A good router is essential, but its placement also plays an important role in getting the most out of your Wi-Fi. As a rule, you need your router to be in a central position so Wi-Fi can reach the corners of your home as much as possible. Yet, other factors like appliances that can interfere with Wi-Fi signals and areas you want Wi-Fi most affect where you can and should put your wireless router.

Here are some guidelines for tracking down the best spot for your router and getting the most coverage it can offer.

Where to place Wi-Fi router

Put it in a central location

Routers broadcast signals in all directions. Placing your router in a central spot where you use Wi-Fi most will enable the router to spread Wi-Fi signals throughout your home. For instance, assuming you usually spend time in your living room and workspace, putting your router between those two spaces should work.

A “central spot” doesn’t really mean you ought to put your router in the middle of your home. If the spot is your kitchen, you may need to consider another place as appliances may interfere with Wi-Fi signals. If possible, your router needs to be near the center of the area where you usually use the Internet.

NOT to put your router in:

  • Kitchen
  • Bathroom
  • Attic
  • Cupboard
  • Garage

Keep it high

Higher positions permit more signals to cover the regions where you really want Wi-Fi and let the router broadcast with less interference blocking the signal. Assuming that you're in a multistory home, you’ll need to consider how the various floors get covered. For a two-story home, the best position will be either close to the roof on the first floor, or close to the ground on the second, giving reliable coverage for both floors.

Minimize physical obstructions

While Wi-Fi signals can pass through objects like doors and walls, doing so will severely block and weaken the signal. When deciding router placement, make sure there are as few obstructions as possible between the router and your devices. Ideally, keep your router out in the open and visible from where you sit.

Physical obstacles you should watch out for:

  • Concrete
  • Metal
  • Mirror
  • Stone
  • Water

Avoid signal interference

Be aware of electronic devices like baby monitors, security cameras, and Bluetooth devices as they may use the same 2.4GHz or 5GHz frequencies and crowd the channel. Appliances such as microwaves can put out radiation and cause a slower network.

It’s wise to not place your router near these electronics, or you might get frustrating Wi-Fi. Others’ Wi-Fi networks may also interfere with your wireless network, especially when you live closely with others.

Possible sources of signal interference:

  • Microwave
  • Baby monitors
  • Wireless speakers
  • Bluetooth
  • TVs
  • Security cameras
  • Neighbors’ Wi-Fi