Internet, Networking, & Security Home Networking 171 171 people found this article helpful The Best Place for Your Wireless Router It's all about signal strength by Bradley Mitchell Writer An MIT graduate who brings years of technical experience to articles on SEO, computers, and wireless networking. our editorial process LinkedIn Bradley Mitchell Updated on February 25, 2020 The Ultimate Router Buying Guide The Ultimate Router Buying Guide Introduction Router Basics What Is a Router and How Does It Work? How to Pick the Right Wireless Router Router Standards Explained Modem vs Router Can You Use Two Routers Same Network? Do I Need a Modem and a Router? Routers, Switches and Hubs Explained How to Find Your Router's IP Addresses What Is MIMO Technology? Best Names for Routers & Home Networks Best Placement for Wireless Routers How to Set up a Home Network Router Best Overall Routers Best Wireless Routers Best Cable Modem/Router Combos Best Long-Range Routers Best Secure Routers Best Parental Control Routers Best Routers for Under $100 Best Routers for Under $50 Best 802.11ac Wi-Fi Wireless Routers Best VPN Routers Best Gaming Routers Best By Brand Best Linksys Routers Best Netgear Routers Top Routers Reviewed Google Wifi Review Netgear Orbi Review Netgear C3700 Review Netgear C3000 Review Linksys EA8300 Review Linksys EA9500 Review Linksys WRT3200ACM Review Samsung SmartThings Router Review Asus RT-AC88U Gaming Router Review Linksys AC1900 Review Best Router Essentials Best Wi-Fi Extenders Best Wi-Fi USB Adapters Best Cable Modems Best Powerline Network Adapters alxpin / Getty Images Tweet Share Email The performance of a Wi-Fi home network depends on the signal strength of the wireless router, wireless access point, or base station. When a wireless client falls out of range of the base station signal, the network connection fails. Clients positioned near the boundary of the network's range likely experience intermittent dropped connections. Even when a wireless client is within range, its network performance can be adversely affected by distance, obstructions, or interference. What's the Best Placement for Wireless Routers? To position wireless equipment for optimal network performance, follow these guidelines. Choose the Best Location for the Wireless Access Point or Router Place the device in several locations to determine the location with the best signal. While trial-and-error may not be the most scientific way to find a good spot for the equipment, it is often the only practical way to assure the best possible Wi-Fi performance. Install the Wireless Access Point or Router in a Central Location If you have only one wireless device, install the base station near this client. For multiple wireless clients, find a good compromise position. Clients that are far away from the router may obtain only 10% to 50% of the network bandwidth that clients near it receive. You may need to sacrifice the network performance of one client for the good of the others. Avoid Physical Obstructions Any barriers along the line of sight between a client and the base station degrade a Wi-Fi radio signal. Plaster and brick walls tend to have the most negative impact, but any obstruction including cabinets and furniture can weaken the signal. Obstructions tend to be located closer to floor level, so installing the router high on a wall may improve the signal. Avoid Reflective Surfaces Some Wi-Fi signals bounce off windows, mirrors, metal file cabinets, and stainless steel countertops, lessening both network range and performance. Avoid Installing the Router Near Appliances That Send Wireless Signals Keep the router at least three feet away from anything that sends wireless signals in the same frequency range. Such appliances include microwave ovens, cordless telephones, baby monitors, and home automation equipment. Appliances that transmit in the 2.4 GHz frequency range are most likely to generate Wi-Fi interference. Install the router away from electrical equipment that generates interference. Avoid electric fans, other motors, and fluorescent lighting. Adjust the Router Antennas Adjust the antennas to improve performance if the best location you find is only marginally acceptable. Antennas on wireless access points and routers can be rotated or repositioned to fine-tune a Wi-Fi signal. Follow the manufacturer's recommendations for the best results. Other Ways to Boost Your Wi-Fi Signal Range If you can't find a suitable location for your wireless gear, you can, for example: Upgrade the base station antenna.Install a Wi-Fi repeater (often called a range extender or signal booster).In extreme cases, add a second router or access point to extend the range of the network. These are just some of the ways you can boost the range of your Wi-Fi network.