placing your router in rooms with lots of people
  • Consider which floor you’ll place your router on in multi-story homes
  • Upgrade to a mesh network for large houses