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Does Wifi work everywhere except your bedroom?

By June 14, 2016Technical Tips

The magic of Wifi is amazing until you get to that one room where coverage sucks.

This very smart fellow (Jason Cole, a PhD student in London) made a physics model of the best place to put your Wifi router in your home according to physics. We didn’t understand his formulas but the animation at the end of his page is super cool and makes a lot of sense:


Image from Jason Cole,


Here’s a simpler way of explaining it, from our friends at Wired Magazine

Everyone knows that Wi-Fi signal strength begins to wane the farther away from the router you’re using your laptop. If your router is in the front of your house and your bedroom is in the back, you may be accustomed to seeing that spinning wheel of death while waiting for your Netflix to buffer. The severity depends on many things: your home’s construction, your router, your provider…lots of things.

Regardless of the other hurdles, where you put your router matters. An important thing to remember is that the signal from a router broadcasts in all directions from the antenna, so it’s useful to think of signal strength in terms of a radius of broadcast. If your router is next to a wall adjacent to your neighbor’s apartment, they’re getting that slice of your signal, not you (obvious pro-tip: password protect your Wi-Fi right now).

Here are some other tips for optimal placement of your wireless router to get a stronger signal.

Keep it central
Location is key. Try to find the most central home for your router that you can—and don’t consider the placement of your desktop computer or home modem to be a limiting factor. It’s worth buying some Ethernet Cat 5 cable and run the wire to the most central location you can.

Consider even mounting the router on a wall or in a corner by the ceiling if you have two floors because radio waves generally spread out and towards the ground, not up. Think about putting your router on the second floor if you have one.

Avoid impenetrable obstructions
Radio waves certainly travel through walls, but the thicker the wall, the weaker the signal will be on the other side. And if your home is fortified with brick or concrete walls, the signal is going to be absorbed by the wall and lose significant strength when traveling through it. Same goes for water, like your big fish tank, which can cause a lot of resistance for your signal.

Metal and mirrors are also your enemy because those materials actually reflect radio waves, so putting the router behind a TV or in a bathroom is ill advised.

[…] read the rest of the Wired article here


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