Tech: 10 simple tips for making your home wifi network faster

Getting a strong wifi signal in your Davis apartment is mostly a matter of how and where you place your wireless  router.  The good folks over at Vox have 10 simple tips for making your home wifi network faster. Here are a few of our favorite fixes that require zero technical knowledge:

1) Put your router near the center of your house

A router sends out signals in all directions, so putting it in a corner of your house or apartment — or near a window — means that a significant amount of its signal is wasted.

You might only have a network connection in one spot, but long network cables can be pretty cheap, and moving your router can dramatically improve performance.

2) Lift your router up off the ground

There are two reasons why it’s not a ideal to have your router directly on the floor.

One is that the signals it broadcasts tend to fall slightly downward as they travel from its antenna. Additionally, they can’t easily penetrate some solid materials — metal, concrete, and cement — which may be present in your floors.

As a result, experts recommend having your router at least a few feet off the ground — perhaps on a table or bookshelf. This is also why you shouldn’t put it in the basement, especially if you have a multi-story house and a concrete foundation.

3) Try to put your router in a room where you often use the internet

Regardless of where you put your router, the signal will be strongest in the room it’s in. So ideally, you can put it in a spot that’s relatively near the center of your house and a room in which you actually use wifi-connected devices.

4) Keep your router out in the open

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Because the router’s signal can be absorbed by many materials, you want to have it out in the open as much as possible. In other words, don’t hide it away in a closet, or stick it in between a big piece of furniture and a wall.

Radio waves travel best through open air, so sight lines are a good clue here: if you can see the router from far away, and from many different angles, you’re using it efficiently.

5) Keep the router away from other electronics

All sorts of electronic devices can interfere with your router’s signal: microwaves, TVs, cordless phones — essentially, anything that generates an electromagnetic signal or has a motor. This is why sandwiching it between home entertainment components, beneath your TV, is not a good idea. In general, keep it away from other electronics.

Large metal objects (like mirrors or filing cabinets) and water (like, say, a fish tank) can also block the signal, and should be avoided.

6) Position the antennas vertically

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The router’s signal spreads out in the direction perpendicular to that of the antennas. In other words, vertically-oriented antennas will broadcast the signal horizontally, covering more of your house. (On the other hand, if you were more concerned about broadcasting the signal to multiple floors, but a smaller area of each one, you could turn the antennas horizontally.)

Read the rest of the article here: 10 simple tips for making your home wifi network faster.