3 Simple Ways to Get a Stronger WiFi Signal at Home

updated May 4, 2019
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
(Image credit: Hayley Kessner)

Reliable internet is a necessity these days. I actually came really close to signing a lease for a perfect little apartment close to work a few years ago, but ducked out at the last possible second after discovering that I’d be locked into a crappy internet provider (a wise decision later confirmed by online reviews of said ISP). The point is, nothing should stand between you and a strong and fast internet, and your router placement has more than a little to do with it.

So go find your wifi router and take stock of these three things that could potentially boost your signal at home.

Don’t hide the router.

I know, it’s pretty ugly. But hiding the router in a cabinet or closet is keeping it from doing its job–walls and doors can degrade and absorb signal strength (concrete, metal and brick are the worst offenders). If you can stand it, keep the router in clear view in a centrally-located room, or the room where you’re connected most often.

Keep it up high.

Router signals tend to spread laterally and downward away from the source, so you might get better results keeping the router on a tall shelf rather than on the floor. In a two- or three-story home, the second floor is the ideal spot. The basement is always a bad spot for a router–besides the low down location, the earth and your home’s thick foundation could be weakening the signal, too.

Keep the antennas perpendicular.

If your router has two articulated antennas, you likely have them both pointing straight up–I mean, that’s how antennas work, right? (Guilty.) But it turns out that signal reception is at its highest when the signal source and the device receiving the signal have their antennas pointing along the same plane. Since your connected devices are potentially split between vertical and horizontal antennas, the best orientation for your router is to keep the antennas perpendicular, with one facing in each direction.

Still no luck? It might be time to buy a wifi booster.

Re-edited from a post originally published 11.19.15-CM