Placing your WiFi router in a central location helps improve signal across your home. Picture: Wallpaper Flare.
Placing your WiFi router in a central location helps improve signal across your home. Picture: Wallpaper Flare.

5 easy ways to improve your WiFi signal

By Sacha van Niekerk Time of article published May 28, 2020

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Before you get to upgrading your package, buying a booster or changing networks completely, consider these simple solutions to help boost your WiFi strength and connectivity.

5 easy ways to improve your WiFi signal:

1. Place your router in a central location

The easiest solution oftentimes isn’t always so obvious. Most of us have our WiFi routers stored somewhere safe and hidden - away from pets that are prone to knocking things over, children who tug at cables and other hazards. Of course, if your router isn’t the sleekest piece of technology, you might be hiding it for other reasons. 

However, stashing your router in a cupboard, draw, or even in a room people don’t often frequent at the other end of our house could be the reason your signal is so low. From laptops, to smart home devices, cell phones and more, your router should be placed in a central location where it can reach all of these devices. If not, you risk having uneven signal with certain areas that don’t get any connectivity at all.

2. Keep your router on an elevated surface

The spherical radio waves that radiate from your router don't only emit outwards but upwards too, visually, it’s much like a bubble with the router at the center. Therefore if you would like the best coverage, you’ll need to put the router in an elevated position. The closer it is to the ground the more signal the floor receives of your coverage, rather than your general living space.

3. Try removing obstacles that could interfere with the signal

WiFi signals should be able to travel through walls rather easily. But with walls ranging in thickness and material, some happen to obstruct some of the radio waves. 

According to an article by Mistral Solutions, “Materials such as drywall, plywood, other kinds of wood and glass can be easily penetrated by wireless signals. However, materials such as brick, plaster, cement, metal, stone, and double-glazed glass may cause problems.”

Therefore it is worthwhile checking the construction of walls before deciding on where to place your router.

4. Stay away from metal 

Refrigerators, a steel desk or wrought iron gate are all home features that may be messing up your signal. Because metal is a conductor, it absorbs electricity which has a negative effect on the radio waves emitted by WiFi routers which are electromagnetic. 

This radio interference causes "dead zones" which are areas that do not receive any signal.  Many homes that are insulated with metal foil would not be able to receive incoming wireless signals from telecommunication towers. However, if their WiFi service is delivered directly into a home over cable (Fibre or DSL), the strength would be better and even stronger because the WiFi signals would be contained inside and therefore more concentrated. 

5. Steer clear of too many electronic devices

Certain appliances emit wireless signals in a similar or the same frequency band. Your neighbour’s WiFi router, baby monitors, Bluetooth devices and even your microwave may be generating the radio frequency noise that could be causing your network to be slower or disconnect. So, for instance, the dining room would be a better location for your router than your kitchen or which is filled with appliances.

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