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How to choose the best location for your wireless router ?

With the number of mobile devices and laptops outpacing traditional computers, choosing the best spot for your wireless router/access point becomes a very relevant question in planning any local network. Below is a list of some common sense rules to improve your wireless network range and performance.

Cables - many ISPs enter your residence at the ground level, corners of the house, or even basements. This is generally not an ideal location for your wireless router/access point, however, you can run a Cat5 network cable between the modem and your wireless access point to place it in a more central, elevated location.

Location - a central, elevated location free of obstructions and other devices that may cause interference is best. You should avoid placing the wireless device in corners, near external walls/windows, in cabinets, and generally in any location close to large surfaces that may reflect the wireless signal.

Network/Channel Interference - other wireless networks in the area can have a great impact on your network. You should note all other networks in range, and the channels they are using. Setting your device at least 3 channels away from any other network in range will ensure that your singals do not overlap and interfere with each other. It is important to keep in mind that 802.11 channels actually represent the center frequency, and overlap ~3 channels in each direction.

Radio Interference - wireless devices are not shielded well against radio-frequency interference. It is important to keep your device clear from fluorescent lights, other modems/routers, computers, monitors, cordless phones, power supplies, bluetooth devices, or other possible sources of EMI. Keeping it away from such potential sources of interference will have great impact on the wireless network performance.


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by anonymous - 2016-08-17 12:08
This states where not to place a WiFi router but does not advise on the best place.
by Philip - 2016-08-17 12:55
It is best to locate a wi-fi router/access point in the center of the coverage area, at an elevated location free of obstructions and possible sources of EMI (as per the "location" section above).

Note that this assumes the most common type of devices with omni-directional antennas, if you have an access point with directional coverage or other type of specialty high-gain antennas you may want to check our antenna article: http://www.speedguide.net/articles/wireless-antenna-guide-3175
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