Furniture and other surroundings can have a big impact on your WiFi signal. If your router isn't in the best position, the WiFi can become notably unreliable. Even certain materials can have a negative impact. In order to combat these obstacles, your router should be placed in the most ideal environment possible. Here are some tips for optimizing your router space:
- Make sure your router isn't surrounded by clutter.
- Minimize the distance between the router and your computer.
- Avoid storing the router behind materials that reduce signal strength (like thick walls or metal).
Updating the firmware is a great way to make sure your router is running optimally. Sometimes a simple update can give your router the boost it needs to provide the best signal possible.
Check with the manufacturer of your router for firmware update instructions. If you lease a router from your ISP, you may need to contact their tech support team for assistance.
If decluttering the area and updating the firmware doesn't work, you may have to make an investment. Your average router comes with factory antennas that don't always provide the best results. Changing the factory hardware for a new antenna can give a serious boost to your WiFi signal strength.
You can easily find compatible hardware online. Most router antennas are standard. I recommend looking for reviews from other people with the same router model. This will confirm what antenna works best with your router and whether or not it makes a difference.
Another option is to invest in a signal boosting repeater. These devices connect directly to your router to extend the WiFi range. They connect with an ethernet cable and can be placed in a more convenient location. WiFi boosters are pretty standard. You can usually check online to see if anyone has reviewed the booster with your router model.
Some problems can't be patched. If you're still having WiFi reliability issues, it may be time to upgrade your router. Older routers just don't have the same reach newer models have. New technology, like 5G, has made a big difference in WiFi strength.
If you're not sure where to start, we have plenty of router guides that break down the basics. Get an idea of what to look out for and even find recommendations in our list of Comcast compatible routers.
Make sure to check out one of our recommended wireless routers, the NETGEAR Nighthawk AC2600. This is an extremely reliable, high performance wireless router that will blow away most routers provided by your ISP.