Best way for your router antenna position to boost your WiFi

Best way for your router antenna position to boost your WiFi

You probably have your router antenna position pointing upwards. But is this correct and if no, how should you point your router antenna? Up or down or perhaps a combination? The real question is: does changing the router antenna direction or position provide you with better, faster WiFi, and internet speed?

This is what we are going to find out today and the results will surprise you!

Two types of routers

Typically there are two types of routers.

router's antenna position on the Netgear WiFi routerThose that are a self-contained unit with no visible external antennas and those routers with numerous external antennas. Unfortunately, the routers that don’t have the external antenna are limited in what you can do in terms of obtaining the best WiFi speed. If you have one of these routers, the best way to get the optimal WiFi is to physically move the router to a central point in your home or office.

 If you have a router that does have external antennas, then you have more control over how the WiFi signal is spread around as the position of the antennas can make a difference.

Let’s talk about the router’s antenna

WiFi Antennas are classified into three categories:

  1. Omni-Directional Antenna
  2. Semi-Directional Antenna
  3. Directional Antenna

If your router has just one antenna, it typically would be an Omni-Directional antenna. Meaning the WiFi will be on the same plane and is spread equally in all directions.

If your router has two or more antennas, they would typically be Semi-Directional which means that the radio waves are emitted in a specific direction and at a set pattern.

So you can “point” the aerial to get the best signal strength in an area of your home as you send the signal to the right areas. It’s like the “olden days” where you had a TV aerial on top of your TV. If you moved the aerial in one way the TV reception would be better than if you moved it in another direction.

Which way should the router’s antennas position?

When you point your router’s antenna vertically, the signal emitted will be sent horizontally all around the antenna. Pointing the antenna horizontally, the signal will be emitted vertically.

Therefore, the way you point the antenna really depends on your situation.

A single-story home or an apartment doesn’t need to send the WiFi to the roof or the floors above. In that case, face the antenna vertically keeping the signal spread on the same floor. This will maximize the opportunity for your devices to connect to the router just in your home.

The router’s antenna position should point horizontally if your router is placed in the basement for some bizarre reason. This will send the WiFi signal vertically to the devices above the router.

If you have an upstairs-downstairs, you could set one antenna to point vertically emitting the signal horizontally. You then set the other antenna horizontally, emitting the signal vertically allowing any device on the floor above to get its share of the WiFi.

So in summary:

There is no must-do rule when setting up your router as each property has a different layout. Remember that items such as metal, thick concrete walls, electromagnetic, and other factors cause interference with WiFi signals. Therefore, what you need to do is experiment with the position of the antennas to get the optimal position and reduce those dead spots.

Of course, positioning the router in the middle of the property is always ideal for optimal coverage but if this isn’t possible, then using WiFi extenders or a Mesh WiFi Network will help.

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Liron Segev - TheTechieGuy

Liron Segev is an award-winning tech blogger, YouTube strategist, and Podcaster. He helps brands tell their stories in an engaging way that non-techies can relate to. He also drinks way too much coffee! @Liron_Segev on Twitter