Here’s how to choose the best WiFi router location

Jan 20, 2024, 7:15 AM

Depending on the size of your home or how far outside your home you want the signal to be usable, r...

Depending on the size of your home or how far outside your home you want the signal to be usable, router placement is critical. (Pexels Photo)

(Pexels Photo)

Q: What suggestions do you have for choosing the best place to put my wireless router?

A: Depending on the size of your home or how far outside your home you want the signal to be usable – for items like security cameras – placement is critical.

Choosing a somewhat central location is where I would start assuming that a power outlet is available.

If you live in a two-story house, placing it on the second floor will improve the overall coverage. If you live in a single-story home, elevating the router on a shelf or as high as possible can also help.

A big mistake is trying to hide the router inside of a cabinet or tuck it behind something so it can’t be seen. This can cause both coverage and heat issues, which will shorten the life of the device.

Obstructions to Wi-Fi signals can range from thick walls, other wireless electronics, appliances, heavy furniture, aquariums, or even large mirrors.

As placement isn’t an exact science, testing various locations is an effective way to find the best location in your home.


If you are trying to use the Wi-Fi signal outside, placing the router near a window can be helpful. If not, avoid windows so the signal is more concentrated inside your home.

Having a router near a window can also allow direct sunlight to overheat the device or if the frame is metal, cause unwanted reflections of the radio signal.

Metal Objects

Items made of metal, especially if they are large or thick can be barriers to allowing Wi-Fi signals to pass or cause reflections.

A classic mistake is placing the router on top of a metal filing cabinet in an office which can induce signal complications and potential heat issues.

Adjusting the Antennas

Buying a router that has external antennas provides some additional options to try with the position of each one.

Experiment with a combination of vertical and horizontal positions to see if coverage in problematic areas improves.

Update Router Firmware

As with other devices, performance and security updates are available for routers, so make sure you have the latest firmware. If you don’t know how to do this on your specific device, do a Google search for ‘updating firmware on XXXXX’ that includes the brand and model number.

2.4 GHz vs 5 GHz

Your router transmits signals at two different frequencies, which can impact how well your connected devices perform.

The lower 2.4 GHz frequency is better for longer-range connections as long as you aren’t trying to transfer huge data files between devices or stream high-definition video on a large screen.
For the most part, the lower frequency speed cap is still faster than the actual Internet connection in most homes and is just fine for basic web surfing.

If you’re having consistent performance issues while trying to connect at 5 GHz, try switching to the 2.4 GHz signal.

If you’re connecting closer to the router, the benefits of the 5 GHz band include faster transmission speeds and less interference from other electronics.

If your home is large, consider upgrading to a range extender or a mesh network.

Data Doctors

(Pexels Photo)...

Ken Colburn, Data Doctors

Here are which electronics are OK in checked baggage

The primary determinant of what is safe to check in baggage is today’s most common battery technology: Lithium Ion.

5 days ago

DNS can help Arizonans protect their online security...

Ken Colburn, Data Doctors

How Arizonans can protect their cyber safety through DNS

DNS stands for Domain Name Service. It's is a vital element of Internet infrastructure all Arizonans should know about when working online.

12 days ago

(Pexels Photo)...

Ken Colburn, Data Doctors

Here are some useful Windows keyboard shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts are one of the most underutilized features of any operating system and Windows 11 has many new ones.

19 days ago

(Pexels photo)...

Ken Colburn, Data Doctors

Here’s how to use macros safely and effectively

Creating a macro is the process of recording keystrokes and mouse clicks for repetitive tasks within a document or spreadsheet.

1 month ago

Which smart phone is right for you? (Photo by Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images)...

Ken Colburn, Data Doctors

Tips for buying smartphones: A used edition could be right for you

The yearly improvement in smartphone technology leads many people to get rid of perfectly good smartphones for the ‘latest and greatest.'

2 months ago

It’s that time of year when many households are replacing older technology with the latest and gr...

Ken Colburn, Data Doctors

Here’s how to recycle your tech properly

It’s that time of year when many households are replacing older technology with the latest and greatest, leading to important questions of data privacy and proper disposal.

2 months ago

Sponsored Articles


DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

(KTAR News Graphic)...

Boys & Girls Clubs

KTAR launches online holiday auction benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

KTAR is teaming up with The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley for a holiday auction benefitting thousands of Valley kids.


Canvas Annuity

Interest rates may have peaked. Should you buy a CD, high-yield savings account, or a fixed annuity?

Interest rates are the highest they’ve been in decades, and it looks like the Fed has paused hikes. This may be the best time to lock in rates for long-term, low-risk financial products like fixed annuities.

Here’s how to choose the best WiFi router location