Wireless routers are the core of many of our home networks. They are what our devices use to communicate with one another. The signal strength of the router’s connection to devices is important to the functionality of the network. Signal overkill in your home is no longer a security issue due to the advancements in encryption technologies. You want the best location for wireless router signal strength so that you can use the network with as few signal issues as possible. So many devices currently use WiFi that a router’s placement is important to the health and ease of use regarding your wireless network.
The first factor to consider when adjusting the placement for the best location for wireless router signal aggregation is signal strength. Some routers have higher gain antennas than others. The higher the gain of the antenna the more the signal will pierce through obstructions given a constant transmission power. The tradeoff in this instance is that if your router is on the first floor and you’re right above it… you may not receive the best signal due to the shape of the signal’s dispersion being more like a pancake than a sphere. We recommend one access point per floor for optimal coverage.
So let’s say you don’t want to purchase another access point and worry about multiple DHCP servers on the network. For most of us, that’s too much work and too confusing. Given your current router and your standard two-story home around 1,500 square feet you actually want to place the router as near to the ceiling as possible in an area as central to the home as possible. Why? What we’re attempting to do in this instance is to eliminate as many obstructions as possible to the signal as you can. When using a laptop, cell phone, or other WiFi device you would be surprised at how much your hand or body interferes with the signal to your device. In some instances it can be as much as a 30% signal decrease. If your hands can block signal this much, imagine what your refrigerator or stove can block!
It is entirely fine to place your router on top of a bookshelf or cabinet. The best location for wireless router signal strength is to mount it to the ceiling upside-down. Don’t place it on the wall vertically… remember that the antenna’s signal pattern looks like a really fat pancake and if you place it on the wall you’ll lose signal behind and in front of the router. The signal emits best from the sides of the router and not in front or behind.