Where to set up your Wi-Fi router at home

Having a high-speed fibre connection doesn’t matter if your Wi-Fi connection is terrible.

Sub-optimal Wi-Fi connections can be due to low-power hardware or bad placement of your wireless router.

This problem can also have a major effect on users with ADSL connections, further lowering their maximum bandwidth and introducing additional latency to their connection.

Proper placement of your Wi-Fi router is therefore important, especially if you aim to support a number of wireless devices throughout your house.

To find out how to properly set up a Wi-Fi router, MyBroadband asked DrayTek South Africa for the basic guidelines.

DrayTek is a manufacturer of high-performance routers and access points, with support for a variety of specialised applications.

Placement

Router placement is limited to where the DSL line or fibre CPE terminates, but there are ways to place your router in this area optimally, said DrayTek.

The company said the most important aspects to consider include the height of the router and any immediate obstructions.

“Most importantly, pick a central location to ensure that the signal coverage is maximized in your space,” said DrayTek.

“As a general guideline, higher is better, since radio waves spread outwards and downwards from the source.”

Avoiding obstructions like walls, ceilings, metal, and reflective surfaces can also result in better signal quality.

“The thicker walls are, the worse they are for signal penetration.”

The company also advised users to avoid placing their routers in the kitchen, as microwaves and other large appliances can interfere with the wireless signal.

“Sometimes, even the most powerful routers aren’t enough to fill a large multi-storey or multi-roomed space,” added DrayTek.

“In those cases, we recommend adding some high-powered Wi-Fi access points to the network, like the DrayTek VigorAP 910C.”

Hardware

The hardware specifications of your wireless router are also important when determining whether it will provide decent coverage in your home.

If you have a high-speed Internet connection, you would be better served by a dual-band router with 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands.

It is also important to note whether your router has a Multiple-Input-Multiple-Output (MIMO) antenna configuration, as this can drastically boost your maximum bandwidth and connection stability.

The Wi-Fi standard used by your router is also indicative of its maximum bandwidth across its wireless bands, and you should choose devices which support the latest 802.11ac standard.

Tests conducted by MyBroadband have repeatedly shown that investing in a high-end router will greatly improve your Internet experience if you have a high-speed fibre connection.

Now read: We tested Starbucks Wi-Fi – and were seriously impressed

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Where to set up your Wi-Fi router at home