So you recently connected your home to your favorite ISP and bought a ‘fast’ package. However, your WiFi is extremely slow and you struggle to get anywhere near the speeds quoted on paper. I know. I would also take it against my Internet service provider. However, do you know that simple hacks such as where you fix your router could affect your Internet speeds? You’re here because you need to find out the best location for your router for fast and reliable Internet across the house.
Even with a fast Internet connection from a reliable local ISP, your router placement might let you down. Apart from telling you the best locations for your router for the fast and reliable Internet, I’ll also talk about some other ideas that could help increase your WiFi signal strength.
Here’s what you should do to get the most of your home router
- Choose the right router – Modern and no generics(please) – Assuming it came from your service provider, i.e ZUKU, Safaricom, it should be a modern design, with dual-band support and 802.11ac. This new technology is optimized for best coverage and fast internet speeds. If you have a different ISP with no bundled router, you need a reliable router. Please check out our top 10 routers for 2018.
- Always set your router in a central location at your home – If you are moving into an apartment, you most likely will find the router at a corner of the house. This is the closest to where the ISP company’s engineers most likely dropped the line at. Since a typical router will broadcast it’s signal in all direction, leaving it at one corner of the house means 50% of your WiFi is broadcast outside your home, at the expense of the other half. To help you choose the best location, see point number 3.
- Raise your WiFi router – Now you probably did not know this, but WiFi signals spread downwards better than upwards. To get the best of this little hack, consider attaching your router to your house’s ceiling. Not behind it, but on it, while facing downwards. The higher the position, the better the coverage.
- Avoid placing your router near large metal objects or household electronics – Now a lot of us do this all the time. We place our router among our entertainment gadgets such as TV, laptops, Hi-Fi systems, etc. To get better speeds, this is not advisable. One serious item to avoid keeping close to your router is your Microwave. This device emits a very powerful signal in the 2.4GHz band. Most routers will be interfered by this signal, hence slowing your overall internet speed.
- If your router has antennas, configure them to direct signal evenly – Router antennas are supposed to help broadcast the WiFi signal in different directions. If you bought your own router, chances are high it has a number of antennas. Low-end routers usually have two. Point these antennas in different directions for better coverage across the house.
Knowing these simple hacks for your router for fast and reliable Internet across the house, there’s one last factor I need to talk about – Size of your home. I know most of you reading this typically live in a house roughly 1500Sq feet and smaller. The good news is that most routers should provide sufficient coverage for such houses without signal loss.
Best location for your router for fast and reliable Internet across a bigger house
Anything above 2,000 Sq feet and you’ll either need a really expensive router(My best choice) or if you have the budget, use a mesh network. Now, this is not anything too technical, I promise. All you have to do is buy a good router, then place several nodes across your house to extend range without signal loss. I’m sure you have seen these in hostels, big apartment complexes, colleges, etc.
If you have are new to the home internet thing and need your home connected to a fast unlimited Internet in Kenya, please check out our best routers for 2018, or if Safaricom home is already in your place, Click here to get connected today.
If you already have WiFi installed in your home, here’s a short to-do list
- Check to confirm whether your router supports dual-band and 802.11ac
See if your router is located in the most central location in your house. If not,
- Try to set your router at a higher place at a more central location, or at least near the places you need fast Internet the most.
- Keep your router away from devices that could interfere with its signal broadcasting abilities.
Set your router’s antennas to broadcast WiFi evenly across your home.
- Check your Internet speed from different spots at your home using free tools like Google internet speed test or speedtest.net. Compare what you get to the speed you paid for. Here’s a screenshot of mine:
- As usual, don’t expect to get the same speed, but it helps to know what places have the fastest speed. If these tools are showing a speed significantly lower than what you paid for, contact your home Internet provider. If they can’t resolve the issue, you need a new ISP.