When most of us sign up for home internet services, we expect our WiFi connection to reach the whole house. And with the average internet speed in the U.S. now 1000x faster than good ol’ dial-up, there’s no reason not to take advantage of it. At the same time, you must reconcile with the fact that the strength of your connection wanes the further you are from the router. So how do you manage to set up your box to make sure you’re connected in your home office or in the shower? (Hey, we live in a connected world!)
Here are a few tips to do just that:
Place it Centrally
- Your router doesn’t need to be on top of your computer for you to have a good wifi connection.
- In fact, it’s better to place the router in a central location in your house to better reach every corner – not just your office or kitchen table.
- Finding the best central location for your router is an experiment. Don’t settle for the first place you try (unless your download speeds are through the roof).
- Instead, experiment with several potential locations in your home and measure the speed in different areas to make your decision.
- If you find your WiFiconnection peaks when the router is halfway up a wall, opposite a bookcase, then so be it. It’s worth it for those sweet, sweet download speeds.
Avoid Thick Walls
- The radio waves produced by your router can move through walls like ghosts. But unlike a specter, they struggle with concrete or brick walls.
- Thick walls tend to absorb radio waves and kill your WiFi connection. So be wary of the placement of those walls in your home when you’re placing your router.
- Other things that kill your download speed? Water, metal, and mirrors.
- Water absorbs those waves as a thick wall will. Meanwhile, metal and mirrors reflect them back rather than propelling them forward.
- So, if you have a carefully crafted mirror maze in your house, avoid putting your router in that room. Your signal will bounce around, but it may not escape!
Keep Out of the Kitchen
- Your kitchen is full of appliances that emit radio waves.
- In fact, your microwave and your router use the same 2.4 GHz frequency of the electromagnetic spectrum.
- So while it sounds like a conspiracy theory, your microwave does throw off your WiFi connection.
- But in reality, so does your baby monitor, your cell phone, and your garage door opener.
- Keeping your router out of the kitchen is a good idea because it avoids microwave interference. Plus, other metal appliances also get in the way by absorbing your precious radio waves.
- Install your router at least three feet from other appliances – including your phone – for the best connection.
- If you go take the time to avoid obstacles that suck up your internet speed, it’s possible to maximize the revolutionary speeds your service provider offers.
The Bottom Line on Your WiFi Connection
Still, having trouble managing your connection in the furthest reaches of your home? Consider looking into a WiFi extender and click here to find our full guide on setting it up