Wireless Feng Shui: How to Optimize Wi-Fi Reception in Your House
Your house is full of things that can cause problems with a Wi-Fi signal. There are walls made of different materials, masonry blocks, electronic devices creating inductive noise and emitting various frequencies.
So, if you don’t find the best place to put your router, you won’t strong enjoy Wi-Fi reception. The following tips will help you get the best Wi-Fi signal in your whole house.
Find the Best Place for a Router in Any House
Feng Shui suggests placing your living environment in harmony with naturally occurring energies. Similarly, wireless Feng Shui requires that you allow your wireless signal to flow effortlessly throughout your house.
How? By removing and avoiding noise and interference from other devices.
When you look at a typical house, the number of obstacles and points of interference is amazing. To avoid problems, the temptation is to situate your wireless router somewhere in the very center of your home.
It makes sense to avoid walls and pillars, right? The problem with this is that Wi-Fi interference isn’t just about walls or objects. Consider the following challenges to a strong wireless signal:
- Concrete walls
- Steel supports
- Lead lined tiles and paint
- An L-shaped structure
- Expansion into non-standard rooms e.g. attic or basement
By working around structural peculiarities and potential interference, you can find the best place for a router in any house.
Easy Win: Find the Best Router for a Large House
While organizing your home’s layout and finding the optimum position for your router is the best answer, consider an alternative. You could potentially save yourself a lot of messing around by simply buying a new router.
Most router manufacturers provide solutions for larger homes, offering hardware capable of covering properties 4,000-6,000 square foot in area. An example is the popular Deco Whole Home Mesh WiFi System from TP-Link.
This uses mesh technology to create a single network between the three devices. Simply place the main device within sensible distance of the internet line with each satellite device adjacent to blackspots.
Looking for alternatives? Check our round-up of the best mesh Wi-Fi solutions for the whole house.
If you don’t have the budget for a new router system, the following positioning tips should help.
Five Vital Wi-Fi Router Positioning Tips
To get the best wireless signal throughout your house, ensure the structure and other devices aren’t causing interference. There are three ways you can do this, by ensuring the positioning of the router isn’t compromised by:
- Impenetrable walls
- Devices that emit interference
- Thick floors and ceilings
- Stay clear of large windows
- Add height to the router’s placement
We’ll look at each in turn below. First, save yourself a lot of work by using these tips to boost the signal from your wireless router .
1. Avoid Walls & Obstructions
You’ll see this advice on most guides on optimizing Wi-Fi. While a wireless signal can travel through walls, there are certain materials that it can’t penetrate:
Consider structural items like pillars, chimneys, combi boilers, even old-style range ovens. Fridge-freezers can also cause obstruction to your wireless network. If you like to cook using recipes on your tablet, kitchen-based obstructions can be frustrating. Aquariums are also an issue, as Wi-Fi cannot travel through water.
Stone staircases can also be a problem, especially if situated centrally.
The solution here is to position your (main) router so that it can broadcast to as many rooms as possible. Large doorways and arches are ideal gateways for Wi-Fi to spread around your home.
Drywalls, plaster, and wood don’t cause too much problem; internal windows are fine.
2. Avoid Devices that Emit Interference
Along with structural issues, you’ll need to be certain that other devices in your home are not interfering with Wi-Fi. Where there is interference, it must mitigate this with improved positioning.
It’s surprising how many domestic devices generate electromagnetic interference that can mess up your wireless signal. Key culprits include:
- Wireless telephones (similar radio frequency)
- Baby monitors (ditto)
- Microwave ovens (as above)
- Motors (electromagnetic frequencies)
- Neighbor’s Wi-Fi network
- Older Bluetooth hardware (upgrading to the latest Bluetooth version should fix this)
As you can see, these devices are a router’s worst enemy. When you’re looking to place your router in that perfect location, think bigger. Draw a floor plan and highlight where you have existing devices that broadcast signals and interference.
Router placement should then be simpler.
3. Don’t Put Your Router in the Basement or Attic
One of the smartest ways to weaken your Wi-Fi signal is to place the router in your basement or attic. For basements, the wall will absorb most of the signal; in attics, half of the signal is serving the birds…
If you must place your wireless router in the basement, avoid using a shelf on the exterior foundation wall. Instead, use a shelf in the center of the basement, away from walls or windows. As above, avoid electrical interference too.
Note that while Wi-Fi can reach the rooms above, the signal will be weak. There’s little chance of the upstairs connecting to a Wi-Fi router in your basement. Fix this with a wireless repeater, mesh satellites, or powerline adaptors.
With your home reorganized for superior Wi-Fi performance, your internet speed should increase.
4. Avoid External Windows
While interior windows and glass panels are great for encouraging the free flow of Wi-Fi, external windows are not.
Placing your wireless router near a large window will result in much of the signal spilling out of your house. This is great if the local wildlife has mobile devices. For people in your house, however, it’s less than ideal.
So, be careful to place your router away from windows.
5. Get Better Coverage: Position Your Router High Up
The common position for Wi-Fi routers is on a small table, or on the wall at about eye level. Neither of these places is ideal, however, due to other objects in the room. This includes people, mostly made of water, and as such obstructive to wireless networking.
By situating the router higher up—perhaps above a doorway—you can ensure that chairs, tables, people, etc., are avoided. This will help to ensure a better Wi-Fi signal around your home.
Similarly, be sure to position the router correctly as per the device’s design. If it is meant to be placed horizontally, position it appropriately rather than turn it on its side. This will ensure that the antennae correctly spread Wi-Fi coverage around the property.
Congratulations: You Found the Best Location for Your Wi-Fi Router
By now you should have realized the best location for your router.
So long as you place it in a central location, away from masonry walls or chimneys, everything should be fine. You want to give your router some “breathing room” to radiate those signals out in every direction into your home.
Avoid interference from other devices and don’t place the Wi-Fi router in your basement or attic unless you really must.
Does your Wi-Fi connection feel laggy? Take a look at this list of things that could be slowing down your home Wi-Fi network .