It is your moment of the day. You lie down on the sofa, face the television, and return to the series you follow on the TV platform. You get comfortable with your tablet to look at your Facebook profile or Twitter. Or sit down to play Xbox Live.
It is a great moment of leisure. It turns out that a modest plan is in danger and the WiFi signal is weak. The Twitter timeline doesn’t load, the TV show looks bad, and the online game crashes.
Why does WiFi reach you so poorly? What’s going on?
In this way, if the house is very large, the WiFi signal may be facing different types of difficulties to reach the most remote corners. But the origin of poor coverage can be as simple as the incorrect location of the router. Many reasons can explain these signal availability problems.
The home, an ecosystem of WiFi-dependent devices
Most homes use WiFi routers to connect to the network. There is usually a space enabled for a laptop or a desktop to connect to the internet through the cable. However, today the different members of a family have several mobile devices. And all these teams make use of the WiFi signal that the router emits. Therefore, in recent years the accessibility of smartphones and tablets to WiFi from any room in the house has become very important.
Of course, we cannot fail to mention the Smart TVs, which access the platforms’ content (Netflix, HBO, etc.) via WiFi. Smart TVs have become popular, and many homes have two Smart TVs or more. In this way, the WiFi signal has become a strategic resource for series fans, the most couch potato, and the most intensive users of online content platforms.
With signal enhancers and PLC devices, the signal quality can be improved. Many times, things are simpler. We can improve the distribution of the WiFi signal throughout the home. One of the key points is the location of the router.
First check: power off and back on the router
It is good to restart the router. When the signal reaches your devices connected via WiFi with difficulty, turn off the router for a few minutes. At a minimum, you should leave your computer turned off for 30 seconds. After that, you can start it again.
Why this waiting time before turning the router back on? If you power off and on immediately, the system does not reboot as it should.
With this simple action, you could recover the WiFi signal. Still, it’s a good idea to check if your router is in the right place in your home. This article offers you some guidelines to optimise the device’s location that distributes the WiFi signal throughout the house.
Put the wifi router in a central place
Yes, solid surfaces (walls and other obstacles) slow down your wireless internet speed. If possible, it is always better to place the router in the center of your home and not at one of the extremes. This ensures that the WiFi signal does not have to go through so many walls.
On the other hand, and seen from another perspective, if you locate the router in the corner of the house, a significant percentage of your wireless internet coverage, of your WiFi, is going out. Or to the houses of your neighbours. If you want to be really thorough, you have to look at the geometry or layout of the house and other aspects. For example, the decoration, the elements that can act as obstacles and the distribution of the load-bearing walls.
Beyond the search for this centrality, it is clear that you have to think about the rooms in which you will make the most use of WiFi. What areas are preferred? It’s probably time to hold a family meeting and put the issue to a vote.
Keep it away from thick walls
Place the router away from very thick walls. The wider the wall, the more difficult it is for the WiFi signal to breakthrough.
The construction material of the walls also plays an important role. For that reason, it is preferable to keep the router at a certain distance from walls with insulation materials. Or at a certain distance from brick, concrete, steel, metal or glass walls. Do not even think about putting the router in a sink, the place with the most mirrors in the home.
Do not place wifi router on the ground
Ideally, place the router on a table or shelf. The WiFi signal is directed both up and down. If the router is left on the ground, some of that bandwidth will be wasted.
It is better to place the router in a high place, such as a shelf. And it is that the routers tend to project the signal downwards.
Make sure you have the device insight
The more and better you see the router, the better the quality of the signal will be. If you place the equipment somewhat hidden on the shelf of a piece of furniture, the WiFi signal will suffer. It will be slower and will reach shorter distances.
If you place the device near a window, part of the signal will go outside. On the other hand, that window or that opening onto the street or onto an interior patio is a threshold through which other signals from outside can enter. And those signals can interfere with the WiFi signal.
Place it at a certain distance from TVs and appliances
Metal objects can reflect the signal, scattering it. For this reason, appliances are little friends of WiFi. The kitchen, therefore, is a bad place. It is not advisable to place the router very close to the television for the same reason.
An appliance to avoid specially is the microwave. For what reason? The microwave emits a strong signal in the 2.4 GHz band, the same frequency that the router operates on.
In this way, when you heat a plate or a cup of milk, you are altering the operation of your wireless internet signal.
Other equipment, such as alarm systems or landlines, maybe use the same frequency as your router.
The optimal way to optimize the signal is to place the router right in the centre of the house. But, as we have already learned in this guide, there are many more factors involved.
To dig deeper, Cole modified his model, taking into account the absorption capacity of different wall materials. Likewise, he managed to get his algorithm to collect the behaviour of WiFi signals more faithfully.