Wi-fi is a fantastic invention, you can access the internet almost anywhere and on lots of different devices. Sit in bed and watch the latest series of Jessica Jones on Netflix, play Xbox Live from your sofa or stream internet radio in the kitchen.
But there will be occasions when you struggle to get a decent wi-fi signal. There are many reasons for this – if your house is large, the wi-fi signal may struggle to reach far corners, for example – but the problem could be that your router is in the wrong position.
Start by turning your router off for a few minutes, then on again. If that doesn’t work, then follow these tips to find the perfect place for your router:
Where to put your wi-fi router
Tip 1: Find a central location: Place it in the middle of your home rather than at one end. Solid surfaces slow down wi-fi speeds and this reduces the number of walls it has to go through.
Tip 2: Make sure it’s away from thick walls: The thicker the wall, the harder it is for the wi-fi signal to pass through.
Tip 3: Don’t put it on the floor: Try and position it on a shelf or table. Wi-fi signals go down as well as up, so if you put it on the floor, a proportion of the signal will go through the floorboards.
Tip 4: Ensure it’s visible: The more you can see your router, the better the signal. If you put it in a cupboard, wi-fi speed and distance the signal can travel will reduce.
Tip 5: Avoid windows: Place the router near a window and some of the signal will be sent outside.
Tip 6: Keep it away from your TV: Metal objects can reflect your signal, dispersing it.
Tip 7: Steer clear of fish tanks: It sounds strange, but water can absorb the wi-fi signal, reducing the distance it can travel
Boost your wi-fi signal
You’ve got your router in the right position. Now find out how to boost your signal.
Upgrade your router. If you own an older BT Home Hub, consider upgrading. BT is continually improving its Hubs and you’ll get better performance and features from a new device.
The BT Smart Hub has the UK’s most powerful wi-fi signal*, which means you’ll be able to get fewer dropped connections and faster wi-fi in more places in your home.
Invest in an extender/hotspot
The BT Mini Hub (£69.99) uses the internal electrical wiring of your house (powerline technology) to extend your broadband signal, giving you an extra wi-fi hotspot and wired (ethernet) connection in any room. You don’t need to be near your hub, you just need a power socket.
The BT Mini Hub has two ethernet ports, so you can connect two devices – such as a games console or internet connected television, allowing you to stream HD video to more than one device simultaneously.
BT has recently introduced Whole Home Wi-Fi (£299.99) a system that lets you enjoy high-speed internet throughout your house. The system consists of three stylish discs each containing a dual-band antenna, which you place around your house. When you move around, the intelligent system detects where you are and automatically swaps your device’s wireless connection from one disc to another so you always get the strongest and fastest connection. The accompanying app lets you see what devices are connected to each disc and even pause the internet – useful for making sure your children concentrate on homework.
Read more in our article: How to boost your home wi-fi.
*Compared to routers from other major broadband provides in the UK ** For BT customers