Alex Tofts, broadband expert at the comparison service Broadband Genie (Broadband Genie)
If you put your internet router in the ‘wrong’ room of your home, or even in the wrong place in the right room, you could be slowing down your home network.
A WiFi expert explained to DailyMail.com that knowing where to put your router makes the difference between having a good and bad signal on connected devices.
Alex Tofts of broadband comparison service Broadband Genie said routers should never be placed under stairs, in a window, in the kitchen or attic, or next to a vase or fish tank.
Your router is a radio transmitter, and where possible you should try to have a clear “line of sight” from the router to devices that require a fast connection, with no thick walls in the way.
Hiding your router means your signal will be blocked (Midjourney: Rob Waugh)
Wi-Fi signals don’t travel well through metal, water, solid walls, or heavy furniture, so it can help to elevate a router and place it in an open area, Tofts explained.
‘The general rules to keep in mind are to look for any nearby obstacles that could cause a problem.
“Avoid placing it behind bulky furniture or next to other devices that may interfere with the signal.”
He added: “There are certain rooms in the home that can be particularly problematic, so with that in mind, these are the areas to think twice about.”
Putting a router in the kitchen won’t give you the best performance (Midjourney: Rob Waugh)
Under the stairs
“We know routers aren’t the nicest things in your home, but don’t treat it like Harry Potter and keep it under the stairs.”
Keeping the router away from walls ‘frees up the signal’, and the same goes for floors, so it may be worth raising it as well.
Electrical devices that use radio signals, such as cordless phones or baby monitors, can interfere and disrupt your router’s signal, Tofts explained.
He said: ‘The kitchen sometimes harbors a few of these and the main culprit is your microwave.
“This uses the same 2.4GHz signal, which will compete against your router when you heat up some food.”
next to a window
Putting your router next to a window or in an area exposed to direct sunlight is a bad idea.
If your router is getting hot, especially in the summer, it can be a problem.
Tofts said: ‘Like any electrical device, it’s important to keep it cool. This can be more difficult in the summer, but avoid placing it next to windows where it will be exposed to direct sunlight.
‘A shady spot that isn’t obstructed by large objects should be fine. Make sure there is adequate ventilation in the room as well.
Next to a vase or fishbowl
Don’t place your router next to an aquarium, vase, or fish tank (Midjourney: Rob Waugh)
Water isn’t good for Wi-Fi signals, so make sure your router isn’t nearby, and that your network doesn’t rely on Wi-Fi traveling through water.
Tofts said: “Water blocks Wi-Fi signals, so don’t place your router near anything with a lot of water, whether it’s an indoor waterfall, an aquarium, a fish tank, or even vases with a lot of water in them.”
in the attic
Generally speaking, you want your router to be in the middle of your home, rather than on the edges, Toft explained.
Toft said: ‘The attic space is not optimal for signal strength.
‘Ideally you want your router to be on the ground floor in the middle of your home, this will give it the best chance of reaching every room in your home.
Insulation material in the attic can also make it difficult to get a better signal. If you use your attic space and need the Internet there, you should consider using a Wi-Fi extender.