Your Mesh Router Is in the Wrong Spot. Here’s Where to Put It for Faster Internet

Your Mesh Router Is in the Wrong Spot. Here’s Where to Put It for Faster Internet

This story is section of 12 Days of Strategies, encouraging you make the most of your tech, home and health through the getaway period.

I have expended the earlier pair of years at CNET testing and examining Wi-Fi routers, and if there is one factor I have acquired, it’s this: In most properties, the most meaningful way to strengthen the Wi-Fi connection is to upgrade to a mesh router.

The reasoning right here is straightforward. Classic routers place out a Wi-Fi sign from a one position in your house, but mesh routers use numerous gadgets to set out a usable signal from numerous factors in your property. That can make them additional like a team of routers that do the job alongside one another to relay your targeted visitors back again to the modem. It’s a a great deal much better solution to household networking, specially in large, multistory properties, the place a regular, single-position router will probable depart you with useless zones in the rooms that are farthest away. They can even make a important change in lesser households, especially if you have any dead zone rooms in which speeds aren’t as speedy as you would like.

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Most mesh routers are quite very simple to get started off with: Just join a single system to your modem with an Ethernet cable, plug it in and then abide by the directions in the system’s application. From there, you are going to will need to decide spots for the remaining satellite extenders, which are also in some cases identified as nodes (or “Factors” if you’re a Nest Wifi person). Continue to, you will want to put some thought into where you location the items, as their unique location will make a significant affect on the system’s functionality. Right here are some pointers to hold in intellect as you go. (You can also examine out our suggestions on the most effective place for your Wi-Fi router, and how to defend your house Wi-Fi network from hackers.)


Mesh routers and other Wi-Fi products accomplish their very best when they’re found out in the open, and up off of the ground.


Exactly where should you set your mesh router?

Like with most wi-fi transmissions, it isn’t going to just take a lot to disrupt your Wi-Fi sign and sluggish it down. That’s why it’s crucial to spot your mesh extenders strategically, in areas where by they’re going to be able to perform at their most effective.

Move the major router

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First things very first, you are going to want the major router in your set up — the mesh product that’s wired to your modem — to be located as centrally in your residence as feasible. That’s the identical technique you’d acquire with a one router, and the reasoning is the similar: Routers place out Wi-Fi alerts in all instructions, so putting your router in a central locale inside of your property will make the most out of your link.

That goes double for mesh devices, the place the toughness of the link around your extenders will largely count on the toughness of the incoming signal from the most important router. A much better link involving the two will assistance guarantee that you’re hitting the speediest Wi-Fi speeds possible throughout your entire house.

Your solutions for transferring the router could appear limited by the place of your modem, and the incoming wiring for your home’s web relationship. An further-long Ethernet cable can arrive in handy in this article, providing you the flexibility to transfer the router away from wherever the modem sits, if needed. If that’s impractical, you are going to at least want to shift that key router out into the open, and if possible as superior off the ground as feasible.


This manual from Asus highlights a mesh rule of thumb — for the best functionality, try to retain every single unit in your set up no much more than two rooms away from a further a person.


Shift all those extenders close to

Once you’ve got obtained the main router located in the most effective spot doable, you may want to decide on out great spots for the extenders. With most techniques, you can connect each and every machine to the major router with an Ethernet cable for the quickest speeds probable, but most consumers like to link every little thing wirelessly. In that situation, you may want to be further-strategic about wherever you place the extenders during your household.

Yet again, out in the open and up off of the floor is your finest wager for a clear signal, but you can expect to also want to place some considered into the layout of your house, as actual physical obstructions in in between the main router and the extenders can gradual factors down.

A excellent rule of thumb, typically speaking, is to check out and hold the products in your mesh set up no much more than two rooms absent from every other. That’ll fluctuate from property to property, specially if yours is developed with dense supplies like brick or concrete in the walls that can be tough for Wi-Fi alerts to penetrate. You can also want to look at out for digital interference from TVs and other significant appliances, so if you happen to be sticking a mesh extender in the kitchen area, resist the urge to conceal it absent on leading of the fridge and transfer it away from your appliances completely.


Most mesh techniques arrive with companion apps that contain placement guides for your equipment, signal power checks, and other diagnostic instruments to help you make absolutely sure you have bought anything in the ideal location attainable.

Screenshot by Ry Crist/CNET

Furniture can block Wi-Fi indicators, far too, so if you have just about anything big or cumbersome in in between two of your mesh devices, consider relocating them. Aquariums are another common antagonist for your mesh setup, as Wi-Fi has a tough time transmitting by h2o.

The ideal way to make certain that your mesh network is as effectively-linked as attainable is to open up its application and check out the signal toughness of each gadget, which is a little something most programs offer. You can also find program-particular steerage on the internet at the one-way links under:

Stay away from these lifeless zones

If you’ve got received a back again corner of your residence the place the sign drops out, it could possibly be tempting to adhere a mesh extender smack in the middle of that dead zone to enhance your speeds. In a great deal of conditions, that’d be a error.

Bear in mind, just like your mobile phone or laptop, your mesh extenders need to have to join wirelessly with the major router in your set up. And if that back corner is a useless zone for your cellphone or notebook, then it will probably be a lifeless zone for your mesh extender, as well.

The improved strategy is to spot that extender adjacent to the lifeless zone in a location wherever it will have an simpler time connecting with the key router. In some cases, that may well be halfway involving the useless zone and the major router, but you could possibly need to experiment a bit. Strike the sweet location, and the Wi-Fi sign it places out should really be a healthy just one, and just one that’ll increase into the dead zone to convey it again to daily life.

Mobile phone showing internet speed test results of 33.36 MBS

A good speed exam will support you fully grasp how your Wi-Fi is keeping up from area to area.

James Martin/CNET

Run a speed examination

Aside from the diagnostic instruments in your mesh router’s app, the quickest way to test on your system’s overall performance is to run some speed assessments. There are a good deal of absolutely free services on the net that we propose, any of which will explain to you the add and down load speeds on whichever unit you are working with in a minute or fewer.

For the very best intel, seize your laptop computer or cellphone and operate multiple speed assessments in just about every room of your residence in which you will need a usable Wi-Fi signal. In the close, you need to have a good ballpark feeling of in which speeds are the steadiest and exactly where they dip. From there, you could try out transferring your extenders to consider and harmony points out, or you could take into account buying an supplemental extender to fill in any gaps. Either way, your residence must be all established with a sturdy sign wherever you have to have it.

Our top picks for mesh Wi-Fi routers this year in a row, with the Google Nest in the center.

Jogging a speed take a look at can enable you figure out the finest spot to place your mesh router.

Chris Monroe/CNET

Other things to think about for your mesh router

Just remember that your mesh router can only offer you speeds that are as rapidly as what you happen to be paying out for from your ISP. If speeds are greatly insufficient in your household, then it might be time to contemplate upgrading to a a lot quicker program (and it may be worth observing if your ISP will let you try a quicker strategy for a number of times to see if that is, in fact, the issue). Your ISP may well also be ready to deliver you with an current modem that’ll deliver far better, speedier speeds to your mesh method to commence with. Are unable to damage to request.

If speeds nevertheless appear to be slower than you would like, and your ISP isn’t really the answer, then there are a couple other issues you can check out. For starters, if your provider’s modem is a gateway gadget that doubles as a router, then you will want to disable its Wi-Fi community so that it does not cause interference for your mesh system’s Wi-Fi network.

Speaking of interference, it can be probable that a neighbor’s Wi-Fi community is interfering with yours. To remedy that, hop into your mesh router’s application and glance for channel settings that allow you tune your network to a distinctive element of the Wi-Fi airwaves, possibly steering absent from whatsoever channel close by networks are making use of. You’ll also want to make guaranteed that your mesh system’s firmware is up to date, which should be straightforward to examine in just its app. 

For more, test out our picks for the very best Wi-Fi 6 routers, and how to find no cost Wi-Fi anywhere in the world