How To Determine The Optimum Location For Your Wireless Router


Image via Flickr creative commons from Woodley wonder works

Once you have waded through the strange world of gigahertz, 802.11n and 802.11g and finally got your new wireless router home from – you can waste the world’s greatest router by putting it in the wrong place. Regardless of how powerful, there are a lot of things that can hamper its effectivity. Generally these things will be near impossible to consider when perusing wireless routers at BT Shop.

If your PC or laptop falls out of range, then obviously the connection will fail but factors such as obstructions and interference can play a part.

First off, you need to make sure you don’t settle on a router location prematurely. Experiment with a few different places – trial and error may not be particularly scientific, but without shelling out on some super high tech equipment it is the simplest way.

Most often, the best place is a central location – but if the router is only going to be used by one computer, locating it near the place it is going to be used most is bet. If you intend to play music or stream video via your television, then it is recommended you place your router accordingly.

The people at Microsoft say: “If your wireless router, modem router, or access point is against an outside wall of your home, the signal will be weak on the other side of your home.”

Similarly, if the router has to be on the ground floor and your PC or laptop is on the second floor, place the router high on a shelf in the room it is located.

Physical barriers as unavoidable as plastered internal walls can be a hassle to signals. If you are in the situation where locations are limited, try a wireless repeater. Place it halfway between your wireless router, modem router, or access point and your computer, and you can get an instant boost to your signal strength.

But you needn’t worry if you can’t move your wireless router, because there are many other ways to improve your connection. First off, remove the router from the floor and away from metal objects – these can interfere with your router’s signal.

Other electrical items around the house can also prove a headache. The most common wireless technology operates at a frequency of 2.4 GHz. Many cordless phones, microwave ovens, baby monitors, garage door openers, and other wireless electronics also use this frequency. To avoid this try to keep your device out of the way of these household items. If you can’t do this, consider changing your wireless channel until you find one that suits.

In certain circumstances, replacing the antenna can also have its benefits. It is most often the case that the aerial the device comes with is designed to be omnidirectional – sending out a signal in all directions. If this is the case, placing the router near an external wall will waste a lot of its potential. Most routers will not allow you to increase power output, but you can focus that power by sending it all in the direction you need.

For wireless networks with multiple clients, you will need to find a compromise position. Devices too far away from the base station will only be able to manage ten to 50 per cent of the bandwidth of clients nearby. You might need to sacrifice the network performance of one client for the good of the others.

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